Fascistic candidate wins Republican congressional nomination in Georgia

By Trévon Austin
14 August 2020

Majorie Taylor Greene, a fascistic millionaire businesswoman, won the Republican nomination in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District on Tuesday. Greene defeated neurosurgeon John Cowan in a primary runoff election on Tuesday to replace retiring Congressman Tom Graves.

Greene is a believer of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory which glorifies President Trump, claiming he is fighting a “deep state” conspiracy of pedophiles, Satanists and Democratic politicians and urging him to arrest and execute his opponents. The theory began with a post on the imageboard 4chan by an individual using the pseudonym “Q,” who claimed to have access to classified information on the Trump Administration and its opponents.

(Image Credit: Campaign website)

QAnon supporters traffic in anti-Semitic tropes, particularly centered on liberal Jewish billionaire George Soros, a Holocaust survivor. Greene has repeated slanders that Soros turned over Jews to Nazis during World War II, although he was only 14 at the end of the war. She has also claimed that African Americans should feel proud when they see Confederate monuments because they signify the progress made since the Civil War.

Trump immediately hailed the fascist’s victory, tweeting on Wednesday morning: “Congratulations to future Republican Star Marjorie Taylor Greene on a big Congressional primary win in Georgia against a very tough and smart opponent. Marjorie is strong on everything and never gives up—a real WINNER!”

While the congressional Republican leadership had attacked Greene publicly and sided with Cowan in the runoff, hoping to avoid association with her fascistic views in other congressional districts, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy immediately lined up behind Trump and said the Republican Party would support Greene as its candidate in the November elections.

Greene’s victory in the primary makes it likely she will gain the House seat in the fall. Trump won 75 percent of the vote in the district, which comprises largely rural areas and small towns in the northwest corner of Georgia, along the Alabama and Tennessee borders. The retiring congressman, Tom Graves, had no Democratic opponent at all in 2014 and 2016. In 2018 he was reelected with 76 percent of the vote.

For the 2020 election, the Democrats have nominated Kevin Van Ausdal, an IT consultant, who has raised $18,000, compared to the nearly $3 million raised and spent by Greene and Cowan. Greene loaned her own campaign $900,000.

At a victory party where the lone reporter present was ejected—Greene’s campaign later said she would not take questions from the “fake media”—the Republican candidate launched into a diatribe against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (one of the supposed masterminds of a pedophile conspiracy, according to QAnon), concluding with a threat to “kick that bitch out of Congress.”

“The Republican establishment was against me,” Greene said in a tweet celebrating her victory. “The D.C. swamp is against me. And the lying fake news media hates my guts. It’s a badge of honor. It’s not about me winning. This is a referendum on every single one of us, on our beliefs.”

A wealthy construction company co-owner who self-funded most of her campaign, Greene won a plurality in the first round of the primary by a 19-point margin. Only a week after, she drew denunciations from leading Republicans, McCarthy and the chair of the House Republican campaign arm Tom Emmer, for a video unearthed by POLITICO that showed Greene demeaning minorities and making racist remarks.

Greene declared the 2018 election of Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), the first two Muslim congresswomen, as “an Islamic invasion” of the US government. In a video denouncing Omar and Tlaib, Greene said “anyone that is a Muslim, that believes in Sharia law, does not belong in our government."

“Let me explain something to you, Muhammad,” she said. “We already have equality and justice for all Americans. Muslims are not being held back in any way ... what you people want is special treatment. You want to rise above us.”

Greene also said that Black and Hispanic men have been generationally held down by “being in gangs and dealing drugs.” She clumped white supremacists and members of Black Lives Matter together as “idiots” and said that Democrats are “trying to keep the Black people in a modern-day form of slavery.”

After the Washington Post published an article about her showing in the June primary, Greene tweeted that “Chinese propagandists at the Washington Post are attacking me the same way they attack Donald Trump, and other conservatives.”

It is not just a matter of Greene’s personal derangement, since she won more than 40,000 votes. The 14th Congressional District includes Paulding County, which made headlines after the administration at North Paulding High School suspended a student for posting pictures displaying hundreds of students crowded in hallways, many without face masks. School board and other local officials have treated COVID-19 as though it was a hoax fomented by Trump’s political opponents, not a deadly global pandemic.

Nor is this ultra-right trend in the Republican Party limited to rural Georgia. In just the past week at least three instances of outright racist and fascist sympathies in Republican candidates or officeholders have surfaced.

In North Carolina, the Republican candidate for an open seat in the western tip of the state—the one given up by Mark Meadows when he became White House chief of staff—has posted photos on his Instagram account from a 2017 vacation trip to Adolf Hitler’s Eagles Nest retreat in the Bavarian Alps.

Madison Cawthorn, the 25-year-old who won an upset victory in last month’s primary, over a businesswoman supported by Meadows, posted a picture of himself and his brother grinning in front of the Nazi hideaway. “The vacation house of the Führer,” Cawthorn captioned the photo, using the Nazi honorific for Hitler. “Seeing the Eagles Nest has been on my bucket list for awhile, it did not disappoint.”

Another Republican congressional candidate, Laura Loomer, is expected to win the August 18 primary in Florida’s 21st Congressional District. Loomer is an ultra-right Jewish Islamophobe who worked for the right-wing provocateurs of Project Veritas, and has been banned from virtually all major social media platforms for vilification and slander of Muslims.

Loomer is one of six candidates in the Republican primary, for a seat where incumbent Democrat Lois Frankel is heavily favored. She is well-financed, having raised nearly $1.2 million, more than all her opponents combined, and has the tacit support of Trump, who has retweeted material promoting her campaign.

The last episode of racist and fascist sentiment in the Republican Party is the crudest. Tom Eckerle, a road commission member in Leelanau County, Michigan, in the rural northern part of the lower peninsula, was forced to resign this work after repeatedly using the racist n-word when asked why he wasn’t wearing a face mask at a commission meeting.

“Well, this whole thing is because of them n****** down in Detroit,” Eckerle said. When told he couldn’t use the racial slur, Eckerle responded, “I can say anything I want. Black Lives Matter has everything to do with taking the country away from us.”

The open embrace of racism in sections of the Republican Party is deliberately encouraged by Trump as part of his efforts to build a fascistic base of support for an authoritarian government.

It also takes advantage of the racialist and reactionary politics of the Democratic Party. Greene, for example, regularly denounces impeachment and the Mueller investigation as examples of “deep state” subversion of Trump—which of course they are—making use of the role of sections of the military-intelligence apparatus to smear all opposition to Trump.

The racialist politics of the Democratic Party, which asserts that the basic division in American society is between black people and white people, not the class division between workers and the capitalist elite, facilitates and mirrors the racism of the ultra-right.