We don’t want to go overboard here today, but the past week has brought to light some evidence of improving fortunes for the nation.
It well may be that Diogenes can put down his lamp and rest for a while. Senator-elect Doug Jones from Alabama showed us how the bill could be filled. His “victory” speech last Tuesday produced not only evidence of a sound, reasonable, accomplished and modest man, but of the goodness that can flow to him if he stays the course: a great-looking family, the affection of his peers, a sense of his own place in the greater US scheme of things, a man who has earned the trust of citizens black and white.
Almost better than all these blessings is his sense of fearlessness based on his sense of righteousness. We do not mean in a fundamentally religious fashion. We mean he has learned life’s lessons, stuck by them, been unafraid to use them, and has brought down giants with them. After months of despair and insecurity, those who stayed up to watch the election returns – in spite of the truly rotten behavior of his opponent – were able to turn out their bedside lamps with smiles on their faces and hopes in their hearts.
It well may be that the election in Alabama produced a prototype of the kind of forces we need to get out from under the proto-fascism of Mr. Trump and his cronies. This new force is comprised of differing and different components, some not all that comfortable yet with each other. A combination of determined, stubborn believers – the state’s Afro-Americans – tied to the old-fashioned beliefs about relationships between men and women – the returns showed nearly a third of Jones’ supporters were women – mixed in with again nearly a third of southern white liberals of both parties held ”it” together to achieve a goal so many doubted.
Is it possible that this cauldron of righteous spirits could be reassembled to fight for a fairer tax bill? After all, Alabama was not their first proving ground. Hardly daring to hope, they fought to save the nation from healthcare changes that threatened to not only impoverish citizens but also threatened the very kinds of help people need to stay alive.