MONTGOMERY, Alabama — When Judge Roy Moore looked set to defeat Luther Strange last night, as the results started to flood in from counties across Alabama, I felt a sense of deja vu wash over me.
My mind swept me back three years, to the summer of 2014, when a Conservative Member of the British Parliament defected from his party and joined the UK Independence Party (UKIP).
Douglas Carswell — the representative for Clacton-on-Sea — called a by-election (special election) to validate his mandate, even though he wasn’t required to.
The point he wanted to prove to the Conservative Party and its leadership was that not only would he win, but win so big that the prime minister needed to start worrying about others following suit, and the conservative base finally flipping en masse to UKIP.
That’s why UKIP spent the most they could trying to keep the seat at the by-election. Because it wasn’t the defection, nor the win by themselves which would force the matter, but rather the scale of victory.
It helped, of course, that the Conservative Party’s candidate — Giles Watling — was a liberal leftist. But this wasn’t about the candidates. It wasn’t about Carswell. It was about kicking the establishment. One voter hilariously said he was voting for “the UKIP guy” because the Conservative MP “was shit”. Douglas Carswell was that Conservative MP.
It didn’t matter. Clacton — much like Alabama — did not want to be dictated to by the central Conservative Party, 10 Downing Street, David Cameron, or their candidate.
In the end, Carswell won by a whopping margin — over 30 points — it wasn’t even close. In fact, it was the greatest swing to any party in British by-election history.
Just a few months later, in September at the UKIP conference, another MP defected.
This time it was Carswell’s friend Mark Reckless down in Rochester. The Conservative Party went into full panic mode the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the early 1990s.
And so David Cameron was forced, just one year later, to campaign on a pledge to hold a referendum. A pledge he first thought he could renege on, then thought he could fudge the question on, then thought he could cheat on.
It didn’t matter. None of it mattered. Not the millions of pounds in in-kind donations bought and paid for by President Obama, the BBC, or big corporates across Europe, and certainly not what the “experts” and the establishment flunkies had to say.
If Roy Moore is Douglas Carswell, then the 2018 mid terms is the Brexit referendum.
That’s why the scale of the victory mattered so much. If Moore had won by 2, 3, or 5 points, the establishment and the media classes would have claimed he edged by. If he lost, they’d claim the nationalist agenda had come to a screeching halt.
Moore’s victory was decisive. A nine-point defeat in the second round of voting — an increase on Moore’s first-round victory — sends a message that has already knocked over the second domino, which technically fell before the first.
Sen. Corker (TN) announced — just hours before Judge Moore’s victory — that he would be retiring from the Senate. He knew what we all knew, that Moore was going to sail home. He knew he was one of the determining factors behind having President Trump endorse lobbyist Luther Strange. He also knew he was next.
An entire slate of would-be candidates are now champing at the bit to primary weak, Republican Under Nominal Terms (RUNTs) candidates across America.
Additionally, organisations like the Senate Leadership Fund and the consultant classes who profit off profligacy and wastefulness will find it much harder to raise funds to defend its candidates next year.
In other words, if you thought 2016 was a hot year, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Raheem Kassam is the Editor in Chief of Breitbart London