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I watched Marjorie Taylor Greene on 60 Minutes so you don’t have to

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It is April 4th, as I write this, that most Orwellian of dates. That’s the day in 1984 when the novel opens. Winston Smith has stopped at home in the middle of a work day to open a diary, by itself a subversive act that could get him murdered by the state. A cold, filthy wind blows the grit of a chilly Spring day in the door after him.

It’s the bleakest opening of one of the bleakest novels ever written. When I first read it as a 17 year old high school senior I loved the book but didn’t believe such a thing could actually happen. Today, of course, I know it can happen. I’ve seen the people who would make it happen.

Orwell conveys the sense in the novel that nowhere are even the elite rulers of Oceania laughing and drinking champagne and generally having a good time. Everyone is a victim of the state’s oppression, everyone ultimately serves the Party. The Party has long ago taken over and become a living Thing that subjugates even its founders.

I get the same chill recollecting Orwell’s dystopian future that I get when I watch Marjorie Taylor Greene interviewed on 60 Minutes by Leslie Stahl. Greene blithely informs Stahl that she wants to make America a Christian government, that she wants to ban abortion nationally, that she wants to defund the FBI.

“The Constitution, the very First Amendment,” Stahl rejoinders, “prohibits having religion in the government.” To which Greene retorts, “Yet the founding fathers quoted the Bible constantly and were driven by their faith.”

No they didn’t and no they weren’t. In fact many if not most of the founding fathers were atheists — or the 18th century’s very nearest thing to it. Thomas Jefferson was, by his own admission, emphatically not a Christian. Neither was Benjamin Franklin. John Adams was very much a laissez-faire Christian who passionately believed in the separation of church and state, and he wrote that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”

The blatant and open denial of reality is how totalitarian states like the one in 1984 begin. The evidence of our eyes are overridden by calm, reasonable-sounding contradiction.

Greene was reminded by Stahl that she once said that “the Democrats are a party of paedophiles.” To which Greene responded, “I would definitely say so.” Stahl interrupts her: “They are NOT paedophiles, why would you say that?” “Democrats support children being sexualised by having transgender surgery. Sexualising children is what paedaphiles do to children,” Greene replied. Stahl responds with an almost helpless, anaemic “Wow.”

It is very much a softball interview with a wild-eyed fascist. The 60 minutes piece was a superficial walk-through of Greene’s sprawling, plantation-style Georgia home and her disorganised, highly reactionary mind.

Greene denies liking a statement that says Nancy Pelosi should get a bullet through the head or replying “exactly” to a tweet that characterised the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting as a “false flag operation.” Simple denial or a refusal to take personal responsibility for the black and white reality of what’s printed on her social media account is Greene’s modus operandi, and Stahl confronts her once then lets her get away with it.

The interview was disappointing. Stahl had a chance to expose Greene for the monster she really is and instead spent much of the interview focusing on her home, her family history and the weight-lifting prowess Greene demonstrated in her gym. It’s a romp through the Berghof where Mr. Hitler plays with his puppies and jokes about watching King Kong in his personal cinema.


But Marjorie Taylor Greene is a monster. She is part of the apparatus that would consume all of humanity in the flames of totalitarian fascism. It’s easy to be congenial and pretend, but fascism always ends in the same place. Fascism ultimately enslaves everyone.

If you missed the 60 Minutes interview you missed what history almost always does. It ignores and even normalises Orwellian monsters — just before it’s too late. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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