I cannot remember a time when 98 percent of a group agreed on anything. Yesterday it happened in Alabama. According to exit polls, 17 percent of voters in the Senate special election were black women and 98 percent of them voted for Democrat Doug Jones. In my mind, that was the most stunning statistic coming out of the senate race occasioned by the appointment of former Alabama senator Jeff Sessions to the position of Attorney General by President Donald Trump, a decision that continues to haunt him in so many ways. Not as stunning, but still surprising in Alabama, 31 percent of the voters were white women, and 34 percent of them voted for Jones, while 63 percent of them voted for Creeper Roy Moore. The white women’s vote also was a considerable victory for Jones in the reddest of red states.
Is this the beginning of the end of Donald Trump? I think so. It’s also the beginning of a national movement. Women are poised to take over American politics. Perhaps it took Hilary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 election to mobilize the female population. Or correspondingly, perhaps it was the election of misogynist/racist Trump. The immergence of the #MeToo movement that continues to oust sexual harassers from positions of political power adds fuel to the legislative fire. This morning Minnesota governor Mark Dayton appointed a woman, Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, to replace (it breaks my heart) sexual harasser Senator Al Franken. Yesterday, 60 female elected officials called for a formal investigation of the sexual harassment charges levied against our harasser-in-chief, prompting Trump to insinuate in a Tweet that the movement’s leader, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, was a whore.
In America, the party out of power traditionally does well in off-year elections, the next one in November 2018, but the Democrats, thanks to Alabama’s black women, now have a blueprint for taking back the Senate and perhaps the House too.
We are leaving 2017 with Merriam-Webster naming “Feminism” as the word of the year and Time magazine naming “The Silence Breakers” as person of the year. Women are on a roll. I’m a white male, and I’m ready for change. I can’t imagine women screwing up our political system as badly as we white males have, and I’m hopeful they can do a lot better.