Finally, the results have been confirmed. Judge Roy Moore, endorsed by the American “alt-right”* and Steve Bannon, has managed to prevail in the Alabama Republican senatorial primary. He defeated Luther Strange, the candidate of both the Republican establishment and of President Trump.
The judge became famous for blocking the removal of a monument depicting the Ten Commandments from a government building. Now, on Dec. 12, he must run against Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the special election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Moore was backed by the right-wing website Breitbart.com and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and attempts by the Republican Party to stop the rise of the outsider candidate surely proved worthless.
Moore triumphed with 54.6 percent of the vote, beating his opponent in every county in Alabama except for Jefferson, Sumter, Shelby and Madison counties. “Together we will make America great again,” the judge gloated, borrowing Trump’s beloved motto. “And we will support the president and his work. Tonight the establishment has been defeated in Alabama.”
Moore had a clear answer for those who raised questions about the fact that “The Donald” had supported his rival with the backing of Washington’s Republicans: “Don’t let anyone think that because he supported my opponent that I do not support him and his agenda.”
And the future of Trump’s presidency is precisely contingent on his agenda. With a narrow majority in the Senate, each vote is crucial in passing the reforms promised in the election campaign, although things from the border wall with Mexico to the repeal of former President Obama’s health care law to the deportation of illegal immigrants seem to be engulfed in the fire of the Republican establishment.
For this precise reason, the “alt-right,” led by its guru Steve Bannon, had been betting on the judge’s Senate candidacy from the beginning. He has always been the spokesman of the alternative right-wing movement growing across the country and is also a trusted supporter of Trump’s campaign agenda.
“Thirty million dollars wasn’t enough for Luther Strange to defeat Judge Moore,” Bannon declared, beaming after the victory. “This proves that sovereignty belongs to the people and not the money.” And if the Republican primaries in Alabama clearly represent how the key ideas of the “alt-right” (above all economic nationalism and the fight against immigration) have by now become prevalent among the GOP’s voter base, it is certain that the latter will be forced to deal with the popular sentiment of Middle America; unless it wants to continue to be dismantled from within by candidates supported by an increasingly radical base. The 2020 election is fast approaching. If Trump does not manage to fulfill his agenda and remains hostage to the “deep state,” there are more than a few who are already starting to talk about a “Bannon 2020” candidacy.
*Editor’s note: The term “alt-right” is defined as a white nationalist movement.