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The Party of Greene

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You will be shocked to learn that Republican member of the House Education and Labor Committee Marjorie Taylor Greene has declared support for an insane anti-Semitic conspiracy theory:

In November 2018, California was hit with the worst wildfire in the state’s history. At the time, future Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) wrote a bizarre Facebook post that echoed QAnon conspiracy theorists and falsely claimed that the real and hidden culprit behind the disaster was a laser from space triggered by some nefarious group of people. 

Greene’s post, which hasn’t previously been reported, is just the latest example to be unearthed of her embracing conspiracy theories about tragedies during her time as a right-wing commentator. In addition to being a QAnon supporter, Greene has pushed conspiracy theories about 9/11, the Parkland and Sandy Hook school shootings, the Las Vegas shooting, and the murder of Democratic staffer Seth Richamong others

Greene also has a history of pushing anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic remarks.

CNN’s Em Steck and Andrew Kaczynski recently reported that on her Facebook page, “Greene repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress.” 

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Rep. Greene is a proponent of the Camp Fire laser beam conspiracy theory. She wrote a November 17, 2018, Facebook post — which is no longer available online — in which she said that she was speculating “because there are too many coincidences to ignore” regarding the fire, including that then-California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) wanted to build the high-speed rail project and “oddly there are all these people who have said they saw what looked like lasers or blue beams of light causing the fires.” She also speculated that a vice chairman at “Rothschild Inc, international investment banking firm” was somehow involved, and suggested the fire was caused by a beam from “space solar generators.” 

As Rick Perlstein explains here, however, Greene should be seen as the logical culmination of the central role that conspiracy theories have always played in American movement conservatism:

The conservative movement has less conspiratorial and more conspiratorial strains: William F. Buckley wasn’t particularly conspiratorial. But in a lot of ways, [the conspiracists] were the vanguard or the point of the spear, the activists who really drove the party’s grassroots success.

Those people just got closer and closer to the centers of power. I argue in Reaganland that a huge driver of this was the religious right. Remember, Jerry Falwell — who was also, by the way, one of those conspiracy theorists who believed the civil rights movement was all directed by Moscow — gave a famous sermon in 1955 saying your preachers are called to be the soul winners, not politicians. He was speaking about Martin Luther King.

Historians point out that people like Jerry Falwell explicitly getting involved in partisan politics, endorsing candidates, turning their churches into precinct houses: that could not have happened in precisely the way it did absent this theory that gays were involved in an organized conspiracy to recruit American youth, and not only recruit American youth, but recruit them in order to murder them.

That kind of conspiratorial thinking drove Reagan’s rise. One of the reasons George H.W. Bush came in second place in the Republican nomination contest in 1980 was the belief that because he belonged to the Trilateral Commission, he was part of the Eastern “deep state” conspiracy.

For the reason, what McCarthy and the rest of the Republican House leadership will do about Greene is “nothing,” as she becomes more and more influential.

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