When Incendiary Language Meets Congress

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican representative for Georgia’s 14th congressional district, recently took office and has made waves since. She subscribed to several conspiracy theories and odd claims that resulted in her removal from various committees. 

What were some of these conspiracy theories and claims? For starters, she doesn’t believe a plane hit the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001. She accused the Parkland Shooting of being a setup to justify passing stricter gun laws. She liked a tweet that suggested a bullet should be put through Nancy Pelosi’s head. In the past, she has supported Q-Anon, a far-right conspiracy group. 

Democrats and Republicans are unhappy with her statements and actions. Utah Senator Mitt Romney expressed displeasure with her comments over Twitter, while Kevin McCarthy reported he planned to talk to her. In the vote to possibly remove her from her appointments, every Democrat voted in favor of removal, while some Republicans voted in agreement.

Some members of Congress, like Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, fear this removal will set a precedent for members of Congress to be eliminated from their positions when their statements stray from the majority. On the other hand, people like Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts hope that a standard is now set for what is tolerated in the House. 

This situation raises many pressing questions of our time. First, it questions the productivity of “cancel culture.” Should Marjorie Taylor Greene be removed from her committee appointments for statements made before her public service? You can argue that she should since her opinions can be considered radical and not beneficial to serving on a special congressional committee. However, Congresswoman Greene made these statements before her time as a congresswoman. We don’t know if she changed her opinions since then or how well she can compromise her views to work with others.

Secondly, this predicament questions the First Amendment. Congresswoman Greene has a right to express her opinions, no matter how outlandish and troubling they may be. Though, we cannot refute that the people elected her on this platform. Her removal could be wrong because it is rejecting the voice of her constituents. Conversely, how much does the first amendment protect Taylor Greene at this point? Advocating for a bullet in a public servant’s head, especially now one of her colleagues that she will see often, is most definitely overstepping the First Amendment since it can be considered a threat. 

As we can see, this is a very murky situation where there are many interesting discussions to be had from it. I hope this column has helped you, the reader, form an opinion. 

Thanks for reading,

Brian Inguanti