President Obama says he’s changing the name of Alaska’s Mt. McKinley to Denali. Given President McKinley’s record on racial healing, fiscal discipline, global power and disaster response, Obama’s got some timing.
Ohioans were right to take President Obama’s unilateral changing of the name of the 20,200-foot peak to Mount Denali as an insult.
The mountain, North America’s highest, was named after one of America’s best presidents, William McKinley, a native of Canton, Ohio. Now, after nearly 100 years, at the current president’s whim, the mountain will be called by its Native American name.
It’s not just that the decision bypasses Congress’ naming authority, as Rep. Rob Portman pointed out. It’s the timing.
Though forgotten, McKinley, who was assassinated by an extremist, was renowned for his competence and achievements.
The Ohio Republican was a staunch ally and supporter of equal rights for African Americans at a time when “progressives” such as Woodrow Wilson favored re-segregating the federal workforce while others, such as Margaret Sanger, plotted to reduce the number of black babies.
McKinley also opened the gates to America’s rise as a global power by deciding to build the Panama Canal and by winning Cuba’s freedom from Spain in the months-long Spanish-American War of 1898.
Favoring fiscal discipline and a gold standard, he brought years of economic prosperity to the U.S. And he held a dim view of Prohibition, another “progressive” social policy hobbyhorse that failed miserably.
Moreover, in a policy right out of today’s news pages, McKinley sent criminal immigrants back home — but without demonizing all immigrants.
And his cleanup following 1900’s Storm of the Century in Galveston, Texas, which killed 10,000, was lauded for being both swift and highly competent.
It’s yet another example of both the triumph of political correctness and the Obama administration’s utter indifference to America’s heritage. Why take McKinley’s name off America’s top mountain?