In an age where reality seems like the worst and longest episode of “Punk’d,” I still continue to find myself stunned at the plot twists that will become known as history.
The newest episode that left me stunned starred none other than Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.
The Portland Press Herald is calling her “Donald Trump’s true heir.” As much as it pains me to think that there’s any trace of Trumpian ideologies left in Congress, it’s just the truth of the situation.
Greene is the representative for Georgia’s 14th congressional district, a relatively new district created following the 2010 census. She is a staunch conservative with a closet full of, presumably faulty, masks branded with pro-Trump statements. That seems like an oxymoron and yet, these masks find a cozy place beneath her nose and send a message. She initially gained attention in the media when news broke that Greene is a supporter of QAnon conspiracy theories.
When it comes to her outrageous ideologies and rhetoric, there is no shortage of ignorance and bigotry. But, here are some of her best hits.
Greene believes that wildfires in California are caused by Jewish space lasers. Additionally, she supports a theory popularized by Alex Jones, host of InfoWars, that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting was a hoax set up by the radical left in order to threaten the NRA. She used this ideology to attack and mock one of the survivors and founders of the March for Our Lives movement, David Hogg. Greene compared him to a dog and called him an “idiot.” One of her less extreme claims is that the election was stolen which, we all know to be false.
Whoever’s decision it was to put someone who denies the legitimacy of one of the worst mass school shootings in U.S. history on the education committee is severely disturbed, but the decision to remove Greene from this position was the bare minimum. Historically, congresspeople losing their committee positions are detrimental to their productivity in congress. They’re like the people in your group project who never show up to the meetings, but somehow get credit for reading a singular side of the presentation. They do not work in actually creating the work, but still get to reap the benefits of the end results. Greene has plenty of congressional duties to carry out while in proverbial time out, but the ability to network within her committee and create any meaningful legislation is essentially nonexistent.
Greene’s behavior is so unhinged, even in congress that Representative Cori Bush was forced to move her office, out of fear for her safety.
This isn’t the work of Georgia, this isn’t even the work of the GOP. It’s a failure of our democratic systems.
We are so far past reality in every aspect of life, including Congress. Political disagreements are not subtle nuances in critical thinking anymore, they’re dramatic differences in what reality is and how you interpret one’s right to basic rights. Greene shows that reality is relative in the Capitol. She can call a mass school shooting a hoax and pedaled a Jewish space lasers conspiracy and still hold a seat in Congress. She’s held accountable by fleeting headlines and angry Instagram stories, but she still has the power to create and vote on legislation that affects, not just her home state, but the entire country.
This isn’t democracy. It’s not civil disagreement. This is the road to totalitarianism. Greene’s presence is a threat. Even if she only serves one term in Congress, her existence sets a very dangerous precedent. She is proof that extremists who threaten violence to members of congress can walk a path that will lead them to sit in the seats right beside them.
It’s not enough to call these people threats anymore. Words and outrage are justified, but cannot be the extent of what happens. If you were outraged by Donald Trump and find yourself complacent to Marjorie Taylor Greene, I implore you to reevaluate the implications of people like Greene in congress.
Greene’s rhetoric leaves no box unmarked on the Trumpian bingo card. She furthers QAnon conspiracies, perpetuates these harmful ideologies on Twitter and is already calling to impeach President Joe Biden. The fact that Greene advocates for these conspiracy theories is upsetting enough, but it’s even more disturbing when you truly understand the scope of her influence.
Greene’s performance in Congress is a masterclass in the failure of democracy. She is a white supremacist in a power suit. As easy as it may be to write her off as an ignorant person, I urge you to pay attention. When you see her name in headlines, don’t skip the read. When you hear about people who support her in Congress, or otherwise, take note.
We need to stop celebrating congresspeople for doing the bare minimum. Praising Mitt Romney for calling Greene a “kook,” will do nothing but make me roll my eyes. Actions need to be taken to remove Greene from Congress and put processes in place that prevent this from ever happening again. This is embarrassing. The fact that we’ve let folktales of pizzagate and cannibalistic talk show hosts go on for this long is embarrassing. But most importantly, the fact that this mentality now has a place in our government is humiliating.
For the love of democracy, get involved. Voting isn’t enough. Posting infographics to your Instagram story isn’t enough. Get involved in your local government and communities where people like Greene exist and threaten their constituency.
I’m sick of hearing how the South is a lost cause. This mentality and lack of urgency is what is allowing people like Greene to hold their seats. You can phonebank, no matter the location, and get the word out. When elections are happening, even if they’re across the country, do you research and advocate for the politicians who are going to create meaningful, progressive legislation.
Most importantly, you can make sure that the phrase “Jewish space lasers” is never uttered in Congress again.