House Republicans loyal to former President Trump attempted to create a new Congressional Caucus, with a platform full of falsehoods, nativism and racist dog whistles.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, unveiled the new ‘America First Caucus’, with support from prominent Trump loyalists such as Florida Republican Matt Gaetz and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar. Based heavily on Trumpism, their campaign platform does not shy away from racist dog whistles and nativist language.
In her short Congressional term, Greene has managed to get herself into endless controversy. On Feb. 4, the representative was removed from her House committee assignments following controversial statements made before her election. Greene made vocal her support of right-wing conspiracies, such as questioning whether school shootings were staged and calling for violence against prominent Democrats.
In the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection, all House Democrats and 11 Republicans voted to strip Greene of her committee assignments. This was a win for justice and accountability, but Greene remained in Congress and never learned her lesson. Aiming to continue her controversial rhetoric, Greene launched the ‘America First Caucus’ for her and other delusional Trump loyalists in Congress.
However, much like the rest of Greene’s words and actions, the caucus had deep ties to racism and nativism. The platform starts by claiming to “follow in President Trump’s footsteps.” The representatives then lay out their main policy platforms, beginning by regurgitating Trump’s lies about “mass voter fraud” in the 2020 Election.
The platform then gets into standard Republican talking points about working to “divest power from the federal government,” “eliminating thousands of regulations,” and attacking Big Tech companies. However, the platform is then even more explicit in racism than traditional Republican and America First rhetoric.
The platform emphasized the importance of our “Anglo-Saxon political traditions.” While this may sound innocent, the Ku Klux Klan and many other white supremacist groups have praised the Anglo-Saxon system of government and its culture for decades, referencing explicitly the benefit of white European immigrants and the harm of any other group on the United States.
Furthermore, the platform explicitly pushes for “European architecture” and demonizes “post-1965 immigrants” as poorer and less educated. This year refers to the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, where America finally stopped giving preferential treatment to white Western European immigrants over people of color. What a thing to criticize.
The platform speaks for itself. It seeks to legitimize Trump’s baseless claims about voter fraud in the 2020 Election. Even worse, it uses white supremacist rhetoric and calls for a return to European, predominantly white immigration and culture. In the year 2021, many House Republicans still demonize people of color and migrants for their problems, using racist dog whistles and explicit appeals to whiteness.
America is not a great country because we are white, European, or have a basis in the Anglo-Saxon culture; America is a great country because of the contributions of immigrants from across the world, uniting under a single flag for the pursuit of a better life. Appeals to nativism and the demonization of immigration belong in the past, rooted in racism and ignorance.
Thankfully the American people, who the platform claims to defend, saw right through this thinly veiled racism. Even Republicans in Congress, who largely supported Trump’s baseless election claims, are racing to distance themselves from the caucus. For example, Rep. John Katko, R-New York, stated that “racism and nativism are antithetical to our core principles and have no place in our society,” referencing the caucus platform.
Greene herself has scrapped the plan to launch the caucus in Congress after intense blowback from her own party. Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-California, has even drafted a resolution to expel Greene from Congress due to the America First Caucus. While this legislation is unlikely to pass, it shows the immense backlash Congressional Republicans can receive when they are too explicit in their racism.
While the caucus itself has been defeated, the ideals of racism and nativism will not be stopped today. This caucus proves that despite an election loss, Trumpism is still alive and well in the United States. Americans must actively confront racism and hatred in this country so all people, not just white Europeans, are put first.
Featured image: Marjorie Taylor Greene being sworn in to Congress. Public domain image by the United States Congress.
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