I was up in the Loge talking to Hal last night, about 5 minutes into intermission for the Symphony’s Holiday Soul show, when a huge cheer went up on the main floor. The people I could see on the main floor were looking to the rear of the hall so I thought perhaps one of the stars of the show had come into the auditorium for some reason.
Holiday Soul is this years’ version of a show the Symphony has put on for many years to reach out to the black community. It used to be called Colors of Christmas, featuring Peabo Bryson. This year we have CeCe Winans and Edwin Hawkins. It’s more overtly religious than Colors used to be.
The point is that the audience was predominantly black. What they were cheering, it turned out, was the news that the Democrat, Doug Jones, had been declared the winner in the special election for the Alabama Senate seat.
Jones’ Republican opponent, Roy Moore, was a problematic candidate already. Among other things, he essentially advocated that Christianity should be the state religion. Then, a few weeks ago, he was accused by multiple women of inappropriate sexual behavior when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Many Republican leaders said that Moore should quit the race, but some, including President Trump, continued to support him.
Polls up to last weekend showed Moore with a slim lead but the voters of Alabama evidently decided enough is enough.
Jones is the first Alabama Democrat to be elected to national office in a long time. I am hopeful that his election signals the awakening by the American people to the hijacking of their government by ultra-conservatives. The resignation after similar revelations of Minnesota Democrat Al Franken last week was disappointing to me but I thought last night that perhaps his taking the high road can spur Trump to come clean on his inappropriate sexual past.
A couple of weeks ago, when the Republicans in the Senate passed their tax ‘reform’ bill, I was struck by the difference between these Senators and the ones in John Kennedy’s book Profiles in Courage. Profiles in cowardice is more apt today.
OK, enough. Make sure you vote, people. It’s not much, but it’s all we’ve got. And it does make a difference.