Rep. Mike Johnson, the newly elected House speaker, has repeatedly flirted with what’s known as the “great replacement theory,” the idea that Democrats are scheming to supplant American voters with immigrants. The Louisiana Republican’s views show how fringe conspiracy theories have gone mainstream in the Republican Party at the highest levels of power.
“This is the plan of our friends on this side — to turn all the illegals into voters,” Johnson said at a congressional hearing in May 2022, gesturing at Democrats. “That’s why the border’s open.”
The “open borders” trope is a lie, and while a few municipalities allow voting for noncitizens in local elections, in no sense do national Democrats have any such “plan” for “all the illegals.” As far as I can determine, no House speaker in recent memory has been quite as reckless and incendiary with this kind of language.
Johnson employs it regularly. He reiterated the claim in an interview this year with the right-wing outlet Newsmax, accusing President Biden of “intentionally” encouraging undocumented migration to “turn all these illegals into voters for their side.” On numerous other occasions, he has made similar charges, even declaring that Democrats’ express goal is the “destruction of our country at the expense of our own people.” [Continue reading…]