Letters to the Editor: Burma should be wary of Mitch McConnell’s ‘help’ with democracy

·8 min read
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., holds an end-of-the-year news conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

We deserve it too

Thanks to Sen. Mitch McConnell, for informing us of his commitment to democracy in Burma. If he does as well as he is doing for U.S democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy might want to reconsider the friendship. Does he know that the NLD platform includes the concept of human rights — those basic, inalienable rights that all people deserve as human beings including the elimination of all forms of discrimination, full equality in society, protection of these rights for all humans, and that aspect he want so much for Burma — ”... uniting disparate ethnic groups around the common cause of liberty.” I’m so glad he supports strategies for Burma to “... advance a strategy to hold [a] regime accountable and move the country back toward the path of democracy” and to “support democratic actors ... and encourage the restoration of democracy”. Why not try his strategies here for the democratic policies of voting rights and holding all responsible persons in the Jan. 6 insurrection accountable? How can anyone believe his words if he does not do the same for the United States? Is Burma more deserving than the United States?

Laura Kaplan, Lexington

Burma, beware

I wonder if the people of Burma should be a bit wary of having Sen. Mitch McConnell as an advocate in bringing democracy to their country. His commitments to supporting the undermining of voting rights; assuring the wealthiest 1% can continue to reap the benefits at the expense of a vast majority of society; leading the effort to make certain the impact of the diversity of American society is minimized as well as enabling a president to carry out policies which have brought chaos and distrust to our lives, point to troubling concerns for a democratic society. The joy he takes in ensuring the country’s leadership will not succeed while offering few or no alternatives should give some pause regarding his ability to reflect democratic values. This coupled with Kentucky’s low national ranking in numerous areas while he has served in a major leadership position in our government for many years should perhaps make the people of Burma a bit suspicious of having McConnell as their guide to a democratic society.

Charles Myers, Lexington

How about us?

I was surprised to read that Senator Mitch McConnell was working hard to support democracy in Burma. Here is hoping that he will do the same in the United States by supporting voting rights for all and helping to promote bipartisan legislation that will support our democracy.

Simone Bloomfield Salomon, Lexington

Burma lucky

We were all pleased to read that Sen. Mitch McConnell is fighting for democracy in Burma. American soldiers fought the Japanese in World War II, principally through the efforts of Merrill’s Marauders. After the war, in 1948, Burma gained independence. In 1962, a coup placed a military dictatorship in power. Since that time the country has been involved in an ethnic civil war, until the election in 2010 dissolved the military junta.

The country had successful elections in 2015 and 2020. Following the 2020 elections, the military seized control of Myanmar, which replaced the English name of Burma, backing the losing party and demanding a recount of the vote, claiming widespread election fraud. Sound familiar?

The military says “free and fair” elections will be held once the “state of emergency” is over. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has accused the military forces of a “reign of terror.” McConnell has introduced legislation to move Burma “back toward the path of democracy.”

Don’t you wish he were working as hard to protect democracy in the United States and to support the federal Voting Rights Act? We just can’t be as lucky as the Burmese to have Mitch McConnell on our side.

David O. Smith, Corbin

Look in mirror

It’s interesting that Sen. Mitch McConnell claims to be working with President Joe Biden to strengthen democracy in Burma, while at the same time he is working against efforts to strengthen and save democracy in America by blocking efforts to pass the Voting Rights Act.

If Mitch continues on this track, America is likely to become an autocracy or worse, just like Burma.

Mitch is a U.S. (and not a Burmese) senator and should act like it.

Mitch needs to re-read and take to heart the oath he took to defend the Constitution of the United States.

Mitch, there are several recent instructive books about how democracy is lost including; “On Tyranny — Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century”, by Timothy Snyder, and “How Democracies Die”, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. Please read them.

Dr. George Privett, Lexington

Vax the world

Let’s make this the last year of the pandemic

As the world struggles with the staggering impact of omicron, it feels like we are right back where we started in 2020 with many of us wondering when this pandemic will ever end. If we don’t want to be in the same spot again in 2023, we need to get serious about vaccinating the globe.

Wealthy countries have failed on global vaccine access, so the spread of omicron should come as no surprise. About 40% of the world’s population have not received any vaccine doses, leaving them completely exposed to the virus. According to the ONE Campaign, wealthier countries are administering more than 13 times the number of booster shots than first shots in low-income countries.

The United States has shown strong leadership in the global fight against the pandemic, but as we enter our third year, there is still more work to be done. That’s why it’s important that Congress, including Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell and the Biden administration, urgently provide the resources and funding to reach the global goal of vaccinating 70% of the world by September 2022. Until the vaccine is everywhere, this pandemic isn’t going anywhere.

Jemal Wade Hines, Lexington

Preserve democracy

By the end of the Trump administration the Polity Index downgraded America’s rating as a democracy to five. In fact, rather than being called a democracy, America was downgraded to an anocracy (a cross between a democracy and a dictatorship). As violent insurrectionists attacked our Capitol to overthrow a free and fair election, Donald Trump watched the violence on TV from the White House and did not say or do anything to stop it. Thank God for the sanity and determination of others to step forward and continue the certification of our election results. Today the Republican Party follows Trump in lockstep to further degrade our democracy by not passing voting rights legislation; the most precious right afforded to us by our Constitution to keep a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”. If we stand silently by and let this travesty occur, we are breaking the hearts of our brave men and women who fought and died to protect American democracy. Contact Sens. Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and any other senator opposed and tell them to stand up and do their duty to protect America and our democracy!

Barbara Rave Plymale, Lexington

Save Meadowcrest

A developer plans to destroy Meadowcrest, a historic structure/home just beyond Interstate 75 on Winchester Road. It was built in 1929 on the Hamburg Place farm and owned by the Maddens for years.

This is the reason we need historic designations beyond downtown.

It’s selfish, greedy and insane not to be conscientious or solely concerned about saving money or profit.

We have lost too many structures in the name of development that could have been incorporated in plans and preserved for future generations: think the Fritz farm house and The Springs Inn hotel.

STOP this like the stopping stupid tree trimming on the Lansdowne Drive median or like the saving of Calumet Farm.

Don Pratt, Lexington

Will Mitch save us?

I wonder if Sen. Mitch McConnell will use his leadership, power, money, and influence to try to stop Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” Republican Party from destroying our democracy.

McConnell is under attack by Trump and Sen. Lindsay Graham because Mitch doesn’t “like” Trump enough publicly.

As autocrat Vladimir Putin may have placed Ukraine in a cybersecurity attack, wannabe autocrats Trump and anti-government extremists are rolling across our country in an ongoing coup to place extremists in candidate positions for elections, school boards, health providers, etc. on local, country, and state levels.

Are the two connected? Remember Putin messing in the Hillary Clinton vs. Trump presidential election? Trump messing with the new Ukrainian president to hurt Joe Biden?

We pay little attention to external coups because that’s what “those” countries do. We can’t comprehend that our own democracy is/has been under attack for decades by the Republican Party via voter suppression; Trump is making voter subversion an authoritarian weapon.

McConnell twice could have rid our country of Trump during impeachment proceedings. But McConnell and Trump used each other to pack the federal judiciary including the U.S. Supreme Court, giving a $2 billion tax cut to wealthy donors.

Ramona Rush, Lexington

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