OPINION: Charles Booker is the man for Kentucky


Charles Booker announcing his candidacy. Photo courtesy Charles Booker campaign.

Jayvon Rankin

For far too long, Kentucky has seen the same old establishment politics from our senior senator, Mitch McConnell. He is the epitome of corruption and part of the Washington machine. Kentucky needs bright, new leadership to stand up for the working class and the poorest people; to stand up for our great Commonwealth on a national level. Charles Booker is the man that will do that for Kentucky.

“Charles will fight for the resources we need to ensure our safety and productivity in the state,” Ysa Leon (12, J&C) said.

Charles Booker has been a Kentucky State Representative since 2019 but has spent much of his adult life fighting for low-income people and the most vulnerable. Booker has the most progressive platform as it relates to the other Democratic candidates like Amy McGrath and Mike Broihier.

McGrath is a moderate Democrat backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). She has raised millions of dollars by taking money from PACs and super PACs.  Alternatively, Booker is making all of his campaign money through small individual donations. Booker’s small donations better represent his dedication to serving all of Kentucky, while McGrath’s donations from the wealthy and those of special interest show the opposite. We have seen this over and over again, most recently in the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton received over half of her campaign funds from “Large Contributors.”

Medicare for All

Charles Booker supports a single-payer Medicare for All healthcare system that will cover everyone and cost $0 at the point of coverage.

Booker’s two other main opponents do not support such a plan. McConnell supports a free-market solution healthcare plan in which people buy from their employers. McGrath supports a public option plan, which creates a government system for people to opt into.

McConnell and McGrath forget to mention that both of their plans will still leave millions without healthcare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), a bill created and pushed by McConnell, would have increased the number of people uninsured by 23 million over a ten year period. Amy McGrath supports a public option type of healthcare system. Recent reports on a public option plan estimate that 10 million people would still be left uninsured

Green New Deal

Charles Booker supports a Green New Deal, a complete overhaul of the energy system in America in favor of green policies. The other two candidates do not support such a proposal.

Charles Booker understands what the scientists are saying. They are saying that we need to get our act together in the next 11 years, or there will be irreparable damage to our planet. The Green New Deal is the most aggressive plan when it comes to climate change because it changes the whole landscape of the American economy. This plan will create around 20 million new jobs and build a new transport system which does not contribute to the hurting of our environment and our economic future.

Amy McGrath does not even have a proposal for this existential threat. Mitch McConnell, while admitting that climate change is caused by human activity, has stated that he does not support the Green New Deal and has come out strongly against it.

Criminal justice

Charles Booker is the only candidate running for the Senate in Kentucky that has a plan for criminal justice reform. His plan includes the legalization of marijuana, broad decriminalization of drugs and expansion of treatment and support for people with problems, steering the wheel from criminalization to rehabilitation.

Although McConnell voted for the FIRST STEP Act in 2017, which focused on recidivism reducing programs, he is not for legalizing or even decriminalizing marijuana. McConnell also voted for the 1994 crime bill signed into law by President Clinton which led to a rise in mass incarceration, especially when it comes to the “3 strikes provision.”

Amy McGrath, however, does not and has not stated that she has a plan for criminal justice reform.

These are the big issues we should be talking about. We have candidates for the Senate who have either been on the wrong side of history or are part of the same status quo. Kentucky has the chance to lead into the future. Booker is part of a movement that is really engaging in the young minds of Kentucky.

“Booker should be the Democratic candidate because he is willing to fight for the means, not the corporate interest. He’s for the people,” said former Manual BSU leader, Quintez Brown.

The proof is in the pudding. A strong progressive agenda that fights for the everyday Kentuckian can and will win.

Kentucky, we have a time for choosing. We can elect a fresh new political face that stands for bold new ideas, or we can elect the same status quo. Get out and vote for Charles Booker!