Speaker Mike Johnson Continues the GOP's War Against Freedom

Thomas Woods has reminded us more than once that “no matter who you vote for, you get John McCain.” It’s not strictly and always true, of course, but the evidence is clear that it’s often true. The latest example is the GOP’s speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) who has turned out more or less exactly like us skeptics have predicted. Johnson is a friend to the war party, a do-nothing on issues important to the rank and file (like immigration), and a true enemy of the people on issues like warrantless spying.

In recent weeks, Johnson has increasingly doubled down on supporting Washington’s foreign policy blob, and insists on spending at least a hundred billions dollars—dollars the Treasury doesn’t have and the Fed will have to print—on propping up the Ukraine regime. This regime, which Johnson tells us is essential in the battle for “democracy”—whatever that means—has abolished elections, ended the freedom of speech, and even destroyed the basic freedom of exercising one’s religion. Planned Chaos Ludwig von Mises Best Price: $1.99 Buy New $9.95 (as of 07:55 UTC - Details)

But none of that matters because someone at the FBI told Johnson he must keep spending taxpayer dollars on Ukraine while courting World War III. Johnson—ignoring his constituents as most members of Congress do—has assured the agents of the garrison state that he will help them. Perhaps Johnson’s biggest crime is his ongoing support for a new and vast expansion of the American police state. Johnson now supports securing greater prerogatives for America’s spy agencies who seek to spy on American citizens without warrants indefinitely.

This is obviously contrary to basic human rights (i.e., property rights), but Johnson certainly doesn’t care. After all, he told us that there are bad guys out there in the world, and that means the Bill of Rights goes right out the window.

The current drive to expand spy agencies’ power is no minor affair, and at the joint Mises Institute-Ron Paul Institute event in Houston last weekend, Daniel McAdams suggested that the GOP’s current effort to expand spy powers is even worse than the Patriot Act.

Yet, for anyone who has been around the game very long, he won’t be surprised to note that among the greatest champions of expanding unconstitutional state police powers right now is the GOP leadership. This, of course, is how it was in the early days of the Afghanistan and the Iraq wars. Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and their acolytes were on TV daily assuring us that Americans who insist on privacy and human rights are “with the terrorists.”

In other words, this is what Republicans do. But, no matter how these GOP officials shred property rights, the rank and file keep voting for people like Mike Johnson because the GOP is careful to whip up their core voters into a frenzy over drag-queen story hours and university speech codes. These are issues for local governments, of course, not Congress, but the end result is the GOP keeps getting what it wants at the federal level: endless money for war, and the continued destruction of privacy and private property. The Anti-Capitalistic ... Mises, Ludwig Von Buy New $39.42 (as of 12:47 UTC - Details)

The fact that the average GOP activist still hasn’t caught on to the grift can be seen in the fact that they still refer to people like Johnson as “rinos.” That is, “Republicans in name only.” Anyone who uses the term is advertising that he or she still hasn’t figured out that Republicans like Johnson, McConnell, McCarthy, and the usual beltway type are, in fact, quintessential Republicans. They not Republicans “in name only.” They’re typical Republicans. They’re archetypal Republicans. Dissidents like Thomas Massey and Ron Paul are the true “Republicans in name only.” One might include Donald Trump in this category as well. These latter types are the ones who are out of step with the usual GOP agenda. The typical Republicans favor endless federal spending, unquestioning support for the Deep State, and indifference toward the problems of ordinary Americans.

To see evidence of this we need look no further than the fact that with each passing year of various Republican majorities in Congress, the regime’s victories over freedom and decency keep adding up, and virtually never are any of the state’s powers ever repealed. That’s exactly how the GOP leadership likes it.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.