Sharp: Marjorie Taylor Greene should serve as a cautionary tale for Southern voters

Representative+Marjorie+Taylor+Greene+of+Georgia+has+recently+been+criticized+for+controversial+statements.+

United States Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has recently been criticized for controversial statements.

By Chloe Sharp, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

Marjorie Taylor Greene: a QAnon sympathizer, an anti-Semite, a conspiracy theorist and a member of the US House of Representatives. Greene represents everything that is wrong with the American South, and her successful election should frighten anyone, especially us southerners, who value having good people in government. 

The freshman representative hailing from the state of Georgia has dug herself into a hole that she can’t get out of. In the singular month that Greene has been in office, she has succeeded in something that very few other US representatives have: being removed from all congressional committees. 

Previously, Greene served on the Education, Labor, and Budget Committees. However, after a congressional vote on Thursday, Feb.4, Greene was ousted from those committees, leaving her with only the power to vote in Congress. Never in the 232-year history of the United States House of Representatives, has this been done before. It should be noted that having the power to vote in Congress is still considerable power. You have to wonder if she should have even that right.

So how does one go about being stripped of almost all of their congressional power? Greene’s solution is simple: gaslight the American people so much that your fellow representatives see you as an extreme threat to the country. 

In recent years, Greene has made the following claims: The Parkland school shooting was a “false flag” operation to promote gun control; the 9/11 plane crash into the Pentagon was an inside job; recent forest fires were actually started by Jewish space lasers. Additionally, she has made several other baseless claims and sounded other outlandish conspiracies meant to manipulate the American people into giving her power.

For better or worse, Americans tend to lump the southern states together as one cohesive group. Greene serving as a southern representative just reinforces the stereotype that southerners are uneducated and ignorant. Greene’s actions and words don’t just damage the state of Georgia; they threaten the legitimacy of the entire American South in politics as a whole. 

While removing Greene from her committees may have sent the country down a slippery slope, it was essential that it be done. The US experienced an insurrection just over a month ago that killed five people and threatened the lives of US Representatives in Congress. This insurrection was triggered by a web of conspiracy theories very similar to the theories Greene is spreading. We have all seen what the spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation can do, and we cannot allow that to happen again.

Greene is consistently seen wearing masks with slogans such as “censored” or “free speech,” protesting that the backlash she has gotten from her fellow congressmen for her spread of conspiracy theories on social media threatens her first amendment rights. However, just as with anything in government, there is a line with how far free speech can go, and it is up to both the American people and the US government to decide where that line is. 

The question of precedent comes up frequently when discussing Greene’s committee removals. It’s true that there is a chance that this could very well be a turning point in American politics. Again, the question is: Where do we draw the line? 

In a perfect world, everyone would agree that Greene was an extreme case — and the power for the House majority party to remove a member of Congress from their respective committees would be reserved only for extreme cases such as this one. A possible alternative could be that this power becomes yet another way for the House minority voices to be stifled by the majority. 

Regardless, Greene should serve as a cautionary tale for Southern Americans. If Southerners want to be taken seriously in politics, it is essential that voters educate themselves so that they aren’t swayed by party politics or gaslighting techniques used by politicians to promote their own agendas.

This story was originally published on The Vision MSMS on February 18, 2021.