I drank too much hot chocolate tonight, so I can’t sleep. Therefore I’ll add a few post-election thoughts.
Even though it’s none of my business what Alabamians do with their Senate seats, I was relieved to see that Doug Jones won, because it’s really disheartening to think that an accused pedophile could still win a seat in the Senate. If a story about feeling up 14-year-old girls comes out a few days before an election in The Enquirer, it makes sense to be suspicious about it. But this story came out months before the election in The Washington Post. It’s disheartening to think that we live in a culture where an accused pedophile can simply call a Washington Post story fabricated out of whole cloth and get away with it.
So I was happy with the election results. But then I made the mistake of keeping Twitter open, and my relief quickly turned to dismay. The absolutely unbearable smugness that washed over Twitter in gloating about this upset victory was itself very upsetting. These are supposed to be the “good guys?” This vengeful, hateful mob is who we’re supposed to be rooting for to win elections? They were absolutely indistinguishable from the Republican mobs who gloated after Trump’s win, the same mobs who spent eight years trying to tear down the Obama administration.
I did not feel better about America after Doug Jones’s win tonight. America is more fractured than ever, and we revel in it, we wallow in it. We watch elections like they are blood sports, the candidates gladiators. Doug Jones held up the head of Roy Moore tonight and shouted, “Are you not entertained?” And Twitter roared back its approval, and demanded more. It was unsettling.
These elections that split 50/50 are really dangerous. Fully half of the population of Alabama is now seething, watching the victors dance in Bacchanalian glee, and plotting their revenge. From their perspective, a baby-killer stole the election with the help of false allegations.
Don’t get me wrong, I know full well that the gloating would have been exactly the same had Roy Moore won, except it would be Republicans gloating instead of Democrats. See: Election 2016.
It’s just very disappointing to see that the “good” side, where most of my Internet friends reside, is just as unashamedly, unapologetically blind and ignorant as the “bad” side.
There is also the troubling prospect that nearly 50% of Alabamians still voted for an accused pedophile, which hardly seems like “victory.”