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.

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

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Will Enough Ever Be Enough?

Yet another school shooting in America, still nothing done. We are dying.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018: We are all heartbroken to hear about another school shooting.

At Great Mills High School in Maryland, a 17-year-old male is pronounced dead at the scene after shooting two other students and a school resource officer. Just before their first period started, at 7:55 am, Austin Rollins shot one male and one female student with a handgun before being shot by the school's resource officer. While the 16-year-old female is in critical condition, the 14-year-old male is currently stable. This is the 17th school shooting in 2018. That's 17 days out of the past 80 that parents have gone to bed with their children in body bags as a result of gun violence.

I don't care what political party you associate with, gun violence is completely out of control. I am a registered Republican and completely agree with stricter gun laws. Learn the difference between a gun ban and sales control. Concerned citizens are not trying to take away your guns, but are trying to take away the rights from those that are risks.

Could you imagine legally having to send your child to school but never coming back? You've packed their lunch, maybe with a special note, and gave them a kiss before they left for school, not knowing that it was their last. No matter where we go, we are not safe. We can't go to malls, movie theaters, schools, or even churches without having to worry if it will be our last trip. Our homes, our places of worship, and our schools are supposed to be the places where we feel safest and, instead, our children are filled with fear. Instead of focusing on the political views that divide these groups, why don't we focus on what unites us? Why don't we focus on protecting our kin?

Everyone has had an opinion on the walkouts that have been happening around the country. Everyone has had an opinion on the 17 minutes of silence for the 17 children lost in the Florida shooting. I've seen people disgusted that Nickelodeon had 17 minutes of broadcast cut because it "interrupted the only program [I] let [my] children watch".

If your child was shot at school, you wouldn't have to worry about what programs they watch, but rather where to bury them and how to afford their memorial.

I've seen people saying that it's no wonder that Millenials are dumb. They "find any excuse to cut class". Have you thought about the fact that they are genuinely worried about going to school?

Personally, I've experienced both a shooting scare at my high school and a bomb threat at my college. I shouldn't have to worry about my life ending. I'm legally forced to go to high school and get an education or I'm putting myself into a lifetime of debt to get a degree.

We are all too young to stress about gun violence. Our school years are supposed to be the times our of lives, but they're being wasted on worrying about dying every day.

Rest in peace to all of those who have lost their lives in shootings, not only this year, but always. Hopes, thoughts, and prayers go out to their loved ones. One day, we will unite and find a solution.

We need to work together and forget the labels of parties and cliques in school and look out for one another instead. There is no kind but mankind.

Cover Image Credit: Boston Herald

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The Republican Versus Democrat Stigma Needs To Slow Down

We Need To Be Individual Again

We as a society have developed an unnecessary need to place people in a specific party based on what could be a single value out of many. This is a letter for those who do not define themselves as one or the other; for those whose values range between conservative and liberal, for those who feel the unfortunate pressure of society to choose one even though your values do not fit just one.

The political parties at one point generally just meant “these are my basic beliefs, so this is the candidate I will vote for because they most closely represent them.” Party affiliation was harmless. Republicans and Democrats could get along fine, differing opinions not getting in the way of relationships and alignment. More importantly, you did not have to be part of a specific political party to be an active member of society. Your opinions and principles were yours.

Over the years following the last two election races, political parties gained a much more significant and defining meaning in our lives as individuals and as members of society. There is a newly developed stigma behind political opinions. You are almost pressured to feel one way or another about every single topic. If a majority of your values are of the conservative agenda, you must be a heart-and-all Republican. In contrast, if you are more liberal-leaning you are docked as a set Democrat. We as citizens are being labeled according to what may be a few hard-values. And dishearteningly enough, can be ridiculed for what we value. Even if you might not value everything the same as your determined party.

There exists those of us that hold values from both parties. It is possible to value women’s rights and also value a traditional marriage. It is possible to be a gun owner and also active in keeping children safe in school. You do not have to just submit to every belief of one party. You can value aspects of different parties and still be a functioning member of the American society. Do not let the looming obligation to declare yourself as strictly one or the other. You do not have to pretend you agree with everything Democratic or everything Republican; you can have your own values. And you should. Our society is messed up in the way that values are pushed on citizens. We are meant to be free individuals with our private values.

It is not fair to those of us who value different things. Not every American is a to-the-bone Democrat or Republican. It is possible to hold liberal beliefs as a conservative person. And Vice-Versa. We need to stop labeling one another as one or the other, conservative or liberal. We need to stop silencing each other because we have differing views. We need to accept not everyone is perfectly one party, and diversity exists. Open mindedness exists in Americans, despite the seemingly growing generalizations. We need to be able to agree to disagree on certain topics.
Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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