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Thoughts on the New Speaker of the House


On October 25, 2023, a controversial political decision was finalized.  Conservative representative Mike Johnson (R-LA) was elected as Speaker of the House, and there are numerous opinions being expressed about this decision.  A lot of people in the Democratic party have shared harsh criticism about the new Speaker and his “radical” beliefs, while Republicans are happy to have a leader in place once again.

One of the significant issues people have argued against is his staunchly conservative record. Mike Johnson, like many other politicians, started off as a lawyer.  During his time as an attorney, he defended a lot of cases regarding religious freedom, abortion, and same-sex marriage laws.  All three of those topics are controversial, so he has received backlash. For example, Johnson is a Southern Baptist, a sect of Christianity; Johnson often vocalizes that his faith has contributed to some of the work he has done.  One of the most, if not the most, controversial things he has done would be that he successfully defended Louisiana’s same sex marriage ban in 2004.  He made many public statements in regards to same sex marriages (specifically against them–which aligns with Southern Baptist doctrine), which is a focal point for many Democrats.  Now Mike Johnson has what some may categorize as “extreme” views, and this may be to the disadvantage of the House.  

The responsibilities taken on by the Speaker of the House require a specific set of skills and charisma in order to be the most effective leader.  Many may argue that you will want somebody flexible and somebody who will listen to both sides in order to move the country in a strong direction. This is where a lot of the controversy comes in because not only do a lot of people disagree with his views, but also having such strong views towards one party may not be beneficial to us, as there is a strong bias from the person who is supposed to be ensuring equality.  

But this is a common theme that has presented itself across history–where somebody so far to the left or right receives backlash when they are in a position of power.  An example of this would be former President Donald Trump, as his conservative views have arguably reshaped the Republican party as we know it.  The end of his presidency did not include a seamless or “peaceful transfer of power”, a moment in history that some say tarnished his legacy and the goals he was able to achieve. But a common theme here, a very broad sociological perspective, is that people want a leader that can appeal to both sides, as a main component to our complex system of government is to implement equality.  Generally speaking, equality is more easily reached when a person in an authority position, let it be the Speaker of the House or the President of the United States, is open-minded and can appeal to both sides without a harsh line. 

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    Isabella DeCunzoNov 21, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Very well written and very informative. I don’t usally keep up with politics so this version makes it easier to read and understand. Keep it up!