This article was originally published in The Spectator’s May 2021 World edition.
As I walk toward Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s office, I notice a large flag and sign opposing one another across the hall. Greene’s neighbor, Democratic Rep. Marie Newman, has recently planted a transgender pride flag to protest Greene’s opinion that biological men should not be playing women’s sports. Greene responded by posting a sign that says, ‘There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE. “Trust The Science.”’
I’m expecting a rather tense atmosphere inside Greene’s office, given how often the congresswoman from Georgia finds herself at odds with her colleagues. Instead, I’m greeted by young, attractive, smiling staffers and a wall covered in bright ‘thank you’ letters from constituents.
Greene is smaller than she looks on television — and positively bubbly. Her Southern accent makes her charming. My initial impression is that it’d be hard not to like her if you met her outside of Congress. Today, she is tickled over successfully killing an amendment to HR1, the voting ‘rights’ boondoggle proposed by Rep. Cori Bush, that would give prisoners the right to vote.
‘I used House procedure, floor procedure to call for a roll call vote and then guess what happened?’ Greene says. ‘Everybody voted…we beat her and we beat her big. And she was very much disappointed to find out that many of her Democrat colleagues didn’t support her amendment. I’m celebrating big. I’m really happy because even though they’re trying to push me small, I refuse to do that. I’m representing people in my district, and most Americans, clearly… [they] don’t believe that people who have committed crimes and are in prison serving their time should be voting.’
When Greene says ‘they’ are trying to ‘push her small’, she’s referring to the House Democrats and nearly a dozen of her Republican colleagues who voted to remove her from her committee assignments because she had pushed various conspiracy theories before running for Congress. From 2017 to 2019, Greene wrote Facebook posts suggesting Speaker Nancy Pelosi could be hanged for treason and liked comments saying a ‘bullet to the head’ would be quicker. She commented approvingly when a Facebook friend floated the ‘Frazzledrip’ conspiracy theory, which alleges that there is a video on the dark web showing Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin raping and sacrificing a young girl and then drinking her blood. She endorsed the idea that the Parkland school shooting was staged and that 9/11 was an inside job. In one aggressively nutty Facebook post, Greene suggested that some of the California wildfires were started by PG&E and the Rothschilds with a ‘space solar generator’, to clear a path for a high-speed rail project.
Greene apologized for her behavior during a private meeting with her GOP colleagues. She also disavowed these views in a speech on the House floor, explaining that she had untangled herself from these mad theories. ‘I’m not someone that was groomed or even wanted to run or even thought about running until literally just, what, maybe two years ago?’ Greene explains. ‘So I’ve been a successful business owner, always paid my taxes, never been arrested. I’ve gotten a few speeding tickets. That’s, like, the worst I’ve ever done. I’ve never done drugs. So, I don’t have a history of scandalous things.’
‘What did I do wrong? I talked about things on Facebook, asked questions about conspiracy theories, talked about a lot of things that, surprise, surprise a lot of regular people actually talk about and ask questions about. So I did that on social media and it wasn’t scrubbed.’
As someone who’s been ‘canceled’ for things I’ve written on social media in the past, I’m sympathetic. When you don’t know you’re going to be a public figure some day, it can be easy to spout off and say dumb things on the internet. I also know plenty of people from my hometown who believe in QAnon and other conspiracies. It is primarily because they cannot trust the mainstream media that they search for information from other, often equally untrustworthy, sources. It is important to treat these people with understanding and compassion so that they do not tumble further down the black hole of conspiracy.
‘All of that happened before I even became a candidate for Congress,’ says Greene. Nevertheless, she did more than just ‘ask questions’ about conspiracy theories. She was a grown woman writing as a ‘correspondent’ for a conspiracy website, American Truth Seekers, just a couple of years ago. She has not taken full responsibility for this. Instead, she stated passively to the House that she had been ‘allowed to believe things that weren’t true’. Despite all of that, or perhaps because of it, Greene raised a stunning $3.2 million in the first quarter of the year, most of it from small donations. Her approval rating actually rose after her removal from her committee assignments, and exceeded that of her fellow GOP Rep. Liz Cheney.
There are a few reasons why Greene’s baggage doesn’t burden her the way it might other politicians. For one, outside of her penchant for political knife-fights, Greene is almost aggressively normal. She grew up in the Atlanta suburbs, and describes sitting around the kitchen table with her parents, playing outside with the neighborhood kids, going to church on Sunday, respecting your elders and maybe ‘getting a spanking’ for being bad. Before running for Congress, she was a business owner. She’s also really into CrossFit. This background gives her far more credibility with everyday Americans than the media and Democrats who attack her.
Further, GOP voters are OK with overlooking a little scandal in exchange for a willingness to attack the excesses of the left. This is exactly why Trump was so attractive in 2016. The left cancels anyone who disagrees with the woke orthodoxy, denies basic biology, encourages violence in response to perceived injustice, calls for the abolition of police and bullies corporations into imposing radical policies on their customers. That makes the perception that Greene will never give in to her opponents far more important than anything she may have done wrong. This becomes even more significant when voters see other Republicans repeatedly compromise or backdown on the most important issues — such as South Dakota’s governor Kristi Noem refusing to sign a bill banning biological men from competing in women’s sports or Arkansas’ governor Asa Hutchinson vetoing a bill prohibiting transgender medical treatments on children.
‘The policies that matter to the American people, to Republican voters are not only America First policies, but Republican leaders who will fight for it and not backdown any time that they are threatened by the Democrats or the media or anyone else,’ Greene says. ‘I keep saying don’t be discouraged, because if people stay complacent and just sit around and complain all the time posting on social media about being canceled or being censored, then nothing ever changes. I’ve been telling every conservative, every Republican voter I can, look, who cares what the media says about you? Who cares about any of that stuff? Nobody cares. We’re all over it. Everybody’s sick of it.’
There’s also the question of hypocrisy. Thanks in large part to an adoring media, Democrats often get a pass for bad behavior. Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib made anti-Semitic comments while they were sitting members of Congress and faced few consequences. Rep. Eric Swalwell cavorted with a Chinese spy and still sits on the House Intelligence Committee. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to resign in the face of his COVID-19 nursing home scandal and multiple allegations of sexual harassment. Hell, the late Ted Kennedy left a woman to drown and he’s still a Democratic cult darling.
‘What’s wrong with America right now?’ Greene asks. ‘Well, it’s been run by these politicians that have been groomed, always wanted to be a politician, have scrubbed everything out of their lives so they can look polished and perfect for when they do run for Congress. But they’re fake because everybody’s done something wrong in their life. No one is perfect.’
‘I think we call this the Beltway bubble? It really is a bubble. This place is so disconnected from most of America that they’re so clueless. And it just cracks me up because I get up here and I’m like, this is the stupidest part of our country. Most people here are so disconnected and flat out stupid. And that’s why they don’t understand Americans. They have to do a poll to figure out what these people want.’
If what the people want is more Marjorie Taylor Greenes, and apparently they do, shouldn’t they be allowed to have them?
This article was originally published in The Spectator’s May 2021 World edition.