The Scariest Thing About Marjorie Taylor Greene? She’s Not Alone.
For the United States Congress, she’s still a little on the extreme side. But out there in red America, there are millions of Marjorie Taylor Greenes. Yes, millions.
It’s been a big week for Georgia’s own Marjorie Taylor Greene. She was made fun of by Jimmy Kimmel, and she was ignored by Jen Psaki. Some hope that she’ll be expelled from Congress for her refusal to wear a mask or her involvement in “Stop the Steal.”
But I’ve got some bad news about the GOP’s most famous freshman congresswoman: She’s not an aberration. She’s actually very representative of the boomer moms in her district (a district she moved to because the district she lived in was too competitive).
Taylor Greene is an odd mélange of all the worst elements of Trump’s Republican Party. She’s got all the crazy of a Louie Gohmert mixed with the virulent racism of a Steve King with a dash of the weird paranoia of a Devin Nunes. Her social media is a virtual oppo research file filled with some of the craziest, most disturbing Boomer brain worm content imaginable, from QAnon conspiracy theories to the preposterous idea that 9/11 was an inside job. And even before she was sworn in, MTG was at the White House having a “planning session” with the Trump team about how she was going to stop Joe Biden from “stealing the election.”
But probably the scariest thing about Taylor Greene isn’t her insane beliefs. It’s that she’s not alone. For starters, she is the representative of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, a place where “more than six thousand recently signed a petition to save a local statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.”
Pulling the camera back, Taylor Greene represents a real part of the Boomer mom conspiracy-minded Trump base. She may be a little on the extreme side for Congress. But we have every reason to believe that out there in red America, there are millions of people who think everything she thinks and believe every word she says. Yes, I said millions.
To say Taylor Greene is red-pilled doesn’t begin to cover the Alex Jones-style bugs gnawing on her cerebral cortex. She’s flirted with 9/11 trutherism, and the idea that school shootings are false flags, writing on Facebook that “I am told that Nancy Pelosi tells Hillary Clinton several times a month that ‘we need another school shooting’ in order to persuade the public to want strict gun control.” Then there’s the March 2019 video of her harassing school shooting survivor and teenager David Hogg. The visual of a middle-aged woman screaming at a teenager on the street is pretty jarring. CNN noted that in a deleted Facebook post MTG called Hogg #littlehitler.
Media Matters recently uncovered her “Jewish space laser conspiracy theory,” which is even more batshit than the normal Taylor Greene Facebook posts. It postulates that the California wildfires of 2018 were ignited by Jewish lasers from “space solar generators” that can somehow be blamed on “a vice chairman at Rothschild Inc., international investment banking firm.”
And of course, Taylor Greene also fears and loathes Muslims. A recording that Politico obtained featured her describing “Islamic nations under Sharia law as places where men have sex with little boys, little girls, multiple women” and “marry their sisters [and] their cousins.” She suggested the 2018 midterms—which ushered in the most diverse class of House freshmen ever—was part of “an Islamic invasion of our government.” She also claimed that Obama was a Muslim.
But the most disturbing thing about Taylor Greene is that while she may be louder than some of the crazy Republicans holding elected office, she’s not necessarily all that much crazier. The New Yorker’s profile quotes a fellow Georgia Republican calling her “a Donald Trump in heels.” Another of her constituents told the magazine that “Margie is like the female version of Trump to me. Everything that she believes in goes along the same line as what I believe in.”
While he might be a terrifying racist and a horrible president, Trump is still the de facto leader of the Republican Party. He got 74,222,958 votes. We are a country filled with people who are willing to go along with a lot of crazy. A Daily Kos/Civiqs poll from September showed that 56 percent of Republicans believe that QAnon “is mostly or partly true.”
Trump isn’t a deviation from Republican norm. He is the norm. And so is Taylor Greene. As I was writing this piece, Democratic freshman Rep. Cori Bush tweeted: “A maskless Marjorie Taylor Greene & her staff berated me in a hallway. She targeted me & others on social media. I'm moving my office away from hers for my team’s safety. I've called for the expulsion of members who incited the insurrection from Day 1. Bring H.Res 25 to a vote.”
It reminded me of Trump tweeting attacks at the Squad. These people are bullies who pick on people of color because they know their base is racist, and they know that these theatrics help with fundraising. Trump injected this kind of reality television showmanship into modern American political discourse, and now every Republican has to be a little bit like the monorail guy from The Simpsons.
Taylor Greene knows that culture wars and racism are a lot easier to get her constituents excited about than actual legislation. Then again, just “around fifteen per cent (of them) have graduated from college, and most earn well below the national median income.” Yes, the people who live in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District would really be better served by the Democratic legislation, like a higher minimum wage and better health care, that she is fighting to stop.