Confederate statues and statues of other historical figures linked to slave traders are being toppled throughout the U.S. and around the world in response to the killing of George Floyd in police custody.
But tearing down Confederate statues may actually do little to further the goal of ending the legacy of slavery. It will not bring about systemic change or end notions of white supremacy or eradicate structural racism.
What the country needs is a change in leadership, starting with the man who has enabled president Donald Trump’s racist administration: Mitch McConnell.
McConnell has to be defeated. Kentucky and the nation need a new, better Senator. McConnell has hurt ALL Americans, not just Kentuckians. That’s why we are calling on all Americans to help defeat him in 2020. A recent poll shows his challenger, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath narrowly ahead in Kentucky. Let’s help her keep the momentum.
Replacing the veteran politician isn’t going to be easy. He has been in the Senate for over 30 years. He is the most powerful Republican in the country and his history of nasty, scorched-earth campaigning gives pause to his challengers. But we can’t let his kind of tactics win again. Not now when the stakes are so high.
McConnell bears a singular responsibility for the country’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic. He knew from the start that Trump was unequipped to lead in a crisis, but, because the president was beloved by the Republican base, McConnell protected him. He even went so far as to prohibit witnesses at the impeachment trial, thus guaranteeing that the President would remain in office.
In a forthcoming book, “It Was All a Lie,” longtime Republican political consultant Stuart Stevens writes that, in accommodating Trump and his base, McConnell and other Republicans went along as Party leaders dismantled the country’s safety net and ignored experts of all kinds, including scientists. “Mitch is kidding himself if he thinks he’ll be remembered for anything other than Trump,” he said. “He will be remembered as the Trump facilitator.”
When Trump ran for President, he frequently derided “the corrupt political establishment,” saying that Wall Street titans were “getting away with murder” by paying no taxes. In a furious campaign ad, images of the New York Stock Exchange and the C.E.O. of Goldman Sachs flashed onscreen as Trump promised an end to the élites who had “bled our country dry.” In interviews, he denounced his opponents for begging wealthy donors for campaign contributions, arguing that, if “somebody gives them money,” then “just psychologically, when they go to that person they’re going to do it—they owe him.”
McConnell, by contrast, as noted by The New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, is the master of the Washington money machine. “Nobody has done more than he has to engineer the current campaign-finance system, in which billionaires and corporations have virtually no spending limits, and self-dealing and influence-peddling are commonplace than Mitch McConnell,” she writes.
In the same article, Mayer quotes John David Dyche, a lawyer in Louisville and until recently a conservative columnist, who wrote: “of course McConnell realizes that Trump is a hideous human being & utterly unfit to be president,” and that, in standing by Trump anyway, he has shown that he has “no ideology except his own political power.”
Dyche then announced that he was contributing to McConnell’s opponent, Amy McGrath, and tweeted, “Those who stick with the hideous, incompetent demagogue endanger the country & will be remembered in history as shameful cowards.”
Yes, Mitch McConnell is a coward and a danger to the republic. He must go.