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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

OPINION: Kevin McCarthy’s historic ousting expresses worrying future for country’s cohesion

Tate Burchfield / Hilltop Views
St. Edward’s American flag is a symbol of the college’s devotion to the principles of the American government. Principles which are currently being tested as political power are abused and misappropriated in our nation’s government.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy from office in a landmark decision on Oct. 3. McCarthy, a Republican who entered office in January of this year, was ousted due to his attempts to prevent a government shutdown. His actions were perceived as treacherous by far-right members of the Republican party.

Although McCarthy’s ousting is primarily a result of his failure to fulfill promises made to both sides of the U.S. House, it forewarns an extremely divided future for our nation’s politics.Rep. McCarthy’s removal from office illustrates an unnerving possibility that future politicians will be punished for attempting to cross the aisle. The polarization and radicalization of political parties could result in the absence of bipartisan legislation in the future. 

The current state of politics in the United States is an abysmal sight, one which has resulted in 65% of Americans feeling exhausted with the idea of politics. These feelings are not unreasonable: when you consider the recent events of the Paxton acquittal, Trump indictment and possible government shutdown, it seems as if we are mired in a state of political turmoil.

McCarthy’s ousting is just another casualty and grave misfortunate as the nation moves into an unknown future. The initiative to remove Rep. McCarthy was begun by Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, who mobilized the Republican hardliners to initiate a “motion to vacate” the speaker’s office. 

There is some hope in the fact that 210 Republican representatives voted to keep the speaker, as this affirms the abnormality of this far-right faction. If the republican representatives are to form as one radical group, it will result in more harmful legislation like Gaetz’s “Green Real Deal”.

Gaetz wishes to address climate change primarily through harvesting “renewable energy on public lands,” a solution which goes against the principles of ecological preservationism. Such actions and ideas proposed by hardline politicians are perversions of our democratic system and degrade the Constitution’s principles of popular sovereignty. 

There is a reason why no speaker has ever been removed from office in the past 200 years. In the framework of a functioning democratic process, the actions of the House Speaker must be tyrannical to warrant such a motion. Gaetz’s motion was highly unreasonable and must have been done primarily to promote chaos in the House. 

It is also necessary to condemn the actions of the Democratic Party. All of the Democratic representatives, who were present to vote, voted to vacate McCarthy’s office. This was in part due to apparent unfaithfulness between him and the party, as well as a need for the Republican Party to figure out its own internal conflict. 

However, turmoil within one party in government results in turmoil for the rest of the country. A House without a leader is certainly worse than a House with a slightly ineffectual one. The actions taken by McCarthy were ultimately satisfactory in terms of keeping the government together, so they should not warrant punishment.

The Republican Party is set to elect a new Speaker of the House, which is a process wrought with chaos. We will see if our nation’s government will be able to overcome its divisive nature, or if it will continue down its current path. Historic moments are not always heroic or awe inspiring; sometimes they are reminders of the greed and evil found within human nature. If we continue to let our political system feed the current duopoly of power between the two parties and let political extremism continue to rise, there will be no need for our system to exist: that would be a government neither created by the people nor for the people.

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About the Contributor
Tate Burchfield
Tate Burchfield, Staff Writer
Tate Burchfield is a first year student on the hilltop, and this is his first year writing for Hilltop Views. He is interested in politics and the arts. He is from Galveston, Texas and is excited to spend his time in Austin with Hilltop Views.

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