To the Editor,

Never has there been a Speaker of the House so tied to the apron of an out of office former president than Mike Johnson. Winning the final vote was largely due to Trump’s endorsing Johnson’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election by any means.  If that bond remains unshakable, Donald J. Trump is now the de facto Speaker of the House.

This, in a period of great peril to our democracy, our leadership in world affairs, our national security, and our freedom to live peacefully in a stable economic and social environment. While it may be unfair to judge another’s performance before he has a chance to show what directions he will take, it is obvious that he is a MAGA Republican to the core and may not be able to shed that mantra and retain his speakership. Ever heard of Kevin McCarthy?

The immediate challenges he faces would daunt even the most experienced lawmakers…potential government shutdown, wars in Ukraine and Israel, trials of Trump and supporters, plus all the ordinary work of governing for the common good of all. These and many more in a fractured political environment within his own party.

He has to choose to between Party and Trump loyalty or doing his job in governing for the common interests of our citizens and for all of our friendly and supportive allies throughout the free world. We know from Trump’s failed term in the presidency that following his guidance if elected next president would do unimaginable damage to our country, constitutional law, advances in human rights, respect in the world community, almost everything that has made our country a beacon of democracy and leader in economics, science, technology…all under attack by Trump’s own words.

But we cannot despair on such short evaluation of Mike Johnson. He appears to be intelligent enough to realize that holding on to his personal beliefs and devotion to Trump over doing the job his position calls for is a losing strategy. Democrats are standing by ready to help him. Our needs are urgent. His actions are key.  We must watch and prepare to take action throughout this election cycle to reclaim, not the greatness we never had, but the drives toward “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” strived for by our founders.

Lee Purrier

Park Rapids