As a newspaper, we wholeheartedly believe in the First Amendment, which allows for freedom of speech in our country while also protecting freedom of the press and other freedoms we should all cherish.
People should have the right to express themselves through the First Amendment regarding their political beliefs and other views, but when it comes to physically threatening people – and especially elected officials – there must be limits.
We saw it locally when U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Bowling Green was needlessly attacked by his then-neighbor Rene Boucher. It is never OK to threaten to attack or actually attack an elected official. Boucher learned this the hard way.
Many watched TV coverage the other evening as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s house in Louisville was surrounded by protesters, some of whom made some very disturbing physical threats against McConnell.
McConnell fell Sunday and fractured his shoulder, leading to an announcement that he would be working from his home until he was well enough to return to Washington. But while McConnell should be recovering in his home peacefully, he was met with loud and very rude protesters yelling insults and profanities outside his home. On Monday, Black Lives Matter Louisville leader Chanelle Helm said in a live video of the protest that instead of falling and injuring his shoulder over the weekend, the GOP leader “should’ve broken his little, wrinkled–(expletive) neck.”
After a man makes a reference to a hypothetical voodoo doll, Helm replied, “Just stab the m-----f----- in the heart.”
These people who are threatening a U.S. senator’s life show what kind of people they are, and the best words to sum them up are very dangerous rabble rousers.
Some attorneys could argue that that this type of talk from these punks is terroristic threatening. We would side with those who would argue that, especially against Helm, for making the statements she made about stabbing McConnell.
On Tuesday, in an interview with the Courier Journal, Helm said she doesn’t regret her comments.
This response and her foul language show what type of person she is and it also reflects badly on the organization that chose her as its leader.
Helm has at least once met Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, so we ask: Why we haven’t heard condemnation of Helm’s remarks from the Massachusetts senator, or from any other Democratic Party leaders Helm has interacted with?
It’s also very interesting that Twitter locked McConnell’s camp out of his Twitter account for simply positing a video of the punks outside his house who threatened to kill him. We were glad to see that the National Republican Congressional Committee has stated that it will boycott buying Twitter ads until McConnell’s account is unlocked. Good for them for standing up for McConnell to this group, which claims it is not political.
At the end of the day, what happened at McConnell’s house is despicable and very telling of the group that was protesting there.
Regardless of one’s political affiliation, no elected official should ever have his or her life threatened, especially while inside his or her own house recovering from a pretty bad injury.
Shame on Helm and others for threatening McConnell’s life. We hope she gets a nice visit from the U.S. Capitol Police, if she hasn’t already.