Editors at National Review Online praise the latest pronouncement from the U.S. House speaker.

Shortly after he announced his intention to relinquish his role as leader of the Senate Republican Conference, Mitch McConnell pledged to devote the remainder of his career in Congress to “fighting back against the isolationist movement in my own party.” McConnell has been joined in his fight by a powerful ally in House Speaker Mike Johnson.

In his recent appearance at the Hudson Institute, Johnson did not just make plain the critical U.S. interests that are threatened by those who advocate American retrenchment. He also made the case for America’s fundamental goodness, its ideals as universal human values, and its expressions of power abroad as the acts of a liberty-loving people protecting and promoting the same.

Johnson began by explicating the threat posed by the emerging axis of anti-American great powers, rogue nations, and the stateless terrorists in orbit around them all. “Thanks to America’s policy of peace through strength,” Johnson said, “those sounds of war — the interconnected global conflict — had mostly been silent.” But thanks to weak and indecisive leadership, the threat environment is deteriorating. Today, “the survival of liberty in the free world” is in the balance. “Absent American leadership,” he noted, “we’re looking at a future that could well be defined by communism and tyranny.”

Johnson defended Donald Trump against the charge that his instincts are isolationist. It was Trump, he reminded his speech’s attendees, who provided lethal arms to Ukraine, neutralized Qasem Soleimani, scuttled arms agreements that no one but the United States observed, compelled NATO allies to increase defense expenditures, and constructed a solid security architecture among America’s allies. The GOP is not a party “of nation builders or careless interventionists,” he insisted, but “nor are we idealists who think we can placate tyrants.”

Still, Johnson made his own appeals to the universality and manifest virtue of the fundamental American civic compact.