Mike Johnson’s work as a lawyer for a far-right group opposing LGBTQ+ and abortion rights mostly came to public attention after Republicans unanimously elected him House speaker, putting him second in line for the presidency. Since then, one ugly detail after another has emerged. The latest: Johnson wrote the foreword for a 2022 book filled with conspiracy theories and bigotry, then went on to promote the book on his own podcast.
The book, “The Revivalist Manifesto,” by Scott McKay, takes numerous homophobic shots at Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, CNN’s KFile reports, “calling the former mayor a ‘queer choice’ for the Cabinet position and saying he had ‘queer sanctimony’ and was ‘openly, and obnoxiously, gay.’ At one point, the book labels him ‘Gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg.’” It also describes poor voters as “unsophisticated and susceptible to government dependency,” then makes clear what race the author imagines poor voters to be, saying they can be manipulated by “bowdlerizing old monuments, or midnight basketball, or Black Lives Matter ‘defund the police’ pandering.”
McKay’s book also suggests that the Pizzagate conspiracy theory was not entirely debunked, writing that though “some of the most outlandish allegations made in it were clearly disproven, other elements were not.”
Here’s what Johnson had to say in the foreword to this hateful, misleading book: “Scott McKay presents a valuable and timely contribution with The Revivalist Manifesto because he has managed here to articulate well what millions of conscientious, freedom-loving Americans are sensing.”
Johnson then made clear that the foreword wasn’t just polite boilerplate he’d offer any local author, taking time on his podcast to promote the book. “I obviously believe in the product, or I wouldn’t have written the foreword. So I endorse the work,” he said, describing McKay as “a dear friend.”
This is not surprising for an attorney who previously worked with a conversion therapy-backing "ex-gay" group on an event dedicated to bullying LGBTQ+ kids in school. It’s not even all that surprising for a Republican member of Congress. But Johnson is now speaker of the House, one of the top Republican leaders in the United States as a whole. It speaks volumes that this is who Republicans elevated to that role.