Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., praised the “Judeo-Christian tradition” and “classical liberal” values that he said shaped the West in his first international speech on Monday.
Johnson virtually addressed the inaugural conference of the Alliance For Responsible Citizenship (ARC) in London. In his remarks, Johnson outlined four questions he is using to shape an “optimistic vision” for the country and the world.
He called on the audience to consider, “How do we restore good governance and restore faith in our institutions,” how to “re-focus on the family and strengthen the social fabric that ties us all together,” along with “the best way to deliver reliable and affordable energy” and finally: “how do we sell the idea that the best answers to these questions are the keys to greater human flourishing across the globe?”
“The answers to these and other key questions will form our optimistic vision, and what we’re calling our better story,” he said.
Johnson cited the “unprecedented times” both at home and abroad – including “political divides” in the U.S. and a “crisis of identity” in the western world as a whole.
He referenced international instability in Hamas’ attacks on Israel, China’s growing aggression to Taiwan and its neighbors, and the “war in Eastern Europe.”
Johnson called on the people gathered to seek a “better story” in terms of expanding opportunity and “the return of responsibility” from government to individuals.
“And finally, and most importantly, our better story says that we, in the West, draw on an extraordinary heritage, built on the best of the classical liberal and the Judaeo-Christian tradition. These are not just political ideas; these are foundational principles which have governed our public debate for centuries and which we would do well to remember,” he said.
Toward the end of his remarks the speaker called for a “radical shift in thinking about the role of government and the proper delegation of responsibility.”
His speech comes after House Republicans unanimously elected Johnson as speaker, ending three weeks of paralysis in Congress without an elected leader in its lower chamber.
“[D]emocracy can be messy, and thankfully, I believe the United States Congress and our entire nation has re-emerged now as a beacon of liberty for the world as a result of all this,” Johnson said toward the beginning of his speech.
“The House is back in session as we say here. Now look, I believe God brings leaders together to address certain challenges, just as I believe the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship has been called together this week to begin the challenging work of pushing back on the failed visions that currently plague the West.”
It comes as the House is expected to consider an aid package for Israel this week.
ARC CEO, Baroness Phillipa Stroud, praised Johnson and his leadership in her own statement.
“It’s been lovely to work with Speaker Johnson this year as we planned and developed the ARC mission. We are so excited for him as he takes on this incredible role and know his servant leadership approach, which is a fundamental principle here at ARC, will serve the American people well,” Stroud said.