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  • Reverend James Squire

Profiles Of Courage


I am the last person to believe that I would be writing this blog for it defies reason which is really its profound nature. Simple put, Michael Johnson should be in a book of politicians who show courage when they must do the hard right and not the easy wrong.


He moved to put the motion for funding for Ukraine, Israel (still pending because of a recent war crime), aid to Gaza and Taiwan on the agenda for a vote. There is no funding for the border, but I am sure that would come. In a recent interview on 60 Minutes, the President of Mexico has assured the United States that Mexico and America have been working on this and on the cause as well in Mexico. They attempted to deal with Trump, but he was ridiculous in his demands, but the President thought that Biden was savvier about how both countries need each other. Facts count.


I don’t think that there is in the universe a person who had more pressure on him than Speaker Johnson. On the one side he had extreme pressure from the Ultra Maga performance-oriented types. He had the Congress and senior leadership on the other side pushing in. He was being squeezed in on many sides. But he didn’t hide even as fellow Republicans cornered him on the floor of Congress after a meeting and berated him for not doing their bidding. They mocked him as a RINO (a Republican in Name Only)


In addition to all of this he had Trump advocating a position of not giving any money abroad with his isolationist views. Johnson had been a Trump follower. Johnson was brought on board security briefings on what was happening within our nation as well as in places such as Ukraine, Israel, Iran, Russia, China, and other hotspots in the world. He saw clearly what needed to be done to assist foreign aid particularly in Ukraine. Still, no one knew what he would do.


The smart money and I thought he would take the easy way out and go along with doing nothing. But now he knew too much. If he did act with the help of Democrat members of the House, his job will be on the line. He decided to put the vote on aid up for a vote knowing that he could do no other. Courage only comes when fear is present as well and his lip was quivering on occasion at the mike when he spoke. This was someone who chose duty to our nation and Ukraine and other foreign countries that needed aid to survive.


We still don’t know what changed his demeanor and decision making, but I have some thoughts. He has always had strong opinions about issues. They will not change. He is driven to do what he thinks is right, but his “duty scope” got widened. He became the embodiment of the duty ethic which informs, soldiers, police, first responders, and many more. Often people with the duty ethic feel that they have a duty to do the job that they have been given with all the risks. Johnson didn’t avoid listening to anyone’s opinion, but after making his decision he said that he knew what was right, and it was his duty to follow that new path.


Johnson also said that he was informed by the fact that his son would be entering the Naval Academy in the fall. That institution is the very definition of the duty ethic. He said that he would rather send weapons now than send our young men into battle in the future.


He also told one of the anecdotes in history that was meaningful to him in that moment of decision. It was one of his favorites. It is the very definition of the duty ethic.


“President John Quincy Adams was asked why he kept the same resolution to abolish slavery to see it fail each time. Mr. Adams replied, “Duty is ours. The results are God’s”. 

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