A self-involved siding contractor with a passion for CrossFit is not qualified to represent American democracy. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene clearly lacks world knowledge, professionalism, empathy, and an appreciation for bipartisanship. All this makes her the perfect candidate for President. Notwithstanding, she is a danger to our political system.
Marjorie Taylor Greene possesses no qualifications for U.S. Congress. Without an understanding of history and political science, she’s a know-nothing. She touts right-wing conspiracies, praises a twice impeached president, and pushes the “big lie.”
Greene leans toward racism, extremism, and isolationism. The new dark conservatism is where bipartisanship is synonymous with treason, and moderates are demeaned and drummed out.
Although the 2020 Election has passed, political sectarianism has fueled fear, mistrust, and extreme partisanship in America. The political parties view each other as alien, immoral, and deplorable.
Great rifts are fracturing democracy. The Varieties of Democracy Institute reports that the Republican Party has moved toward illiberalism, populism, and authoritarianism.
Greene, a newbie to Congress, spews extremist views condoned and validated by ultra-right conservatives. In Trumpian style, she attracts followers with outrageous and despicable rhetoric. Her comment regarding a “bullet to the head” of Speaker Pelosi surpassed even that of Trump.
Beware of Greene! Her narrow ideology and redefined rights and liberties are ego driven. She stocks survivors of mass shootings only to heckle and hurt via her interpretation of the First Amendment.
I fear Greene’s naivety and her need for attention. Her power, albeit limited at present, threatens our democracy.
In “The Death of Democracy,” Benjamin C. Hett maintains many in Germany did not see Hitler as a threat. He arrived on scene with no political experience, carrying only his honed communication skills and choreographed body language. Vice-Chancellor Papen assumed, in a few months after hiring Hitler, they would push him so far into a corner, he would squeak. In the end, Hitler’s vile hate speech shocked, thrilled, and aroused the masses. His imagined national identity appealed to the marginalized and drew in young and old. Greene and her colleagues are on a similar path.
As Italians feared Mussolini and Russians Stalin, most members of the GOP fear Trump. They continue to “kiss the ring.” As Hitler, Trump is not easily pushed into a corner. Alas, the sheep will give him a second term in 2024 and perhaps Greene the Vice Presidency. Hopefully, the ring will not be passed to the young, radical, unapologetic extremist. Greene, too dim to know what she’s doing, will happily highjack democracy. Here’s how she’ll do it.
First, she’ll make a successful “autocratic attempt.” Unheeded checks and balances, weaponized courts, and a weakened electoral system allow for an “autocratic breakthrough.” This sets the stage for a full blown “autocratic consolidation.” Along with a few cronies and family members, the autocrat sits atop her vertical structure, running the three branches of government without a Constitution to constrain. Without hope of reversal, the deal is locked in, and liberties and the rule of law disintegrate. Masha Gessen says the extreme GOP is working on this project right now. Americans must understand what’s in play.
In all her wisdom, Greene aids and abets the perpetrators. Knowing nothing of the system, she can’t, or won’t, safeguard it. Where are the gatekeepers? Political parties are meant to keep extreme demagogues off the mainstream tickets. They failed in the case of Trump and Greene.
In “How Democracies Die,” Levitsky and Ziblatt tell us, “Isolating extreme candidates takes courage.” Republicans lack courage. Our institutions are not strong enough to constrain authoritarians. Our Constitution must be protected by politicians, citizens, democratic norms, or democracy will fall.
We can only hope that Biden and the Democrats are strong enough to dismantle the vertical structure created by would-be autocrats. Americans might be too hungry for autocracy. Anxiety and chaos of a pandemic may have driven people to fear the future. It is easier to hand agency to authoritarians for the promise of stability and predictability.
Biden needs to speak out, show the GOP extremists for what they are—don’t just move on Mr. President. Marjorie Taylor Greene doesn’t have the intelligence or value systems to see where this path is leading. As Levitsky and Ziblatt tell us, “The tragic paradox of the electoral route to authoritarianism is that democracy’s assassins use the very institutions of democracy—gradually, subtly, and even legally—to kill it.”