Sanity prevailed in Tuesday night’s (Dec. 12) Alabama Senatorial Election as Democrat Doug Jones bested the presumed Republican favorite Roy Moore. And as Democrats and rational people everywhere broke out the champagne and breathed a massive sigh of relief, it’s hard not to remain incredibly concerned that we live in a country where someone like Roy Moore not only came incredibly close to victory but was a legitimate candidate in the first place.

After the final vote tally was complete, we learned over 650,000 Americans had voted for Roy Moore, an accused child molester.

This count was only 20,000 shy of the number needed to elect Roy Moore into one of America’s most prestigious institutions. Those numbers should terrify anyone who worries America is on the verge of moral bankruptcy, and fortify the views of those who believe we already have.

A troubling reality

The scariest part of Tuesday night’s election is knowing the only thing that stopped Roy Moore from becoming a Senator were accusations of sexual misconduct. Had those allegations never surfaced Moore would be at home right now removing the confetti from his little cowboy outfit. Without those charges, Alabama would have almost certainly elected a truly disgusting human being to the Senate, and that should keep us all on high alert.

Don’t forget that even though a few Republicans pulled support after learning of Moore’s disturbing sexual history, no Republicans seemed concerned that before these allegations surfaced, Moore was already a dangerous, unfit candidate. And there is no evidence that Republicans won’t run several Roy Moore type candidates in the future.

The only thing GOP leadership learned last night is that pedophilia is a bridge too far, but everything else—racism, outlandish beliefs, denial of science, and lack of reason—is totally acceptable.

It’s no surprise Republicans feel this way, just look at our president. Donald Trump is nothing more than Roy Moore without the chaps.

They are both wildly unfit for office. They are both accused, sexual predators. And they both pretend to share strong Christian values. But what is truly scary about each of these men is that they both have a rabid fan base utterly devoid of reality that will deny all wrongdoing no matter how much evidence they’re presented.

Yes, it is true those fan bases are far from the majority, but they are large enough to remind us we still face a potentially dark future. People may assume that Trump and Moore are anomalies, but their core beliefs of white superiority and corporations above all else are still alive and well within the Republican party.

We can expect more of this

Eventually, Republicans will find a senatorial candidate who believes that evolution is a farce and homosexuality should be a punishable offense, but who can also walk into a mall without raising eyebrows.

It is also highly possible that one day we will have a Republican president who lies continuously, appoints unqualified people to essential cabinet positions, and whose every decision hurts poor people and the environment but also has enough restraint to stay off social media. In other words, Mike Pence. Don’t forget that Mike Pence is nothing more than an indoor Trump, and there are plenty of Mike Pence clones in the Republican Party.

So feel free to celebrate Jones’ victory, and yes, you are allowed to have a tiny bit of hope that everything might be okay. Just don’t let your guard completely down. Think of last night as the end of the first “Nightmare on Elm Street” movie—you may think Freddy Krueger died, but he'll be back for several sequels.