By now most of us are well aware of how batshit insane Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee to replace Jeff Sessions, truly is. He stated Keith Ellison shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress because he’s a Muslim. He was removed from his post as the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court not once, but twice. The first time for refusing to have the ten commandments removed from in front of a court house. The second time for instructing Alabama county courts to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. He believes homosexuality should be illegal. He said that 9/11 was “punishment for US turning away from God.” Additionally Moore faces credible sexual assault allegations: he is accused of sexually molesting a fourteen year old girl when he was thirty two.
Moore is the epitome of a hypocritical right-wing nut job. But that doesn’t necessarily mean his opponent, Doug Jones, deserves to win the Senate seat. Not being Roy Moore doesn’t merit anything.
What does Doug Jones actually stand for? What policy positions does he advocate? What does he want to accomplish for the American people? What injustices does he want to address? Is Doug Jones a man of high moral character?
If you look at the issues section of Doug Jones website, you don’t find that much substance with the exception of the criminal justice section. That is probably because he was the District Attorney for Northern Alabama for four years. Other than that, he appears to be another standard corporate centrist Democrat
Doug Jones stated that he “wants to bring integrity back to Washington.” That is a very very vague statement. What does that mean? That he’s not going to be corrupt? He stated that we “are all tired of politicians who have been bought and paid for by special interests.” So is he going to close his door to lobbyists?
Doug Jones hasn’t taken an oath of no taking PAC money. In fact, he has taken taken $41,700 from PACs. To be fair, this is only 2.53% of his total contributions. But that’s still troubling – we don’t know where that money came from – and we don’t know if there were any strings attached to those donations.
When it comes to criminal justice, Jones does advocate some good ideas: repealing the three strikes rule. The three strikes rule sends people to prison for life if they are have been convicted of one violent felony, and have two other previous convictions. It was signed into law by the incredibly progressive president Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
Jones also advocates re-implementing the sentencing reform efforts put in place under president Obama. Jones also supports “increasing rehabilitating those in the justice system instead of ending all of them to prison at a high cost to their families and taxpayers.”
Why doesn’t he just come right out and say we need to stop entrenching non-violent drug offenders in the criminal justice system and end the war on drugs? Why not come out in support of recreational marijuana?
On the economy Jones said, “we must invest sufficient resources to ensure that our educational system provides the skills, knowledge and tools necessary for our children to succeed in a 21st Century economy.”
There is nothing about creating a new new deal or a green new deal, college free tuition for all, taking steps to reduce income and wealth inequality, universal basic income, ending anti-union right to work laws, re-implementing Glass-Steagall, or raising taxes on the wealthy.
Jones says he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and making the minimum wage a living wage, but he has not come out in support of a $15.00/hr minimum wage or said what he believes a living wage would look like.
When it comes to the environment, Jones advocates is “rejoining the Paris Climate Accords.” Jones also advocates “encouraging investment in renewable energy” and believes the unchecked use of fossil fuels has been harmful to our health. Jones advocates clean air and clean water.
Strangely, Jones blames environmental regulations for the loss of coal jobs. In the place of coal jobs he advocates a “safety net of health care and job retraining for these workers. Why not just come out and say “These regulations were needed for us to have clean air and clean water. We need a green energy new deal: this will provide us with clean energy for the future and plenty of jobs.”
When it comes to healthcare, Jones opposes repealing the Affordable Care Act. Jones has also stated that he is open to the idea of a public option. It would appear that Doug Jones opposes Medicare-For-All.
Personally, as a progressive, I’m not very impressed by Doug Jones. Even if he wins, it would only be because Roy Moore is absolutely awful. All it would take for Jones to be unseated in the next election cycle is a Republican that doesn’t say crazy things or have a history of sexual assault.
If Jones begins to advocate for clear and popular policy proposals like Medicare For All, College For All, a $15.00/hr minimum wage, legalizing marijuana, ending the war on drugs, ending private prisons, creating a new new deal and revitalizing our infrastructure, addressing climate change, getting big money out of politics he would have a much better chance of winning.
If I lived in Alabama, I would vote for Jones simply because he is actually better than Roy Moore, but I wouldn’t go out and volunteer my time or donate to get him elected. The only thing that distinguishes Jones is that he prosecuted two of the perpetrators charged with the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Democrats need to stop running these types of candidates — they only stand a chance of winning if their opponent is absolutely batshit insane or terrible.
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