This message is for Alabama Republican Primary voters in 2020: It almost does not matter who gets your vote. You could almost blindly color in the circle and be done with it. You could almost just stay home and let others vote for you because it does not matter, not even a little bit. I say “almost’ because there is that one extra step of ignorance that you could take…but more on that later.

The only truly viable candidates at this point for the Republican nomination (of the declared) are Congressman Bradley Byrne, Secretary of State John Merrill, and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. Now, each of those three is going to argue that they are the best possible candidate for 2020. Tuberville will talk about his experience coaching football (forget about that 2008 season). Merrill will talk about how ably he has run the Secretary of State’s office, overseeing initiatives and policies that make it incrementally more difficult for minorities and young people to vote (Republicans seem to like that). Bradley Byrne will talk about his service in the House of Representatives (of what distinction, no one knows). However, other than their own personal and professional experiences, there simply is not a difference between them.

There is no difference because not one of them has a set of policy priorities they hope to accomplish, nothing, nada, zilch. None of them are willing, or probably able, to talk with any coherence about the challenges facing us. No one will talk with any depth about healthcare, hospital closures, wage stagnation, infrastructure initiatives, the national debt, or the ever-widening gap between the haves and have nots. They will talk about how they support farmers but have no idea for a set of policies to help them, and LORD NO they would never oppose one of President Trump’s ill-conceived trade wars that threaten both our agriculture and manufacturing industries.

They will work overtime to convince you of their Christian faith, seeing no conflict with the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:5, and his command not to pray like the Pharisees. They will wax poetic about the threat of immigration, even though they are running to represent a state that is roughly 1,000 miles from the nearest border of Mexico. You see, each of the three are only determined to convince you, Joe or Suzy voter, that they stand more firmly with President Trump than anyone else; that they are better suited to take on a made-up threat of socialism; that it will take someone with their strength to help the president build the make-believe wall; in short…that they, and they alone, are the Trumpiest Trumpster in Trumpanistan.

Too many of you will fall for it.

Back to my “almost” comment. There is one viable candidate that you could nominate that would be quite different: Cartoon cowboy and ALPO can cover model Roy Moore. Moore is certainly different if you’re into things like open racism, homophobia, misogyny, and heresy. I am going to operate under the assumption that you, as a party, have gained a sense of how asinine electing Roy Moore to anything was from the beginning and would be now. But hey…I thought the same thing two years ago.

Jeremy Jeffcoat
Jeremy E. Jeffcoat is Chair of the Tallapoosa County Democratic Party and 2018 Democratic Nominee in Alabama House District 81