I could have been quite content to never hear the name “Marjorie Taylor Greene” again for as long as I live. However, yesterday she flew face-first onto my radar and aroused such disgust that I truly wished for the opportunity for my fist to meet her face. She and two others, Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas (both of whom have crossed my radar before) have started a new House caucus that they are calling the “America First Caucus”. Just the name itself raised my hackles … you’ll remember the former guy using that terminology many times, and I find it to be an arrogant, bigoted term.
So, to start with, just what is a ‘caucus’? Congressional caucuses are voluntary groups made up of lawmakers seeking to advance certain policy agendas. While the groups operate outside of the formal congressional legislative structure, many, such as the ignoble House Freedom Caucus, have found success influencing debate and amplifying their voices. There are at least a hundred caucuses in the House, most consisting of only 2-3 members, some only having a single member, and typically promoting a single idea, such as the “Arts Caucus” or the “House Specialty Crops Caucus” … yes, I’m serious! But some, like the aforementioned House Freedom Caucus, have a hundred or more members and a broad agenda.
The 7-page document outlining the “America First Caucus” policy agenda begins …
“The America First Caucus (AFC) exists to promote Congressional policies that are to the long-term benefit of the American nation. The North Star of any policy proposal will be that which serves the American people, and any consequential analysis of policy platforms must be based on this first principle.
As this implies a degree of ideological flexibility, a certain intellectual boldness is needed amongst members of the AFC to follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation.”
There is racist, bigoted language throughout the document. In a section on immigration, the document describes the United States as a place with “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and argues that “societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse into a country, particularly without institutional support for assimilation and an expansive welfare state to bail them out should they fail to contribute positively to the country.”
The document calls to suspend all immigration, saying such pauses are “absolutely essential in assimilating the new arrivals and weeding out those who could not or refused to abandon their old loyalties and plunge head-first into mainstream American society.”
On infrastructure, the caucus calls for the construction of roads, bridges and buildings that reflect “the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture, whereby public infrastructure must be utilitarian as well as stunningly, classically beautiful, befitting a world power and source of freedom.”
I strongly urge you to read the document, for it is filled with racist, bigoted rhetoric. Interestingly, a few other congressional Republicans weren’t too happy with it, either. Even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, whose ideology is typically far to the right of center, said …
“America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion. The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans — not nativist dog whistles.”
GOP conference chairperson Liz Cheney, the third highest ranking House Republican, responded with …
“Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all. We teach our children the values of tolerance, decency and moral courage. Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront & reject such malicious hate.”
Democratic Representative Ted Lieu’s response was spot on …
“As an immigrant, I served on active duty in the US military to defend your right to say stupid stuff. What makes America great is that we don’t judge you based on bloodline, we look at your character.”
Last February, the House voted to remove Ms. Greene from her committee assignments based on her promotion of QAnon conspiracy theories, so she has had virtually nothing to do (yet We the People pay her $174,000 per year), and this caucus is presumably the result. Trouble is that what Ms. Greene fails to understand is first that this is a nation of immigrants … immigrants from all over the world, not just “Anglo-Saxon” countries. Second, she needs to understand that this is the 21st century, not the 18th. We are all in this world together … air travel, the Internet, and other technologies have shrunken the globe and what one nation does can easily affect every other nation on the planet. In the sections on the environment and energy, the document reads …
“The America First Caucus supports conservation of the environment and our national lands for the benefit of our nation. Having said that, we should not cripple our country’s manufacturing sector through agreements such as the Paris Climate Accords. We oppose the globalist, vague, and irrelevant policies being pushed under the guise of combating climate change.
While it is vital to preserve our environment, we should not use it as an impetus to destroy the energy industry that hires millions of hard-working Americans. Our elected officials should stand proudly with America’s struggling coal country against job-killing regulations, and welcome the ongoing shift towards clean coal. In addition, the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines will promote North American energy independence …”
Ms. Greene literally has zero qualifications to be in Congress, and even fewer qualifications to opine on things of which she has no knowledge. Her ‘caucus’ is based solely on emotions, personal opinions, and uneducated views. I had hoped that the people of her district in Georgia would vote her out next year and rid us of this terrible disease, but reportedly, she is raking in the campaign donations, so perhaps that dream is dead.
Ms. Greene’s ideology, such as it is, would close us off from the rest of the world, make this nation isolated and shielded from new ideas, cultural sharing, and protection of neighbors and allies. And it would disenfranchise nearly half of the people in this nation. There is no place in this country for the type of hateful ‘nationalism’ (another word I deplore) that Ms. Greene and her cohorts are proposing. NONE!