Alabama Elects Doug Jones And Stands On The #RightSideOfHistory

Alabama Elects Doug Jones And Stands On The #RightSideOfHistory

Moral integrity and human decency prevails in Alabama, shocking the nation and the world.
388
views

For the first time in 25 years, the state of Alabama has elected a Democrat, Doug Jones, to a U.S. Senate seat. Through a special election as a result of Jeff Sessions' resignation to serve as President Trump's Attorney General in February of 2017, Doug Jones overcame being a Democrat in an overwhelmingly red state. December 12th, 2017 will go down as a date where moral integrity prevailed.

multiple allegations of past sexual misconductincluding charges that involved a minor — of Republican candidate Roy Moore, through which Jones garnered political support among the outrage of both Democrats and Republicans. Whether the year is 1979 or 2017, it is proven that even in Alabama, decency prevails over party loyalty and ignorance.

Whether it's from right here in Tuscaloosa, New York City, or Australia, the world knows that Alabama just made a step to be on the #RightSideOfHistory.

Governor Wallace's racist tirades at the University of Alabama to the most recent Governor Bentley sex scandal, Alabama's political resume has been a joke. For anyone growing up in Alabama with views even remotely liberal or Democratic in nature, Alabama's political extremism has been a cringe-worthy fact to bear.

To add insult to injury, Republicans in Alabama put up a candidate in Roy Moore that claimed that the last time America was "great" was when "families were united — even though we had slavery." Yes, a candidate that said getting rid of amendments after the 10th — you know, like the 13th and 19th that abolished slavery and gave women the right to vote, respectively — would "eliminate many problems" with the United States government.

I think the saddest part was that Roy Moore, horseback riding and all, was actually competition.

Alabama's election of Doug Jones holds incredible national significance as it narrows the Republican majority in Washington. Alabama, with the world watching, elected a candidate who actually addresses the issue that lags in "industry... education... and health care." Not a candidate who is notorious for racist and homophobic public utterances.

For once, Alabama, you did alright. Also, black voters essentially decided this election, making up 30% of the vote that was almost entirely pro-Jones.

Congratulations, Alabama. You elected a candidate because of moral values and the denouncing of pedophilia, a feat the nation and the world didn't think you could do. Incredible voter turnout and voters who are usually dominated in Alabama elections, young people and ethnic minorities, proved that Alabama might not be as ignorant as the media perceives us to be.

Who knows what happens from here? Only time will tell. But Doug Jones seems to be a man with a plan:

“I have always believed that the people of Alabama have more in common than divides us. We have shown the country the way forward” — Doug Jones, election night victory.

In 2018, Alabama is not red or blue. Rather, Alabama stands as Red, White and Blue, as the interest of human decency, education, dignity, and respect is what our state actually stands for. Women no longer must hide in the shadows about masculine objection, for now they know their voices are heard.

The hatred that has spewed from Moore's mouth has been righted by the Alabama voters; a self-proclaimed "man of God," Roy Moore's hypocrisy has been outed and the foundation of political integrity can be begin to be rebuilt in Alabama. As a good friend told me in relation to Doug Jone's politics: he is a man who will try to represent all of Alabama, not just Democrats.

Courage breeds courage.

Cover Image Credit: Doug Jones / Twitter

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
152278
views

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

My First Political Debate Experience Only Revealed The Messed-Up Reality Of American Partisan Pandering

More sinister than fake news, more timeless than Trump and Kavanaugh, the deceit and radicalization of modern politics is poisoning America.

181
views

Given my age (almost 16 and a half!) and my nonpartisan perspective on most issues, it's rare that I attend any politically motivated function (much less in person). Unfortunately, my first taste of official political discourse only encapsulated everything I dislike about American politics.

Upon learning that my high school was hosting a debate between two candidates for the district's representative position, I was immediately intrigued. Admittedly, I had my expectations set high. I had jotted down "House Rep. Debate" on my calendar a week in advance and marked off the days the event neared. I would finally get to learn firsthand about the issues affecting my community and about the people with plans to fix them.

To a certain extent I got what I had hoped for, but certainly not in the environment I had anticipated.

When the student moderators introduced the candidates, Democrat Angelika Kausche and Republican Kelly Stewart, to the stage, it was already abundantly clear how ideologically distinct the two opponents would be.

The first question, which asked each candidate to describe how their views aligned with their party's platform, revealed just how cut-and-dry the candidates were at representing their respective factions. On the left, an unwavering conservative with a keen avoidance of overspending and socialist policies. On the right, an equally grounded liberal with a passion for tackling humanitarian injustices and enforcing moral correctness.

This circumstance certainly isn't unprecedented, but the rest of the night only proved how their narrow-minded partisan loyalty served as barriers to productive discourse.

Right off the bat, Kausche avoided the clearly stated question by taking the time to thank the John's Creek Community Association for hosting the event.

Stewart, however, dove right into her response, which turned out to be a fine-tuned diatribe about Georgia's budgetary deficit and Kausche's supposed lack of budgetary experience and the budgetary concerns and the budget. Finally, Stewart concluded that perhaps the most important thing to consider is, you guessed it, the budget. She even printed out budget sheets for attendees, which I found extraordinarily useful as a handy notepad.

My head perked up when I heard a question regarding Georgia's healthcare policies. Admittedly, I know less than I should about the subject and was curious to know what each candidate thought.

Shockingly, Republican Kelly Stewart opposed the expansion of Medicaid while Democrat Angelika Kausche vehemently supported it. I start to wonder what the point of having candidates' names on the ballot is when their political stances just as much could be conveyed with the letters "D" and "R" to the tee.

Neither candidate veered from their party platform for the rest of the night, with only a few moments of forced agreement (always around the fact that an issue exists, never about how to solve it). On a few occasions, a candidate would utter an especially radical idea (i.e. Obamacare is at blame for the opioid crisis. Medicaid should be for all people. Teachers should be armed.) and was almost always met with either overwhelming applause or a sea of groans.

The room's reaction was so powerful in either candidate's favor that I was genuinely confused who was the more favored of the two.

To be abundantly clear, I wholeheartedly support voter efficacy and staying informed, and I understand that debates inform voters of their representative's ideals. I also don't mean to criticize Kausche or Stewart or even the policies they endorse. I only question the point of debate when it's anchored in stiff, unrelenting party platforms. This is symptomatic of the larger trend at work in American politics: the exploitation of party differences by politicians to entice a demographic of their constituents.

If you're wondering what that means or demand evidence, just take President Trump. Back in 2016, his presidential campaign threatened to run as independent when he felt he wasn't getting enough support from the GOP. Now, he champions radicalized views of the right and has emboldened members of the far-right (along with alt-right neo-Nazis and racists) with his entirely anti-PC attitude.

Similarly, it's rare to find a democratic politician that deviates from the extensive list of liberal ideas that are expected of them. Consider Trump's opponent Hilary Clinton, who originally made it clear in 2014 that she was against nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage. Isn't it suspicious that in 2015, without explaining why her stance changed, her presidential campaign later advocated for this right, thus garnering support from the LGBT community?

There's so much more wrong with the state of American politics than your opposed party controlling political office.

The effect of the American people allowing this pandering and doublespeak is political inaction among policymakers, who can preach a set of ideals independent of their actual intentions.

The other result is voter apathy among constituents, who therefore feel their vote holds little weight.

With such deceitful rhetorical tactics dominating the political sphere, it's easy to believe that we've all been given a voice. But when that voice only ever tells us what we want to hear, it's important that we stop to question whether we're really being heard.

Related Content

Facebook Comments