Alabama’s conservative voters have rejected the Republican candidate supported by President Trump. They preferred someone who appeared to be ineligible: the racist and homophobic Roy Moore.
In the remote South of the United States, during the senatorial primary in a special election in Alabama – far from Italian eyes and interests – something important and serious occurred which could lead to a further barbarization of political life in America. The consequences may be felt beyond the Atlantic as well, considering the influence of U.S. democracy. Conservative voters have rejected the Republican candidate supported by President Trump. They preferred someone whom analysts considered ineligible: the racist and homophobic Roy Moore.
The former judge is a religious fanatic, to the point of claiming that the attack on the twin towers on 9/11 resulted from America’s godlessness. Moreover, he believes that the Bible’s dictates take priority over court orders. Moore, who has been repeatedly removed by the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to apply federal court precedent in sexual freedom and same-sex marriage cases, and for even rejecting U.S. Supreme Court precedent, has surprisingly defeated the candidate supported by Trump and by the party.
In part, he owes his victory to Steve Bannon’s frantic activism. Having left the role of White House ideologue, Bannon is now searching for extremist candidates to pit against Republican members of Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.
Therefore, the special election in which ultraconservative voters will choose between Moore and Democrat candidate Doug Jones on Dec. 12 will be a launching pad for a civil war within the right wing. It will be a war during which the inflammatory Bannon will be bent on replacing moderate Republicans, or at least Republicans who are open to internal political dialogue and economic free trade, with radical and inflexibly fanatical and nationalistic candidates wherever he can.
As Trump watches the situation feeling both irritated and tempted to keep his options open, Bannon has begun by issuing his challenge to outgoing Republican senators in Arizona, Mississippi and Nevada. The first result is that Bob Corker, the moderate Tennessee senator, has chosen not to run again and to retire from politics, signaling more trouble on the horizon for an increasingly ungovernable Republican Party.
However, Democrats have little reason to rejoice. They thought that Trump would have worked in their favor by dismantling their rival party, but now they are paying a steep price for his election. They thought Trump’s election had brought the political axis to the bottom of fanaticism and populism. Moore has caused them to realize otherwise.