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Not a big fan of U.S. Rep. Johnson

To the editor:

During his so-called “telephone town hall” on Tuesday, September 7, Rep. Bill Johnson lied profusely and engaged in his customary fear-mongering. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to listen to the whole meeting because I had a conflicting appointment and had to leave the call early. But in the short time I was on the call, I heard Johnson rant and rave and spew misleading information about Afghanistan, abortion, the Green New Deal, and school vouchers.

First, Johnson tried to blame President Biden for the entire Afghanistan fiasco, apparently forgetting his own party’s responsibility for immersing us that quagmire in the first place. While Johnson was eager to talk about Afghanistan, most Americans I know are more concerned about the very real danger of right-wing domestic terrorists operating right here within our borders.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and every other law enforcement agency, right-wing domestic extremism poses a greater danger to the U.S. than Islamist terrorists do. But Bill Johnson doesn’t want to talk about that, because he knows that any reasonable analysis of the facts will find that he and his party are complicit in the rise of right-wing violence, including the January 6 terrorist attack that aimed to overthrow our democracy.

For four years, Johnson and the Republican Party helped an aspiring dictator cultivate, brainwash, and enrage his racist cult followers. Then, following the 2020 election, Johnson and the Republican Party helped that same wannabe dictator spread lies and conspiracy fantasies about non-existent voter fraud and a so-called “stolen” election. The violent outcome of the Republican disinformation campaign was predictable. Thus, Bill Johnson and the Republican Party were complicit in the January 6 terrorist attack, and they should be held accountable.

Next, Johnson praised Texas’s draconian new abortion “law” that essentially creates a state of lawlessness and vigilantism, in which Americans are turned against each other in an Orwellian nightmare scenario of big government and fanatical surveillance. Meanwhile, Johnson failed to mention that the majority of Americans favor legal abortion and want Roe v. Wade to remain intact. Apparently, Johnson doesn’t believe in democracy. Instead of listening to the will of the people, he wants to overrule the people with his own repressive authoritarian views.

Similarly, Johnson’s attack on the Green New Deal was completely misleading. He tried to scare everyone with threats about how the it will eliminate fossil fuel jobs. But he didn’t mention that it will create more, better-paying, and longer-lasting jobs than it will eliminate. The Green New Deal will revitalize our economy by creating good jobs in infrastructure and clean energy. Johnson also left out the fact that the majority of Americans favor legislation that will phase out climate-destroying fossil fuels. You see, unlike Bill Johnson, most Americans are good people who care about their children’s and grandchildren’s future. What good are jobs in coal and gas if we render the planet uninhabitable for future generations? Don’t let Johnson fool you. The Green New Deal is better for the planet and better for the economy. It creates the jobs of the future, while Bill Johnson wants to keep everyone stuck in the jobs of the past.

Finally, Johnson praised school vouchers, despite mountains of evidence that proves voucher schemes are bad for students. For example, a study of Ohio’s voucher program by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute (a conservative pro-voucher organization, so you can’t claim bias) found that students who use vouchers to attend private schools performed worse academically than students who attend public schools. Other studies across the country have reached similar conclusions. Vouchers are bad for students. The only thing voucher schemes are good for is stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. Voucher schemes take much-needed funding from the public schools that educate 90% of U.S. students and redirect that money towards high-tuition private schools, creating another unnecessary tax-break for the wealthy in the process.

It’s easy to see that Bill Johnson is wrong on all of these issues. He aided and abetted the domestic terrorists who attacked us on January 6. Like an authoritarian dictator, he opposes the will of the American people and wants to enforce his own minority view regarding abortion. He obstructs progress toward the good jobs and planet-friendly economy of the future. He doesn’t care about quality education for our young people. I learned all of this in just the first 15 minutes of his “town hall.” I can only imagine what other wrong-headed ideas he expressed after I left the call.

In conclusion, Bill Johnson consistently demonstrates bad judgment. He’s a bad choice to be our representative in Congress. If District 6 wasn’t so gerrymandered, he’d be looking for a new job.

SHAWN KOSIOR,

Canfield

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