After 15 rounds of voting, an agreement with ultra-conservative Republicans, along with two representatives nearly coming to blows, Kevin McCarthy finally won the House speakership. It was the first time in over 100 years that the process took more than one ballot, and could signal contentious times ahead for the GOP. But Straight Arrow News contributor Star Parker argues that what was witnessed was democracy at work and instead of criticizing it, the process should be celebrated.
This is a democracy. Sometimes, as contentious as that may be, it’s an essential part of who we are as a nation. We rejoice when we see protests in Iran. But at the same time, they’re lining them up and shooting them for this.
That’s not the kind of society we have here in our nation. Instead, we celebrate diversity in opinion and the freedom to speak to one’s own opinions and ideas. This is one of the things that was on my mind as we witnessed the decisive vote for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The decision on who will hold one of the most powerful positions in government. The decision for who will be the individual that will be second in line for the presidency. To be sure, democracy can be chaotic. That’s the result that can surely happen from debate and freedom.
The opposite of that is order and obedience, the essence of communism and dictators. It’s the kind of government they seek in Iran. So when we look for a leader, while the title and job description of the speaker is surely important, we understand that above all, what matters most is individual character.
We require courageous leaders who are committed to the principles of a free nation under God. And while polling shows that indeed Democrats are more unified than Republicans, I don’t see Democrat woke uniformity as any strength. The American public is not unified in opinion. The fierce and passionate debate we see in the House of Representatives reflects that which we see every day in America.
Republican leadership must deal with diversity of opinion in the public at large, but also with diversity of opinion within their own party. This Republican Congress is the most diverse ever. Republicans will have at least five Black members in Congress, the most since the 1870s. There will be a record number 11 Hispanic Republicans and 42 women.
As the diversity of the Republican Party, in opinions and so much more, mirrors that of our nation, we need a leader who understands those differences. A leader who has experienced it firsthand, and can potentially lead toward a unity that tackles the serious issues impacting us all. So maybe we should give Kevin McCarthy the benefit of the doubt, that he is indeed a Republican leader that understands the complexities and diversity born from freedom, and that knows he can’t win every battle, but has the wisdom to know which to fight.