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The Voters of Alabama


Adam Serwer Rob Newton, 48 Real Estate Developer, Montgomery, Alabama “I voted for Ron Bishop as a libertarian write-in candidate. This is the only way I can think to lodge a protest vote that would be noted. In other words, he’s not going to win ...


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// Used for comment counts var disqus_shortname = 'theatlantic'; var s_account = "atlanticprod"; (function(w,d,s,l,i){w[l]=w[l]||[];w[l].push({'gtm.start': new Date().getTime(),event:'gtm.js'});var f=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0], j=d.createElement(s),dl=l!='dataLayer'?'&l='+l:';j.async=true;j.src= 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtm.js?id='+i+dl;f.parentNode.insertBefore(j,f); })(window,document,'script','dataLayer','GTM-56LJR35'); Skip to content The Atlantic Popular Latest SectionsSections Politics & Policy Culture Business Science Technology Health Education U.S Global Notes The Masthead Photo Video Events Writers Projects MagazineMagazine Current issue All issues Manage subscription Subscribe MoreMore Create account Your accountSign in Sign out Newsletters Audio iOS App Life Timeline Events Books Shop View all SubscribeSubscribe SubscribeGive a GiftSearch Search Quick LinksJames FallowsTa Nehisi CoatesManage subscriptionSearch The AtlanticQuick LinksJames FallowsTa Nehisi CoatesManage subscription The Voters of Alabama Portraits from the Yellowhammer state, where Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in the special election for Senate on Tuesday Fred Rivers, 54, voted for Doug Jones. Kevin Liles Most Popular The Last Jedi's Biggest Storytelling Innovation David Sims Dec 18, 2017 Neuroscience Has a Lot To Learn from Buddhism Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer Dec 17, 2017 Why Canada Is Able to Do Things Better Jonathan Kay Jul 17, 2017 When Your Child Is a Psychopath Barbara Bradley Hagerty May 16, 2017 Three Ways to Read Trump's National Security Strategy Eliot ACohen Dec 18, 2017 Kevin Liles Dec 13, 2017 Politics Share Tweet … LinkedIn Email Print Text Size As voters went to the polls on Tuesday in Alabama’s Senate special election, photographer Kevin Liles asked them about their choicesThe state delivered a stunning upset for the Democratic Party, sending Doug Jones to the U.SSenate rather than his Republican opponent Roy MooreAlthough Moore was facing allegations of sexual misconduct, many analysts believed that the contest in this very conservative state was his to loseWhat follows are brief portraits of Alabamians who cast ballots yesterday—mostly Jones voters, as Liles found Moore voters more reluctant to stand for a portrait.—Adam SerwerRob Newton, 48Real Estate Developer, Montgomery, Alabama“I voted for Ron Bishop as a libertarian write-in candidateThis is the only way I can think to lodge a protest vote that would be notedIn other words, he’s not going to win, but he’s also not Roy Moore or Doug JonesThis sucks.”LaCheryl Cillie, 55Pharmacist, Montgomery, Alabama“Well looking at some of the cases he’s [Jones] tried over the years, I was impressed with some of thatIt’s time for a changeI was particularly touched when he talked about how far behind we are in education the other things we [Alabama] are at the bottom of compared to some of the other statesSo I’m looking for someone who can hopefully change some of that for us.”Craig Baab, 71Nonprofit Lawyer, Montgomery, Alabama“All the recent stuff [with Roy Moore] is obviously important, but I don’t even get thereI go back to the fact that the chief justice of the state twice disobeyed a court order and then was then was removed from officeTwiceI don’t care his views on other stuff, but this is someone who seriously sets an example.”Cedrick Bryant, 20 Student, Alabama State University“I feel like Doug would make a really big change on taxes, I think he would help out HBCU schools, and I think he would do a great job with making our environment betterI believe in him and I think he can make a change.”Andy Gradyon, 28 Architect, Montgomery, Alabama“I think Doug Jones is the most fit for our Senate seatI’m not going to go into the reasons why I’m not going to vote for Roy Moore, I’ll just say that Doug Jones is best fit.”Ronald Earles, 73 Pastor, Bulloch County, Alabama“I’m voting for Roy … as far as that stuff that came out about him, it’s just too convenientThey waited 40 years, until he was running for SenateThen it comes.”Fred Rivers, 54Maintenance worker, Union Springs, Alabama“No realistic answer for him [Jones], but I heard all the stuff about Roy MooreBeen in office a couple times, been in and outWhy not give the other guy a chance?” Share Tweet Comments Latest Video A Glacier Disappears in Alaska They went to Alaska for adventureThen, they witnessed the glaciers melting. Emily Buder Dec 18, 2017 About the Author Kevin DLiles is a documentary, portrait, and commercial photographer based in AtlantaHe specializes in covering issues, politics, and sports in the South. Most Popular Presented by Disney / Lucasfilm The Last Jedi's Biggest Storytelling Innovation David Sims Unlike most entries in the Star Wars saga, Rian Johnson’s film actually explores the systemic oppression the Resistance is fighting against—and the movie is all the more fascinating for it. This article contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. For 40 years, the Star Wars saga has largely been one of good guys and bad guys, of the Rebels and the Empire, of the Light Side and Dark Side of the ForceThose straightforward, elemental stakes were crucial to George Lucas’s original pitch for the space-opera seriesJ.JAbrams said that when he began devising the story for Star Wars: The Force Awakens—the long-awaited seventh episode of the franchise that came out in 2015—he quickly realized the film had to return to that good-vs.-evil dynamic, even though Return of the Jedi (a.k.aEpisode VI) had ended with the downfall of the Empire. “We very consciously tried to borrow familiar beats so the rest of the movie could hang on something that we knew was Star Wars,” Abrams said after the film’s releaseA bold group of Rebels doing battle against a monolithic Empire was thus recast as an independent Resistance fighting off the new threat of the First Order, with both sides consciously styling their look and their tactics after their forbearsAbrams’s decision was simple almost to a fault—but forgivably so, given how much additional work the director had to do in terms of setting up the film’s new characters. Continue Reading Getty Neuroscience Has a Lot To Learn from Buddhism Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer A scientist and a monk compare notes on meditation, therapy, and their effects on the brain Can training the mind make us more attentive, altruistic, and serene? Can we learn to manage our disturbing emotions in an optimal way? What are the transformations that occur in the brain when we practice meditation? In a new book titled Beyond the Self, two friends—Matthieu Ricard, who left a career as a molecular biologist to become a Buddhist monk in Nepal, and Wolf Singer, a distinguished neuroscientist—engage in an unusually well-matched conversation about meditation and the brainBelow is a condensed and edited excerpt. Matthieu Ricard: Although one ?nds in the Buddhist literature many treatises on “traditional sciences”—medicine, cosmology, botanic, logic, and so on—Tibetan Buddhism has not endeavored to the same extent as Western civilizations to expand its knowledge of the world through the natural sciencesRather it has pursued an exhaustive investigation of the mind for 2,500 years and has accumulated, in an empirical way, a wealth of experiential ?ndings over the centuriesA great number of people have dedicated their whole lives to this contemplative science. Continue Reading Jeff Vinnick / Getty Why Canada Is Able to Do Things Better Jonathan Kay Most of the country understands that when it comes to government, you pay for what you get. When I was a young kid growing up in Montreal, our annual family trips to my grandparents’ Florida condo in the 1970s and ‘80s offered glimpses of a better lifeNot just Bubbie and Zadie’s miniature, sun-bronzed world of Del Boca Vista, but the whole sprawling infrastructural colossus of Cold War America itself, with its famed interstate highway system and suburban sprawlMany Canadians then saw themselves as America’s poor cousins, and our inferiority complex asserted itself the moment we got off the plane. Decades later, the United States presents visitors from the north with a different impressionThere hasn’t been a new major airport constructed in the United States since 1995And the existing stock of terminals is badly in need of upgradesMuch of the surrounding road and rail infrastructure is in even worse shape (the trip from LaGuardia Airport to midtown Manhattan being particularly appalling)Washington, D.C.’s semi-functional subway system feels like a World’s Fair exhibit that someone forgot to close downDetroit’s 90-year-old Ambassador Bridge—which carries close to $200 billion worth of goods across the Canada-U.Sborder annually—has been operating beyond its engineering capacity for yearsIn 2015, the Canadian government announced it would be paying virtually the entire bill for a new bridge (including, amazingly, the U.Scustoms plaza on the Detroit side), after Michigan’s government pled poverty“We are unable to build bridges, we're unable to build airports, our inner city school kids are not graduating,” is how JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon summarized the state of things during an earnings conference call last week“It’s almost embarrassing being an American citizen.” Continue Reading Lola Dupre When Your Child Is a Psychopath Barbara Bradley Hagerty The condition has long been considered untreatableExperts can spot it in a child as young as 3 or 4But a new clinical approach offers hope. This is a good day, Samantha tells me: 10 on a scale of 10We’re sitting in a conference room at the San Marcos Treatment Center, just south of Austin, Texas, a space that has witnessed countless difficult conversations between troubled children, their worried parents, and clinical therapistsBut today promises unalloyed joySamantha’s mother is visiting from Idaho, as she does every six weeks, which means lunch off campus and an excursion to TargetThe girl needs supplies: new jeans, yoga pants, nail polish. Listen to the audio version of this article:Feature stories, read aloud: download the Audm app for your iPhone. At 11, Samantha is just over 5 feet tall and has wavy black hair and a steady gazeShe flashes a smile when I ask about her favorite subject (history), and grimaces when I ask about her least favorite (math)She seems poised and cheerful, a normal preteenBut when we steer into uncomfortable territory—the events that led her to this juvenile-treatment facility nearly 2,000 miles from her family—Samantha hesitates and looks down at her hands“I wanted the whole world to myself,” she says“So I made a whole entire book about how to hurt people.” Continue Reading Joshua Roberts / Reuters Three Ways to Read Trump's National Security Strategy Eliot ACohen Is it better approached as a sacred text, or examined like the scat of a shaggy, woodland beast? To the authors of any administration’s National Security Strategy—mandated for over 30 years now—it is a great state paper, a literary beacon by which government agencies can follow the president’s lead, a work of measured but forceful prose, whose lucidity is undeniable save by the malicious or irremediably malcontentIt is fair to say that no one who picks up these monographs without the painful experience of having labored on or near one shares that viewThat is no criticism of their drafters, who are often exceptionally well-educated at advanced institutions of learning, where they have studied strategic thought at the feet of mastersNo, the difficulty lies in the process by which the NSS is invariably composedFor that one needs other metaphors. Continue Reading Ng Han Guan / AP The Impossible Task of Remembering the Nanking Massacre Simon Han How Iris Chang tried to bridge the gap between a fading memory and a horrific lived reality The book case in my childhood bedroom contained worlds far from my ownThere was my volume of folk tales from the Childcraft encyclopedia series, along with an illustrated BibleSandwiched between them was the blood-red spine of Iris Chang’s The Rape of NankingThe book had awoken the mainstream Western consciousness to the truth of the Japanese military’s horrific massacre of Chinese soldiers and civilians prior to World War IIUnlike many historians, Chang thrust stories and photographs of rape, disfigurement, killing contests, and live burials in front of her readers, forcing them to choose either to shudder and remember or look away in complicity. While Chang faced a barrage of attacks from other historians, as well as from the publisher contracted to translate her book into Japanese, the debate over what happened in Nanking from December 1937 to January 1938 had been raging before the publication of her bookJapan, for instance, remains divided over the number of Chinese killed in Nanking during those six weeksThe massacre camp generally supports the Tokyo War Crimes Trials figure of “upwards of 100,000” deaths; skeptics claim 15,000 to 50,000, while others venture only up to 10,000Outside of Japan, James Yin and Shi Young, whose work Chang frequently cited, place the minimum death toll as high as 369,366. Continue Reading Jason Raish A Mind-Bending Translation of the New Testament James Parker David Bentley Hart’s text recaptures the awkward, multivoiced power of the original. I

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