This is an odd story, not necessarily because of the proposal to make Juneteenth, which is traditionally a Texas holiday, a national holiday, but because these Republican Senators are proposing to do away with Columbus Day in the same amendment.
Their reasoning is not because Columbus is bad, but for supposed economic reasons.
Didn’t see this one coming: Ron Johnson and James Lankford are seeking to amend Cornyn’s bill making Juneteenth a holiday by replacing Columbus Day with it: https://t.co/rhbjfOTduQ
— Tal Kopan (@TalKopan) July 1, 2020
One night after Tucker Carlson excoriated the GOP for being weak and pursing things that ultimately don’t matter, these GOP Senators were apparently dead set on proving his point.
I don’t personally have a problem with Juneteenth being celebrated as a federal holiday, though I do think it’s a little manufactured how quickly we went from most people not knowing what it is to corporations and news outlets virtue signaling non-stop about it. Regardless, it seems perfectly reasonable to me to have a holiday commemorating the freeing of slaves. Given that Emancipation Day was not actually the day of slavery ending, Juneteenth seems like a decent enough choice.
But Johnson and Lankford’s excuse for why Columbus Day must now go is so typical as to border on parody. They are actually worried about the economic impact of Americans having too many holidays.
Senators Ron Johnson and Lankford think we must give up Columbus Day as a national holiday if we're to have Juneteenth because of……lost economic output
A literal parody of a GOP obsessed GDP at the expense of everything else
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) July 1, 2020
Spoiled Senators are worried you may get too many days off from work as they barely lift a finger half the year as you pay their salaries. Makes sense, right? Even if these Senators didn’t realize the optics involved, it’s so tone deaf.
Of course, this could also just be a stealth way for them to support getting rid of Columbus Day as a sacrificial offering to the left. Democrats have no care about the historical context of Columbus, nor how important he was to the founding of Western civilization in the New World. All they care about is that he fought wars and brought disease with him. Every historical figure must be judged by modern standards and then erased from antiquity.
If the Senate wants to make Juneteenth a holiday, then they are free to do so. But getting rid of Columbus Day, something that has been engrained in American culture going back to the 18th century, seems like a really ridiculous move. Trust me, Americans are not being underworked, nor will the economy suffer over a single day (where most not in civil service will still work anyway). They can stand to get an extra holiday.