Like most people who study history — especially in Alabama — I respect Doug Jones for his record as U.S. Attorney when he prosecuted and convicted a member of the Klan decades after the 16th Street Church bombing in 1963 that killed four young black girls.
Many applauded Jones’ effort in helping make a person with such a twisted mind be held accountable — and still do so.
Most with any sense of justice understand the significance of that prosecution. But that seems to matter little as Jones is less than a week away from the Dec. 12 runoff for Alabama’s junior U.S. Senate seat.
That’s because Jones is a Democrat in a Republican-controlled state where the GOP controls every state-wide Constitutional office, plus all but one seat in Congress.
Instead, the Republicans elected Roy Moore to be their nominee over incumbent — appointed, not elected — Sen. Luther Strange.
Ironically, President Donald Trump endorsed Strange over Moore. When allegations of sexual misconduct recently surfaced, many Republicans “urged” Moore to step down. In recent days, President Donald Trump has come out strongly support of Moore, stating Moore denies the allegations.
Other top Republicans, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are now taking the view of letting the voters of Alabama decide if they want a twice-removed from office, accused sexual predator as their senator.
The whole matter is disgusting, but there’s always hope that casting a vote for Moore may be so repulsive that even Republicans may not in good conscience be able to do it.
They have a better choice in Doug Jones, who said while visiting Macon County last Friday that he’s encouraged.
“We have been encouraged since the summer before he primary,” Jones says. “There’s a lot of energy out there for change by people who want to talk about the issues. The campaign is on the right track.”
While Jones talks about health care, jobs and education, Moore doesn’t want to talk at all.
“He’s hiding and won’t debate,” Jones points out about Moore. “All he does is name calling — that’s all. That’s what you expect from someone who is getting desperate. He was dodging us ahead of time before all of this (sexual allegations). But we are staying on message and getting out there. We’ve got the wind at our back.”
For good of the people of Alabama and the nation, electing Doug Jones will for once send a positive message about our state. Lord knows we need one.
Guy Rhodes is editor and publisher of The Tuskegee News. He is a former recipient of the Distinguished Alabama Community Journalist Award and multi-time winner in the Alabama Press Association contest for Best Editorial Column or Commentary. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org