The Roy Moore Situation: Does the State of Alabama Have a Sense of Ethics?

I talked earlier this morning about there being an extreme likelihood that Roy Moore will stomp his victory stamp across the sleepy state of Alabama. I also talked about how Doug Jones seems placenta-filled, mild-mannered, and pathetic enough that he doesn’t come across as the ideal candidate to unseat decades of political certainty.

My previous post talked more about the electoral side of things. This entry will ponder the state of Alabama itself. Or, the state of the state of Alabama. It’s my opinion that Alabama is so steeped in an archaic sense of morality that any firebrand will do.

Establishment Republicans and Democrats would have a better chance of making Roy Moore run for the hills if they had evidence he took the lord’s name in vain or something. Well, it makes you wonder. Would anything be enough to permanently change the minds of Alabama Republicans? They’ve rationalized Moore’s ethical ills away to the detriment of their own ethical compasses. “Fake News” and so on. John the Baptist or some such. “Things are about to get Biblical” really doesn’t cover it.

The propensity to groupthink is never a good sign. There are also no scientific checks and balances down there. The Bible belt has been through the washer more than a handful of times, and yet, it comes out smelling brand new. Alabama is probably feeling invigorated rather than truly ambivalent. Sometimes the initial ambivalence predicts and ideological coalescing. Other times not.

What I’m concerned about is the very discernible odor of social change. Look at the rise of Donald Trump. The pardoning of Arpaio. Those Constitutional Sheriffs that are trying to “take their states back” by prioritizing state law over the constitution,…or something. Alabama isn’t immune to this shift. No state is immune, and those shifts are expressed differently depending on various factors. Some states absorb national changes via their own individualist strain. Consider, for example, how Alabama views the media. Mistrust of the Fourth Estate is fairly common already, and it seems like it’s only enhanced in that state.

You also have the issue with net neutrality, which will place a severe bottleneck on the flow of information on the interwebs, just another stair for the evolutionary throwback to fall down.

Seems like the usual tendency to focus on micro-politics needs to be opened up, then, that this just isn’t a problem with Alabama, and the anxiety over Roy Moore should also take into consideration wider social shifts that feed into each other. Finally, solely focusing on macro-politics leaves out important details. Certain states become refuges, or hotbeds even, of particular kinds of ideology. National shifts can increase those phenomena.

 

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