With a rebel yell, Alabama cried “No Moore, Moore, Moore”

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)_/¯

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Quick thought on Roy Moore and bigotry

Democrats are now trying to jump on the fact that Roy Moore dated his wife Kayla while she was still married to her ex-husband. Does this show blatant hypocrisy over his love of family values? Yup. Does it show that he just lies about his past? Yup. Will it mean anything to the Alabama voters? Nope.

If the average Alabama voter doesn’t care about him dating high school chicks when he was in his 30s, what makes you think they’ll care about him dating a woman while she was still married? At what point will we realize that these people don’t actually care about values, but instead care about “shaking up” the political elite? At what point will we realize the average American voter is pretty bigoted, so when some politician comes along who isn’t politically correct and validates that bigotry, they’re going to latch onto that politician?

What hasn’t been brought up about Roy Moore or made the news rounds? The fact that Moore questioned Keith Ellison’s ability to be in Congress simply because Ellison is a Muslim has hardly been brought up. Why? Because it’s just not controversial; how can something many Americans agree with be controversial? This is the same guy who in 2009 said the only thing Islam had done for the US was done on September 11, 2001. He’s also said that Muslims shouldn’t serve in the military.

Basically, the man hates Muslims and has no problem treating them not just as second-class citizens, but as non-citizens simply because of their beliefs. And that’s not getting airtime. Why? Because it’s just not all that controversial.

Therein lies the problem – we’ve normalized bigotry in the US. Not that this has never been done before, but there was always some type of resistance. But with Trump showing his videos and Moore’s controversy being a sexual predator (which is bad, very bad, but so is basically calling for us to treat an entire religious group as persona non grata). Once we’ve normalized bigotry, when the bigots take the next step of removing rights from that group, we don’t really throw a ton of protests out there. Back in January and February when Trump’s travel ban went into effect, we had thousands of protests with thousands of people. When the Supreme Court upheld it the other day, we saw nothing.

We need to understand that bigotry will always occur, especially in the US. But what makes bigotry dangerous is when we don’t call it out and when we don’t protest it and act against it. Because the only way bigotry becomes normalized is if we allow it to become normalized, and the more normalized it gets, the closer we get to doing some pretty horrible things to people.

Does being conservative mean anything anymore?

I think the biggest mistake that David Koresh made wasn’t being anti-government, pro-gun, religious, or having sex with multiple teenager girls. Obviously, his biggest mistake is that he didn’t wait until 2017 to reveal all of this and then run as a Republican.

At least, that’s my take from the way Republicans have gone from a party of “family values” to a party of, “See if this shit will stick to the wall and if it does run it as a candidate.” They went from the moral majority, to the party that stood against the sexual predator Bill Clinton, arguing we needed morality in the White House and government, to the party that ran a guy for president who had interviews with Playboy, was thrice divorced (but did not live in a van down by the river), and openly admitted to affairs and sexual assault. But, maybe that was just a phase.

It wasn’t a phase. Roy Moore, running for senate in Alabama, has…look, you know the story, I even wrote about it previously. Now, to be fair, it’s not like anyone could have known all this about Moore would have come forward, except…oh…well...I mean, other than people saying, “Oh, yeah, we all knew.” Roy Moore is basically Wooderson from Dazed and Confused. Roy Moore For Senate, “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”

To the credit of the GOP, pretty much every major and minor leader and multiple organizations have all split ties with Moore. Granted, they were looking for a reason to do it anyway and they’re not exactly his biggest fans, but they are justifiably asking for Moore to step down. Any criticism of the GOP should probably be reserved for things they actually deserve (like their tax plan). But the “conservative media” and many conservatives on Twitter and Facebook are furious, absolutely angry and ready to revolt. Not because of Moore’s alleged statutory rape, oh no, but because the GOP is upset about Moore’s alleged statutory rape. Because nothing says “family values” like having sex with underaged girls, right?

This most recent controversy and the right’s embrace of Trump points to a bigger problem within the typically conservative movement, which is that they’re not conservative. The few supporters of Moore are certainly far-right and right wing, but I’m not sure I’d classify them as conservative. To be a conservative would require you to have principles and to not give into pragmatism, or power politics. A conservative would stand for whatever is right no matter what, because that’s old fashioned ethics right there, and old fashioned ethics is what conservatives are supposed to be about.

But we use the word “conservative” in the US like it still means something when it doesn’t. Standing up for Trump’s sexual indiscretions and boorishness and then supporting Moore even though he’s likely a pedophile flies in the face of the traditional sexual ethics that most conservatives would support. Even outside of social issues, the modern “conservatives” aren’t really conservative. Look at the most recent GOP tax plan, which effectively raises taxes on the lower and middle class while lowering it for the wealthy, but also doesn’t do a lot to address government spending. That’s not a conservative stance. Yes, conservatives want to lower taxes, but they want to lower them for everyone, especially the poor and middle class. Classical conservative principles would call for a tax cut for everyone in addition to cutting government spending. But the GOP tax plan looks more like something that’s right-wing, but not necessarily conservative.

My point being, conservative commentator’s coming to the defense of Moore betrays the fact that these people aren’t actually conservative, but are far more interested in power. They’d happily run the Devil if they knew he’d win. They’d perform an abortion on live TV if they knew it could get them a tax cut. They’d burn down 1,000 churches if it got them votes. These modern “conservatives” have no principles, so by definition they can’t be conservative (which is ultimately reliant upon principles and nothing but principles). And I say all of this as someone who isn’t conservative – I just know what a true conservative looks like, though they’re more endangered than the polar bear.

And I say all of the as someone who isn’t conservative or a Republican. People will play the “what about” game and point to the Democrats, but I’d happily argue that they abandoned their principles in 1992. They gave up the working class to pursue rich donors and, what’s more, they gave up their mantra of “women’s rights” to blast the multiple women who went against Bill Clinton. They proved they don’t care about women’s rights when they willfully protected a sex predator. But the Republicans can’t smugly look at that and go, “Ha, stupid Democrats!” because they’re doing the exact same thing (with Trump, not Moore).

The Republicans have put power over principles and they will eventually suffer for it (the Democrats took that route back in 1992 and look at where they are now). Our nation suffers because we have unprincipled people in power. The irony of ironies is that principles and strong convictions are what allow for effective compromises in law making. People have firm ground on which to stand, so they realize certain concessions must be made to fit the overall picture. When politicians pursue power, the people suffer. When a politician pursues power he cannot compromise because it would diminish his brand. He’d be viewed as weak, so he must remain strong in the face of adversity. And that’s why I think David Koresh would have made a perfect candidate in today’s climate.