McConnell Warns Against Isolationism on D-Day Anniversary


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a warning against isolationism and skepticism towards defense buildups on the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

In an op-ed for the New York Times, McConnell shared his thoughts on the significance of the D-Day anniversary for U.S. foreign policy amidst threats to democracy. Eighty years ago, the Allied forces began a two-month campaign that led to the liberation of France from the Nazis, eventually concluding World War II.

As McConnell battles a rising isolationist faction within his party trying to block aid to Ukraine, he recalled skeptics from the 1940s who claimed the U.S. had no stake in entering the European conflict.

“We forget how influential isolationists persuaded millions of Americans that the fate of allies and partners mattered little to our own security and prosperity,” McConnell wrote. “We gloss over the powerful political forces that downplayed growing danger, resisted providing assistance to allies and partners, and tried to limit America’s ability to defend its national interests.”

“Here at home, we face problems of our own. Some vocal corners of the American right are trying to resurrect the discredited brand of prewar isolationism and deny the basic value of the alliance system that has kept the postwar peace,” McConnell said.

President Joe Biden, likely the last president to have been alive for D-Day, spoke at the anniversary event in France attended by hundreds of veterans. Ronald Reagan spoke on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, also decrying isolationism.

“We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost,” Reagan said. “We’ve learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.”

In the op-ed, McConnell also addressed Democrats who may be hesitant to build up defense networks. He warned against a reactionary approach, referencing the attack on Pearl Harbor that spurred the U.S. into World War II.

“It should not take another catastrophic attack like Pearl Harbor to wake today’s isolationists from the delusion that regional conflicts have no consequences for the world’s most powerful and prosperous nation,” McConnell wrote. “With global power comes global interests and global responsibilities.”

“Nor should President Biden or congressional Democrats require another major conflict to start investing seriously in American hard power,” he continued.

He called on his Senate colleagues to support the Senate Armed Services Committee plan advocating for a “generational investment” in defense.

“Eighty years ago, America and our allies fought because we had to. The forces assembled on the English Channel on June 6, 1944, represented the fruits of many months of feverish planning. And once victory was secure, the United States led the formation of the alliances that have underpinned Western peace and security ever since,” McConnell wrote.

“Today, the better part of valor is to build credible defenses before they are necessary and demonstrate American leadership before it is doubted any further,” he added.

Annabella Rosciglione
Annabella Rosciglione
Breaking News Reporter. Annabella is a graduate of UW-Madison where she worked at the Daily Cardinal reporting on Wisconsin politics.

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