The political battle between Democrats and Republicans took a very ugly turn this weekend in Kentucky.
During a demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions at the Kentucky state capitol, Democrat Governor Andy Beshear was hung in effigy by exasperated protesters.
Take Back Kentucky
The protest at the state capitol was organized by a local group called Take Back Kentucky. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the group billed the event as an opportunity to “celebrate freedom and to fight back against the unconstitutional shutdown over the Coronavirus.”
During the waning hours of the protest, the group traveled to the governor’s mansion, yelling out different slogans and demanding the governor resign. Nobody came out while they were protesting.
Eventually, the group left and returned to the State Capitol, which is when things turned ugly.
Not long after they returned, an effigy was hung with a picture of the governor on the face, with a sign stating, “sic semper tyrannis,” which translates to “thus always to tyrants.” This also happened to be the phrase John Wilkes Booth allegedly used before assassinating President Abraham Lincoln.
— Sarah Ladd (@ladd_sarah) May 24, 2020
No matter how difficult or frustrating the situation, the American people need to be better than this, something elected representatives on both sides of the aisle were quick to state.
Kentucky’s Republican Secretary of State, Michael G. Adams, stated, “This is disgusting and I condemn it wholeheartedly. The words of John Wilkes Booth have no place in the Party of Lincoln.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the behavior “unacceptable,” adding, “there is no place for hate in Kentucky.”
State House Democrat leaders in Kentucky also released a statement:
“Hanging Governor Beshear in effigy is beyond reprehensible, and yet it is also the logical conclusion of the hateful rhetoric we saw touted on the Capitol grounds earlier this month that was implicitly condoned by elected representatives from the legislature’s majority party.
“Doing this in front of our Capitol, just a short walk from where the Governor, First Lady, and their two young children live, is an act that reeks of hate and intimidation and does nothing but undermine our leading work to battle this deadly disease and restore our economy safely.“
The frustration with continued lockdowns, however, is real. Kentucky, to this point, has reported only 8,951 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 394 deaths, well below other states that are already approaching Phase 3 of reopening.
It raises questions of whether or not certain Democrat governors are purposefully slow-walking the reopening to hurt the economy as a way to help defeat Trump in November.