Mike Johnson has his hands in his pockets giving a thin-lipped smile on the House floor.

The New Speaker of the House Reveals His Worldview

If it looks like MAGA and talks like MAGA ...

The new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has been making the interview rounds and laying out his ideas for the future. Johnson spoke to conservative juggernaut Sean Hannity in one of his first real sit-downs since getting his new gig. He touched on quite a lot of topics and laid out what you could call his worldview.

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A main focus for Johnson will be government spending. The short-term funding bills agreed upon in Congress are causing some anxiety about what comes next. With funding lapsing in a matter of weeks, Johnson told Hannity that he wanted a Republican plan that would include an 8% cut in government spending. This proposal seems dead on arrival in the Senate and with the Biden administration. Money for international affairs was also a hot topic. Johnson isn’t as radical as some of his Republican colleagues. He agrees that there needs to be continued funding for Ukraine but wants to make sure the money is well spent. The actual number that the GOP would agree to is not clear yet, but Biden is asking for over $60 billion. When it comes to Israel, he wants to separate Israel and Ukraine into different bills. Johnson wants to see budget cuts in exchange for funding Israel. Biden is calling for $14.3 billion. As a general global view, Johnson seems to want to take away executive power. He wants to limit Biden’s ability to weigh in on the Middle East, for example. It will be interesting to see if his tone would shift if a Republican got back into the White House.

For domestic affairs, he showed he still is a clueless Republican at the end of the day. He said that shootings are a problem of the heart, not guns. This is in response to the horrific scenes we saw in the mass shooting in Maine. Yet in a 2016 sermon at Christian Center Shreveport, Johnson claimed that mass shootings were caused by “no-fault divorce laws,” “legalized abortion,” and the teaching of evolution in schools. On Hannity, Johnson tried comparing gun violence to people driving cars into pedestrians, which is a ridiculous comparison. After all, drivers are subject to traffic laws and require driver’s licenses and vehicle registration. The GOP loves idiotic analogies, don’t they!? Overall, his core principles are: “individual freedom, limited government, the rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and human dignity.” Again, these words and phrases have been misinterpreted, in my opinion, by Republicans.

Though Johnson has been vocally homophobic and is extremely religious, he told Hannity that he follows the rule of law and loves everyone. He added, “regardless of their lifestyle choices.” Conservatives usually think this is a decent point, though we in the LGBTQ community don’t particularly like when people call our identities a “lifestyle choice,” but I digress. He did state that the Bible is his worldview. While he is conservative and may push policies that limit rights for women and/or LGBTQ individuals, he believes that there are more important issues to focus on. Some of these pressing issues he noted were Israel, China, and the fentanyl crisis. 

Johnson isn’t speaking as radically as someone like Matt Gaetz, but his previous statements have displayed a religious extremism that is out of step with the country. I am still very offended by the GOP’s stance on ignoring guns. I will never forgive them for the carnage they are exacerbating. But Johnson hasn’t given me comfort in regard to his election stances either. He is an avowed 2020 election denier, which raises concerns about how he will handle the 2024 election. Obviously, there is plenty of cause for concern. We must keep holding him accountable.

Some think that Johnson is still just a MAGA spokesperson. Hannity read a press release from the Democrats which called Johnson an “extremist.” Johnson asked viewers to give him a chance in his new position. But as someone now a heartbeat away from the presidency, Americans have a right to know who he is and where he stands on the issues that matter.

(featured image: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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