The voters of Alabama spoke softly Tuesday when they chose Doug Jones, a Democrat, over Republican Roy Moore as their U.S. Senator, with Jones taking 49.9% of the vote, Moore 48.4% and 1.7% of voters writing in a choice.
The vote seemed as if it would have been an easy one, considering the disgusting allegations against Moore, who was accused by not one, not two, but eight women for sexual assault and harassment. Moore allegedly initiated sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl, asked others out on dates when he was in his 30s and the girls were 16, 17 and 18. Another said he groped her as she was leaving his office.
It still seems strange that he was chosen as the candidate for the Republican Party, when there were other thoughtful candidates in good standing.
Our country works best when there are two strong parties – to parlay and work out details for everyone’s benefit. Both parties need to put forth strong, ethical men and women as candidates – people who are reasonable in their thinking and moderate in their views.
Lately, though, it seems that there is a wider and wider split between the far right and the far left, and people in the middle are being left out.
David Brooks, a fiscal conservative who writes for the New York Times, says he doesn’t feel like he has a party left. In his column Sunday, he writes that he feels like his party is rotting and he laments, “More and more former Republicans wake up every day and realize: ‘I’m homeless. I’m politically homeless.”
Brooks lamented over the past few months about President Donald Trump and his continued tweets that are driving middle ground Republicans away. He lamented the choice of Roy Moore as the representative on the ballot in Alabama.
Brooks has a point, and he pointed out that Trump, as the head of the party, is asking a lot of Republican Party members.
Trump has asked his followers to accept his lies, his Access Hollywood interview admission of sexual harassment. With his tax plan, he wants his party to give up its image of fiscal conservatism.
Honorable Republicans and honorable Democrats always knew there was a safe spot – the middle ground – in either party. Those “honorables” would step across the aisle, work together to get bills passed and work done.
But that feeling of consensus is being shoved out by radicals, leaving no middle ground.
The reason for the moral and intellectual “rotting” is because of the views that this “new” section in the Republican Party represents.
When the voters of Alabama chose Democrat Doug Jones, even if it is by a very narrow margin, they chose decency and common sense. They made a choice to reject the rottenness that Moore represents.
There’s hope that the ‘honorables’ in both parties might come to their senses and begin the long road of bringing sense back to the political system.