On Wednesday at a campaign event in Iowa, 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) compared the quest to defeat President Donald Trump to those of segregationist Bull Connor and Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI).
Booker said, “To my fellow Democrats, I have to say we have to be careful. I know we are hurting. I know we are angry. Anger is a good emotion. But how we fight in the 2020 election year is so important. I’ll tell you another quote by King. He said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ The values that we evidence in this campaign, you cannot campaign wrong and think you are going to govern right. This is a time to awaken the best of who we are.”
He added, “We don’t win this election by trying to be more Trumpy than Trump. That is not what America needs. We didn’t beat bullies in the past—demagogues. Every generation has had them. Heck, we had McCarthy rise up in power, we had a whole political party that used the same immigration rhetoric this president used. They were called the Know-Nothing Party. We didn’t beat them in the past by showing the worst of who we are, but by calling to the best of who Americans are. We didn’t beat Bull Connor in Birmingham by bringing bigger dogs and bigger fire hoses. No, it was artists of activism, from this state as well, who in times of moral moments, times of crisis, found ways to expand the moral imagination of this country, awakening people to the urgency, not of being hateful, but of being more better agents of kindness, of decency, of grace.”
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