So Roy Moore lost last night and that’s kind of a big deal. The Republicans began asking a few years ago, via the Tea Party movement, “Just how disgusting does a candidate have to be before we lose?” Apparently they have to be at Moore’s level of disgusting; of pedophilia, racism, longing for the days of slavery, and bigotry. That’s an incredibly low bar, but hey, at least it’s a bar.
The above is, at least, the narrative being told. But it’s a false narrative because in the weeks leading up to the election Republican leadership embraced Moore as one of their own. The narrative that should be told is that Moore lost, or more importantly that Jones won, for three main reasons:
1) The young (40 years and younger) vote in Alabama
2) The black vote
3) Republicans with a conscience
The Moore vote also points to a major problem in American culture, but at the same time gives us some hope. So let’s break this down.
Moore, even with the very credible accusations against him, still picked up 57% of college educated white women (77% of non-college educated white women). 62% of college educated white men went for Moore (79% non-college educated). 80% of self-identified “evangelical Christians” went for Moore. All told, 68% of white voters in Alabama went for Moore.
Moore, of course, had accusations leveled against him concerning pedophilia, openly spoke against Muslims taking public office, and longed for the days of slavery because at least people supported the family (the white family, of course, as black families were routinely broken apart). And 68% of white voters in Alabama were completely okay with this, because of abortion? Not exactly a pro-life stance to take, but whatever.
The positive news is this: 96% of Alabama’s black voters voted for Jones; so all of America should make sure to include Alabama’s black voters on their Christmas card list this year as one big thank you for saving the US from putting this man in the senate.
We also shouldn’t forget that 2% of Republicans wrote-in a candidate, because Moore was pretty disgusting. While 2% isn’t a lot, that also ignores how many Republicans just didn’t vote. So yes, Virginia, there is an ethical Republican…there’s a few, and they helped win the election for Jones and we should thank them for that.
The hopeful news here, too, is that voters aged 18-44 also voted for Jones (around 61%). For voting age that accounts for half; so there’s obviously some overlap on races and I’d be very curious to see the breakdown of white people under the age of 44 and how they voted, but it’s still a positive that it seems people under the age of 44 are done with politics as usual. They’re done with the far right. That 60% matches the young vote for people 44 and younger in almost all elections across the nation over the past two years, including the presidential election.
The hope here is that as the Baby Boomer voting demographic becomes the minority voting group, younger groups will begin adopting a more progressive voting standard. I think it means the final check on capitalism, the voters, are starting to gain more power as the Baby Boomers begin to lose the numbers. It means that corporate money and corporate interests mixed in politics has a natural limit, that limit being, “Hey, I’m tired of not making any money and having no economic future.” At the very least, it (hopefully) means younger voters are tired of the politics as usual system, where corrupt and disgusting politicians can no longer win an election where they should be a shoe-in.
Even in special elections held this year in 2017 we’re seeing very close contests in states that are traditionally red. While this has quite a bit to do with people reacting to Trump, what shouldn’t be ignored is that in some of these states Millennial and Gen X voters make up the majority of the voting base. Even in the presidential election, voters 45 and younger matched the Baby Boomers in terms of number of voters and as we all know Clinton won the majority number of votes (just not the Electoral College).
I don’t mean everyone will magically start voting Democrat, because that’s not a solution. What I do mean is that younger voters seem to be more socially conscience and actually want to make the world a better place rather than “Get mine and get out.” At least that’s how it seems now. Only time will tell if it stays that way or goes that way. But for now, at least we stopped an alleged pedophile and admitted racist from taking office. Take the wins when you can I guess? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯