Written by Stacey Khizder
I don't know about you, but I'm still celebrating the stunning victory of Alabama's Senate race from last Tuesday. It was a historic race between Democrat Doug Jones, and the racist, sexist, homophobic, child-molesting, unqualified "Republican" candidate Roy Moore.
It's no secret that it is extremely difficult to elect a Democrat in the deeply red state of Alabama. However, I still I can't believe that the race was within a 1.5% margin. Roy Moore was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, one of them being as young as 14 years old. Roy Moore said that America's best days were during slavery. Roy Moore said he wanted to abolish all of the Constitutional amendments that followed the 10th, a list that includes the termination of slavery and giving women the right to vote. Roy Moore refers to homosexuality as an inherent evil. Roy Moore said muslims shouldn't be allowed to serve in Congress. Roy Moore is the worst candidate I've seen in my lifetime, but Roy Moore also won 650,436 votes.
It is terrifying that this many people, the majority party, and the President of the United States wanted to put this man in office. In 2017, I shouldn't have to explain why racism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry, and the termination of free speech are very bad things that should not exist in America, or anywhere. But, sadly, they do. What's even more tragic is that the Republicans are more than willing to turn a blind eye to this. The GOP showed that keeping a Senate seat to help pass disastrous legislature, like the recent Republican Tax Bill, and pleasing their mega-donors is more important than keeping Americans safe from someone as dangerous as Roy Moore. However, there is one silver lining. As this election will go down in history books, the major party of America exposed themselves for what they really are, which will only hurt them in the years to come. The GOP has proved that they have no backbone, no ethical standards, and that they stand for nothing but power, control, and greed.
Not only did America's highest level of leadership endorse an actual monster, but the GOP and the state of Alabama stayed true to itself and tried to suppress the Democratic vote. There have been multiple reports of police intimidation, incorrect filings of inactive registration, lack of staff for long lines, and just pure chaos surrounding the people's right to vote. In a Democracy, voter suppression shouldn't exist. Even a Constitutional Amendment that Roy Moore said he wanted to abolish makes it illegal to discriminate a voter base. Yet, it happens all the time -- especially in Alabama. Why?
It's no secret that the majority of African Americans register as Democrats. Alabama knows this, and so does the rest of the GOP. Voter suppression has a deep and dark history of racism. Actively suppressing the black vote has kept Republicans in office in the South. However, this time, the state of the country was literally saved by the African American support for Doug Jones. Tuesday night proved that when the DNC turns minorities out to vote by giving them a reason to go out of their way to do so, they win. While Democrats like myself are celebrating, the DNC should take this as a lesson learned.
The Democrats need to start investing in organizing and mobilizing minorities. They need to persuade their voting base by coming up with effective solutions that end the oppressive culture in America's existing legislature. The Democratic party needs to realize one fundamental thing if they want to win big in 2018: votes are earned, not given.
Stunning upsets in races like this shows that the Resistance is working. Now, the nature of the Senate is completely changed. With Senator-Elect Doug Jones, the Republicans lead by 51-49, which significantly diminishes the majority's ability to pursue their agenda.
2017 started off with the beginning of the most shameful term in modern American history, but the end saw Resistance.
Buckle up. The year of midterms is just two weeks away.