Why You Should Be Horrified By The Senate Race In Alabama

Why You Should Be Horrified By The Senate Race In Alabama

Why Roy Moore is a candidate that, unfortunately, needs be on your radar
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The great state of Alabama is holding a special election on December 12th to decide who will fill the Senate seat vacated by now Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Normally in Alabama, one of the most conservative states in the country, the winner of the Republican primary is considered the de facto winner of the whole election, however, this year things went horribly wrong for the Republican party and possibly for the entire country.

On September 26th, Roy Moore won the Republican runoff election and became the Republican nominee for Senate, defeating the incumbent appointed Senator Luther Strange. Moore has made a career out of stoking culture wars and preying on the fears of Alabamians. Moore has consistently flouted the rule of law by ignoring higher court opinions and violating ethics rules. His disdain for the rule of law has gotten him removed from the bench twice.

Moore is also viciously homophobic. He has said "Homosexual behavior is a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one's ability to describe it," in a court opinion while arguing that gay parents were detrimental to the health and well being of a child.

In this case, his court gave an abusive father custody of his teenage daughter because the mother had come out as a lesbian. He has claimed on multiple occasions that homosexuality should be illegal. He even compares homosexuality to bestiality and continues to push for sodomy laws.

Moore was a member of the birther movement. He has called Islam a false religion and compared the Koran to Mein Kampf. Moore has said that Muslims should not be able to hold public office. He refers to Native Americans and Asian Americans as “reds and yellows." This is just to name a few of his most egregious and un-American positions.

Roy Moore also is incredibly unfit to serve as Senator. This is evident by just looking at the “Issues” section on his campaign website which is laughably short and vague. He does not possess the respect for rule of law that is required to be a member of an institution like the Senate.

And now, he is facing damning sexual assault allegations. Moore allegedly took a 14-year-old girl to his home, kissed her, and told her how pretty she was.

He brought her over a second time and undressed her and touched her over her underwear and bra. While this is the worst, there are five women who have come out and claimed he pursued them at a young age while he was in his thirties.

The reality is he is probably going to win.

Doug Jones, Moore’s Democratic opponent, is having a strong showing in the polls and could capitalize on the absurdity of Moore’s campaign. But it's Alabama, and therefore, regardless of the circumstances, any Democrat running is going to face a major uphill battle for statewide races. So what would the results be for the country if, on December 13th, we wake up to Senator-elect Moore?

It would mean that Moore would be making decisions at some of the highest levels of government. He would be in negotiations during debates about healthcare, lifetime judicial appointments, and national security just to name a few.

This is a race in which the Republican party is going to lose either way. They have already thrown away millions of dollars trying to prevent Moore from winning the nomination in the first place.

If Moore wins they will have to spend time defending the pompous bigot in their caucus. Not only will Moore tarnish the Republican brand as a Senator, it doesn’t look like Moore is willing to work with Republicans much either.

It seems unlikely that Moore would do anything to help the establishment (which, it bears repeating, spent millions against him) and potentially damaging his anti-establishment image he has spent decades cultivating.

However if Moore loses and Alabama sends a Democrat to the U.S. Senate, the entire Senate becomes up for grabs. To understand this you have to understand the Republican civil war. One side is the establishment Republican party, on the other side is the anti-establishment, right-wing populist, Bannon wing of the party. Steve Bannon has said on multiple occasions that he will attempt to primary every incumbent Republican in the Senate except Ted Cruz.

This means that Roger Wicker (R-MS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and John Barrasso (R-WY) are going to have to fight tough and well funded primary opponents. If these incumbents lose to Moore-like candidates (which is exactly what happened in Alabama) backed by Steve Bannon, it could open all of these seats up to moderate Democrats, despite being in some of the most conservative states in the country.

Whether or not Steve Bannon will be able to dismantle the Republican establishment is still unknown and probably won’t be known until after the 2018 mid-terms. December 12th will be an indicator, is Bannon successful at uprooting incumbents and replacing them with candidates like Roy Moore, or is he biting off more than he can chew, thus handing the Senate over to the Democrats? For now, that question is in the hands of Alabama voters. Let’s hope they choose correctly.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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To The Stoneman HS Colorguards

We are all with you and thinking of you at this time.
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When I was fourteen years old, I had just begun to explore the world of colorguard. I went to seven am rehearsals every day with my older brother which I thought was the coolest thing, I traveled for contests and experienced winterguard for the first time as well. My parents always made it to my performances and always made sure to tell me how proud they were of me and loved me after everything I have done.

As it has come to light that one of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas HS shooting in Florida was a fourteen-year-old girl by the name of Gina Montalto who had just begun her journey into a sport that I fell in love with so many years ago.

She was set to perform at her first WGI regional this weekend in Tampa as well. She had the world ahead of her as she went to school on Valentine's Day thinking it would be like any other school day. She was probably preparing herself for her performance this weekend alongside many amazing teammates who I have no doubt pushed her to be an amazing performer.

All I have seen is that she was a sweet and kind young woman who I have no doubt was special. I also saw that she was just beginning a journey into falling in love with an amazing sport.

Many of you are probably asking yourselves why I am writing about someone I never knew at this point. WGI is a community that connects people in ways you never expect. You meet performers from all across the United States as well as internationally. Many are lucky enough to keep these friendships for life. Gina is a member of a large community that has been sending its love and thoughts to Florida during this tragic time.

The colorguard community has also been standing up and asking for a change to prevent violence like this from continuing. I have seen it across my social media feeds for the past day that each colorguard page I follow regardless if it is the official WGI page, people like PunkRockIrving, or teams from across the entire country, they all share a similar message. A message of condolence and prayer along with a request for a change to begin.

As the days continue to pass by and competitions seem to fly by for so many performers whether it be on your state's circuit or within WGI, hug your friends and your teammates a little tighter as you go on through your season this year. Be a voice in the community that so many have called a home and do not be afraid to speak up for what you believe in.

Show the members of Stoneman Douglas HS winterguards how appreciated they are this season if you ever get the chance. Their performers are some of the most dedicated that I have ever seen at World Championships and over social media. I have the utmost confidence that Gina's legacy will be carried with each of them as they perform.

Cover Image Credit: Stoneman Douglas HS

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Why I'm Pro-Choice

Abortion: a necessary evil.
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I live in a very conservative area, so the pro-choice/pro-life debate is usually a hot topic. When I see a post on Facebook arguing about abortion, I try to ignore it for the most part. I chime in every now and then, but I know that my opinions mostly fall on deaf ears. But today I have decided to take a stance: I am pro-choice, and I have something to say.

Let me start off by saying that I am not pro-abortion. I think abortion is terrible and it’s sad that it exits. But, I do think that abortion is necessary. In the 50s and 60s, before Roe v. Wade, the number of illegal abortions was astronomically high. The number of illegal abortions ranged anywhere between 200,000 and over 1 million each year. Out of these, almost 20% of all maternal deaths were a result of illegal abortions. (source)

Since the legalization of abortion, many women now have access to the proper medical care necessary for safe abortions. The amount of women that die as a direct result of abortion is almost non-existent. The past has proven that make abortion illegal wont stop abortions from happening. This will only increase the amount of unsafe abortions and the number of women who die from them.

My next opinion is bound to make some people upset but, until it reaches a certain age, there is no way for a fetus to survive on its own. At this stage in development, the fetus is essentially a parasite. A parasite is defined as “an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.” Until a fetus reaches the stage at which it is able to survive on its own, I do not consider it to be a person. It sounds harsh, but it’s simply the reality of the situation. The earliest that a fetus can survive outside of the womb is about 22 weeks. (source) Abortions rarely occur after this stage in a pregnancy, and when they do, it is only when a doctor says that it is medically necessary. As of now, almost 99% of abortions occur before the 21st week of pregnancy. (source)

A lot of people will argue that, “if you don’t want a baby, you shouldn’t have sex.” This, I believe, is an irresponsible statement to make. Yes, it seems like the obvious solution, but one that is impossible to enforce. Instead of shaming women for their sex lives, we should be encouraging and education on safe sex practices and making it easier for them to obtain contraceptives. This would greatly decrease the need for abortions because it would decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies overall. Not to mention that over half of the women that receive abortions already have at least one child. (source)

We can argue about whether or not life begins at conception. We can argue about religious or moral reasons for not having abortions. But the fact of the matter is: abortion is necessary, whether you like it or not.

Cover Image Credit: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/8i65erMbT.htm

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