tags: Press Releases

Mike Johnson, the New Chess Piece in Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Political Game

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Washington, DC – Below is a column by Maribel Hastings and David Torres from America’s Voice en Español translated to English from Spanish:

It would be delusional to think that the election of the Republican congressman from Louisiana, Mike Johnson, as Speaker of the House of Representatives was something casual and fortuitous. As details emerge about his positions—especially on immigration, and the central role that he had defending and advising Donald Trump in his attempt to avoid certification of Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election—it’s clear that it’s all part of one strategy. That is, to smooth the path for the former president in his quest for a second term in the White House, should he become the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, and advance his Machiavellian agenda.

It’s so evident that this is a political game played by Trump and his movement, to place key pieces in the most powerful places in the United States. And that is something foreign, even, to the meaning of the exercise of politics in service of the common good and, in that way, to democracy itself, and not of personal benefits, as has been the life of the former leader, who orders and wants everything for himself alone, without sharing.

For example, the deposed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, comes off as a moderate compared to the positions of Johnson on various fronts. And those who benefit the most, apart from the ex-president, are his staunchest defenders in the House of Representatives. They have chosen a member and defender of the MAGA wing of Trump’s gang, in line for succession to the presidency.

Political chess? Historic, monumental progress? Ideas from a new “statesman” to strengthen U.S. democracy? None of that. What Trump is trying to create is a new country for him and people like him, as if a nation were a toy to play with when he feels like it—like an envious child who doesn’t want to share his toys, other than with people loyal to him.

Such is the case with Johnson, who is more dangerous than McCarthy. He’s anti-abortion, he’s anti-LGBTQ, he’s anti-democracy, because he promoted the lie that Trump had been robbed of the presidential election; and not only that, but he drafted a legal document in favor of the Republican lawsuit that tried to prevent the certification of Biden’s victory. In other words, the lower house, which certifies elections, is now presided over by a lawmaker who rejected the results of a legitimate election in 2020. Who’s to say they won’t want to try again if Biden is re-elected in 2024?

Of course, this is the goal, as everything is being planned for a scenario of this magnitude, which makes a legislator who shares his same ideological “values” and “principles,” who serves as just one more piece in his perverse puzzle, even more dangerous. What Johnson should know and take into account, from this moment on, is that no one matters more to Trump than Trump. And whenever one of his “servants” deviates, makes a mistake, falters, or steps back to save himself, when he sees the writing on the wall, the ex-president sacrifices him. Mike Pence, William Barr, ex-lawyers, and a huge cast of characters have all suffered these consequences.

Moreover, Johnson is a promoter of white supremacist conspiracy theories like the “great replacement”; the “invasion” and “open borders.” The new Speaker of the House believes that immigration, particularly from Latin America, is promoted and endorsed by Democrats as part of a plot to substitute white voters with those who are immigrant and non-white and rob them of the political power they have always enjoyed.

“HERE’S THE ANSWER for all who have asked why in the world the Democrats would intentionally open our borders: Late last night I got them to admit the goal is to TURN ILLEGALS INTO VOTERS,” Johnson declared in May 2022.

The political team at our organization, America’s Voice, has documented and tracked the statements of not only Johnson, but other Republican figures who have normalized conspiracy theories once limited to fringe white supremacist groups, who now have a national platform in the political capital of the nation, Washington, D.C., and whose rhetoric has motivated acts of violence and massacres of minorities around the country.

“While the mainstreaming of the white nationalist ‘replacement’ and ‘invasion’ conspiracies has been disturbingly pervasive among his Republican colleagues over the last few years, Rep. Johnson has gone much farther than most, delivering full-throated assertions that Democrats and the Biden administration are intentionally encouraging migration as part of a political plot to increase Democratic voting power, while portraying migrants and asylum seekers as ‘vicious’ and ‘illegal’ and ‘lawless masses’ who are ‘turning our country into a crime scene,’” wrote Zach Mueller, Political Director of America’s Voice.

At bottom, we all know that beyond the fear of losing political power, this sector is motivated by the racism, prejudice, and hatred that demographic changes in this country are provoking in them, where minority groups—combined—have already surpassed white people in various cities around the nation..

That shouldn’t even be part of the American experience of this century, or the idea of a democracy supported by an overwhelming majority of the population, but the contrast and paradox are so glaring and offensive to the civil rights struggle that it disillusions the path taken by what was once the quintessential democratic model that everyone wanted to emulate. Today the mold is broken.

Basically, in the runup to the contest to decide the Republican presidential nomination, Trump is assured a dangerous ally in the House of Representatives who, by controlling the gavel, will continue to push Trump’s dark agenda on various fronts, including immigration.

To read the Spanish version of this column click here.