Courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr under BY-NC-SA 2.0

Mitch McConnell needs to be voted out. The 2020 election is underway, and many Senate elections are on the ballot. Of those, one of the most significant races in the country revolves around Kentucky’s Senate election between incumbent Mitch McConnell and Amy McGrath. McConnell remains one of the most unpopular senators in the nation and is arguably Donald Trump’s most critical ally. 

Replacing McConnell is not an easy task, as he has held power in the Senate for 28 years and still maintains a very high chance of winning in November. Many view him as unbeatable given his firm grasp on his home state and his notoriety as one of the longest serving Republican senators in the nation. 

Originally elected into the Senate in 1984, he has remained a major obstructionist throughout his political career and is known for his stark opposition to many of former President Barack Obama’s initiatives and judicial nominees. His actions, such as his blocking of President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland and his refusal to allow witnesses to appear in the Senate impeachment hearings, were unpopular among many and are inexcusable. 

Furthermore, McConnell has shown his lack of integrity, conservative partisanship and hypocritical nature under Donald Trump’s presidency, especially when he became Senate majority leader in 2016. His frequent usage of filibustering has been subject to consistent criticism, especially after defending the practice. Even though McConnell argues that filibustering should be preserved for the sanctity of Senate rules, many were quick to point out the irony in his argument considering his track record of manipulating rules and norms to benefit himself and his party. 

Under the Trump administration, McConnell most notably expanded a filibuster exception, known as the Reid rule, to apply to the Supreme Court, thereby reducing the 60-vote confirmation requirement down to a simple majority. As such, this allowed for a record number of Supreme Court nominees to be confirmed, including Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

However, his hypocrisy has been especially blatant with the current nominee for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Barett’s confirmation fell under the same timing and circumstances as Merrick Garland, yet McConnell and many other Republicans chose to flip positions completely and followed through with the process, exhibiting a clear example of Republican partisanship over integrity.

His response to the coronavirus pandemic has also been quite problematic as well. McConnell waited several months to provide coronavirus aid after the passing of the CARES act, and even then, the Senate majority leader gave a huge handout to big businesses and corporations. His response has been rather tone-deaf to the needs of the American People.

Kentucky remains in the present as a very red, conservative state, so he unfortunately maintains a solid lead over his opponent, Amy McGrath. However, McGrath’s campaign has generated significant waves and has given her a much larger chance against McConnell than former opponents. There is potential for the Democratic candidate to garner more votes, even if she fails to obtain a majority. 

The importance of this election lies in the power that McConnell holds currently. The senator has promised to be Congress’ “grim reaper” and oppose any progressive legislation that arrives on the Senate floor. This, along with his undying loyalty to President Trump, has paved a path of blatant immorality and obstructionism where he won’t even allow votes on election security bills which earned him the nickname, “Moscow Mitch,” MediCare, The Green New Deal and other climate change reforms, student loan forgiveness and even background-check legislation for guns sales, disregarding the numerous mass shootings that have occurred in recent years.

However even though his role as Senate majority leader allows him to hold a great deal of authority, this power can be reduced if he returns to his former position as minority leader. McConnell as a blatant bad-faith politician makes him a dangerous legislator who can easily undermine the nation’s democratic foundation.  

Voters continue to cast their ballots, and Mitch McConnell has proven time and time again that he is an ineffective and unreliable leader who is prone to many hypocritical actions. His role as Senate majority leader has allowed him to effectively serve as a minister to the Trump administration’s agenda, which has repeatedly undermined the nation’s trust. Now is the time to fill his seat in the Senate with new blood.

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