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Sen. Mitch McConnell understands where the Republican Party is going, and he knows it’s not a place where he should be the leader.

On Wednesday, McConnell stated on the Senate floor that he’s aware of the politics in his party right now. He admitted his faults but clarified that misunderstanding politics isn’t one of them.

McConnell recognizes that the Republican Party is shifting towards isolationism and nationalism, influenced by former President Donald Trump. However, he doesn’t agree with this direction.

In his speech, McConnell expressed his unwavering belief in the goodness of the country and its crucial role as the leader of the free world.

Although McConnell’s Senate term continues until January 2027, he has decided to step down as the top Republican leader after the November election. He may still be involved, possibly by taking charge of the powerful appropriations committee.

Speculation about McConnell leaving his leadership role has been circulating in Washington due to clashes between his traditional views and the newer, MAGA-aligned members of the party.

The party’s evolution is evident in recent events, such as Trump’s disregard for Sen. John McCain and Sen. Mitt Romney’s isolation after voting to impeach Trump. It’s easy to forget that McCain and Romney were the party’s presidential candidates before Trump took over.

While McConnell worked with Trump to advance certain priorities, like appointing conservative judges, he remains an old-school institutionalist who values the Senate and the Constitution.

McConnell’s legacy is kind of confusing. He tried to balance protecting important stuff and supporting his political party, the GOP. He said Trump was responsible for the January 6th chaos, but when there was a trial to punish Trump, McConnell didn’t vote against him.

Also, McConnell changed how the Senate works, especially using the filibuster, making it more of a fight between groups than when he first started in the 1980s.

When it comes to keeping the country safe, McConnell disagrees with Trump’s ideas. McConnell thinks the USA should lead globally, like Ronald Reagan talked about. He wants to defend what makes America special, and he’s committed to doing that as long as he’s alive.

Scott Jennings, a long-time helper of McConnell, who now talks on CNN, said on TV after McConnell’s speech that McConnell was “saying what many Americans feel about their government now.”

Jennings thinks McConnell follows the old Republican way of Reagan, but he knows it’s not popular these days. According to Jennings, McConnell leads the idea that the United States should be a strong global power, like Reagan wanted.

He added that McConnell takes this seriously. Even though McConnell used to make Democrats mad, recently he’s been working with Democrats, which made some younger Republicans angry.

CNN’s Manu Raju said that McConnell’s work with Democrats, especially on giving military help to Ukraine, has upset many Republicans. Ronald Brownstein from CNN pointed out that most recently elected Republicans are more like Trump and don’t want to spend money on things like helping other countries be democratic.

If Trump wins again, McConnell’s way of seeing government might not be as important. Brownstein thinks that people who resist extreme things Trump wants might not be as powerful in a second Trump term.

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