By Bill Fletcher, Jr. —
Well, team, I must confess that i expected Moore to win Alabama’s special Senatorial race. As a result, I was shocked this morning when I awakened and received a text from one of my best friends celebrating Moore’s defeat. I immediately went to msn.com to read about the election results.
When I subsequently went to Facebook i saw a posting from an African American who was, in effect, treating the Jones victory as a victory for white people, i.e., that African Americans had placed no demands on the campaign and we gained little from the victory.
What struck me about the results–besides the fact that the election was so close–was that initial analyses indicated that African American turnout was comparable to 2008 and 2012, In other words, Presidential years when Obama ran (and won). African Americans in Alabama understood what was at stake in this election and this turnout demonstrates that, under the right circumstances, voters who normally don’t vote in non-Presidential elections can be mobilized.
Is Jones a revolutionary? Certainly not. But the election was not a choice between revolution and counter-revolution. It was an election against misogynism, right-wing populism, irrationalism and racism. It’s significance cannot be underestimated given Alabama’s history as a home of the former Confederacy and a state that voted for Trump by an overwhelming margin.
Yet the book is not closed, and not simply because there will inevitably be a recount. What is so essential is the building and strengthening of progressive organizations in Alabama that can take advantage of the voter mobilization toward the achievement of longer term, progressive strategic objectives. There are organizations popping up all over the country that are advancing progressive electoral work with an “inside/outside the Democratic Party” orientation that are making a difference. My hope is that such organizations will proliferate in Alabama.
Congratulations to the people of Alabama who have rejected irrationalism! The war, however, is far from won.