The jaded and cynical Nathaniel asked (Gospel of John 1:46) “can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Jaded and cynical people in 2017 America wondered, can any good thing come out of Alabama? Sure can! I was surely apprehensive that Alabama might send Roy Moore to the Senate, but it sent Doug Jones instead, and great credit goes to him for running an excellent campaign. Last year in Massachusetts, 91 out of the 351 towns and cities in Massachusetts gave more votes to Trump than Clinton. So maybe Malcolm X was not so off-base when said that if you are south of the Canadian border, you’re South–but thank goodness the elections of 2017 have shown surprising signs of Democratic and progressive renewal all over the United States. Not in the way that Roy Moore figured, Alabama today has become, so to speak, a light and a witness to the nations (see Isaiah 49:6). I expect Alabama’s election of Doug Jones will inspire hundreds and maybe thousands of Democrats and progressives to get over the wailing and gnashing of teeth and prepare for political battle in 2018 in all 50 states. (Or sooner, if Trump manages to fire Mueller and/or the GOP passes their tax cut for corporations and pass-throughs/healthcare sabotage bill.) The GOP and Trump still have the power, if unified, to initiate giveaways to the robber barons of the 21st century, install horridly unqualified judges, and maybe worse. But the wind is not at their back right now, and Democrats can and should press their advantages, looking toward next November’s elections. Trump may tweet “I was right” (but of course) and blame everybody else about what happened last night, but he has suffered multiple political bubble punctures now, and everybody knows it. Doug Jones said today that Alabama’s issues are the same as the issues across the country, jobs, education, health care–and he is really right.