These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from their service, but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
- Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
“Liar! Liar!” Those are the words Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) spewed out during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
Given Greene’s less than stellar track record for veracity as a Representative one must ask, was she referring to President Biden or herself with her invectives? There is substantial evidence that, even if she didn’t intend to do so, she should have had herself as the target for the attack.
Representative Greene (also known as MTG) is serving her second term in Congress. She was elected in 2020 and then re-elected in 2022. During her first term, in February of 2021, she was removed from the House Committees on which she served due to her brazen encouragement of political violence. Eleven Republicans voted with all the Democrats in support of this removal.
Even though she is part of the far-right conspiracy theorist crowd, Greene was a consistent backer of Kevin McCarthy during his marathon successful campaign to become the House Speaker. As a result, she is back on committees serving on the Oversight and Accountability Committee, the Committee on Homeland Security, and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.
She has been promulgating what we will call “MGT-isms” on those committees — and in general — in her second term, just as she did in her first term and before she became a representative. Here are just a few of her more recent proclamations:
- Arriving late and leaving early from a Coronavirus Pandemic Subcommittee hearing, Greene took the stage for a brief while to state, “Researchers found that the vaccinated are at least twice as likely to be infected with covid as the unvaccinated and those with natural immunity.”
- At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in DC on March 1–4, Greene used an edited and clipped video of President Vladimir Zelensky of the Ukraine, which had been debunked before the CPAC event, to claim that Zelensky said that “… he wants our sons and daughters to go die in Ukraine…” She followed that by declaring, “I will look at a camera and directly tell Zelensky: you’d better leave your hands off our sons and daughters, because they’re not dying over there.”
- In a CBS “60 Minutes” interview, Lesley Stahl asked Greene about a comment Greene had made earlier in which she stated that “Democrats are a party of pedophiles.” Greene quickly responded that her assessment was correct, asserting “I would definitely say so. They support grooming children.” After Stahl pushed back, Greene went on to say “Democrats, Democrats support, even Joe Biden, the president himself, supports children being sexualized and having transgender surgeries. Sexualizing children is what pedophiles do.”
- And for an outlandish statement related to secession from the United States, Greene didn’t even have to show up anywhere. She just had to become a tweet machine. In a tweet, Greene said “We need a national divorce. We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government. Everyone I talk to says this.” Later in an interview, as Glenn Altschuler, opinion contributor for The Hill reports, when Greene was asked if her proposal was realistic, she answered, “It’s something we should work towards because it’s kind of the vision that our founding fathers had for America, and I think it’s great.”
These comments are just the tip of the iceberg of MTG’s current cock-eyed commentary. We first took a look at her propensity for outrageous pronouncements and behavior in February 2021, after she had been removed from the House Committees on which she served. Here is some of what we highlighted back then. MTG:
· Called the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL a “false flag” event. And in March 2019 confronted David Hogg, a survivor of that shooting and gun control advocate, outside the Capitol, accusing him of “trying to take away my Second Amendment rights.”
· Stated that the election of the first two Muslim women to Congress in 2018 was “an Islamic invasion of our government.”
· Online, clicked ‘like’ for social media postings that suggested putting “a bullet to the head” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and executing FBI agents for helping the “deep state.”
And, on the day after she was taken off the House Committees, MTG tweeted out
“I woke up early this morning literally laughing thinking about what a bunch of morons the Democrats (+11) are for giving someone like me free time.”
Greene had a valid a point in her early morning tweet. The Democrats may not have been morons, but they certainly gave this person, who seems to be more interested in her screen time in the public eye than serving the public, a much broader and larger national audience.
MTG is a practitioner of what has been labeled ‘performative politics”. In his piece for The Hill titled “The Performative Politics of Marjorie Taylor Greene,” former Congressman Steve Israel notes that performative politics has been around since the 1930’s, and goes on to state:
But today’s brand of performative politics is different, employed to increase one’s social media and fundraising capital rather than to enlighten an electorate. Politics used to be about selling an idea, now it’s about monetizing one’s brand. You post something outrageous, people click on it then the money rolls in. The new national anthem goes like this “Tweet, click, cha-ching.”
Israel concludes his piece optimistically, stating “Like any novelty in performative politics, Rep. Greene’s act will fade or combust.”
We hope that he is correct, because Greene wants to take this county down a dark path. As we said in our 2021 blog, “MTG is charting a course to move this democracy backward.”
The frightening thing in 2023 is Marjorie Taylor Greens is not alone in advocating for and promoting this backsliding. The right wing of the Party of Trump (previously known as the Republican Party) has become more influential in the House, and because of social media much more dangerous nationally.
That is not an exaggeration, given former President Donald Trump’s approximately 2-hour long “I am your retribution” diatribe at CPAC. Retribution is an act of vengeance and payback, not paying it forward or making things better.
Retribution would put our democracy in a crisis mode and move it toward a tipping point. Trump and his MAGA culture counterparts, such as MTG and the other summer soldiers and sunshine patriots, are preparing to go on the warpath.
Good citizens must unite and stand together in service in order to win the war against them. When they do, and defeat the summer soldiers and sunshine patriots, they will deserve the love and thanks of all the good citizens of this country for ensuring the United States of America continues its progress toward becoming the “more perfect union” envisioned by its founders.
Originally published by the Frank Islam Institute for 21st Century Citizenship. For more information on what 21st century citizenship entails, and to see exemplars from around the world, please visit our website.