The right candidate won in Alabama

Published 9:00 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2017

swore I wouldn’t write about this, but I can’t help it.

I’m glad Doug Jones won the Senate race in Alabama. And as state officials go about certifying the election, I hope his lead grows and no recount is needed.

After living five years in Alabama, I would not have been surprised if Roy Moore had won, because there are many residents living in areas of the state’s rural counties who think and talk just like Moore, and I can speak from experience in that area.

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Some people will claim it was the publicity of Moore’s alleged dalliances with young girls that did him in. The stories were nightly chapters on the cable and network news shows and in the major newspapers across the country. To be honest with you, as the father of a daughter and having lived in small towns where similar stories abound, I believe the women who came forward with their stories and in some cases provided proof of their claims.

But I don’t believe it was the claims of sexual abuse, although they played a part in his defeat, that really turned the tide. I’m idealistic enough to believe that the Alabama voters saw Roy Moore for what he represented — the stereotype southern racist and clown — and said “enough.”

We in the south try very hard to convince the rest of the country that we’re not the illiterate, tobacco chewing, slow talking bigots that were portrayed in the Hollywood movies of the 60s and 70s; that we’re not all members of the Ku Klux Klan and we don’t make “shine” in our backyards. We point out to our quality universities and the literary giants and doctors and scientists who have come from the south. We try hard to break the stereotype.

And then we do something stupid like elect a Roy Moore-type politician to office, or our legislators pass some stupid bill that discriminates against a class of people or cuts spending for education at all levels.

I believe that fear of electing the stereotype to office was a big reason Jones won. I know the U.S. Senate is glad it won’t have to deal with him, and I’m glad the people of Alabama showed they’re not as dumb as the rest of the country thought they were.

What Jones’ election means for the future at this point is hard to tell, although the mid-year elections set for next year could be seen as a measure. I know it embarrassed President Trump, who now claims he knew Moore would lose, and it embarrassed arch-right winger Steve Bannon, who backed a Republican candidate in one of the most Republican states in America and watched him lose — so much for trying to be a kingmaker.

Hopefully, Jones’ win is a signal that voters are no longer going to support policies that divide us and are more willing to move toward a more responsible government that represents the people and the country instead of themselves.

John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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