I wanted to write a quick, personal thank you not to the Republican party in Alabama. Not the politicians, but the voters.
Ever since the 2016 elections ended I’ve been something of a man without a party.
Like many people that I know, I walked away from the Republican party after Trump won the nomination in the primary. While there were still many politicians within the party that I like on both the state and Federal levels, the party never felt the same after it chose to support Trump over people like Marco Rubio or Rand Paul.
I can remember during the primary arguing with friends and family about Trump. No matter what I said or did, I couldn’t break the spell Trump had over Republicans. It was like watching the trash compactor walls close in, and no matter how much I screamed into the comms device for R2-D2 to stop it, the droid never showed up.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy Hillary lost, especially in light of some of the good Trump has done — which, to be fair, has been more than anticipated. I just wish she lost to someone else with the same fire, but more tact and wisdom.
Since then, I’ve had a general malaise about a career I was formerly on fire about. The feeling of yelling into a void never really stopped. The trash compactor walls never stopped squeezing together. For me, America had shown me that it was willing to vote for bread and circuses, morals and wisdom be damned. It felt like the show came first, the country and its principles second.
The continued presence of Roy Moore in the Republican party did nothing to assuage the feeling of emotionally distant feeling I had toward the side of the aisle from which I used to hail. Watching Republicans, including their leader, stand up on behalf of a child molester was too much. The very same people who voted in a reality show host because he called people fun names and made vague promises are the same who were, once again, willing to toss principles out of the window because it means more that a Democrat didn’t take the seat.
I get it. I don’t like Doug Jones either, but like the primary in 2016, I wasn’t sure why Republicans didn’t just unite behind someone better. Are humans so like migrating birds that once the lead bird turns, we all have to do the same?
Watching the show left me with a dirty feeling. I didn’t support Moore, but even just working in the industry that has to talk about him from time to time left me with a dirty feeling I couldn’t wash off.
But then Moore lost last night, and I find myself slightly lightened. The nastiness that surrounds him, the stupid people he’s surrounded by, the show he puts on is now something that won’t have an R next to it. The Republican party will be a little less dirty.
There for sure is still a massive problem within the Republican party, and one that will always make me keep it at arm’s length, but with Moore’s loss, at least I know that somewhere in there is a crowd that will break from the flock and choose something else.
Within that group is a Republican party I remember, and I can now have a bit more faith that it will do the right thing.
I know there are too many out there that feel the same way I do. So from all of us jilted people who’ve been politically homeless since 2016, thank you Alabama.