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Foray into MAGA land in Marjorie Taylor Greene County

Photo: Chip Somodevilla Getty Images via Agence France-Presse Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene at a campaign rally for Donald Trump in Rome, Georgia, on March 9

Sébastien Tanguay in Rome, Georgia

Published at 0:00

  • United States

Ardent patriot for some, national shame for others, Marjorie Taylor Greene embodies the new political wave, abrasive in the extreme, raised by the plunge of Donald J. Trump into the American political arena. Le Devoirmade a foray into MAGA land, in the heart of the district of Georgia represented by the most controversial elected official in the United States, to survey her electorate – and find that they love her vitriolic style.

Rome, the county seat of Floyd County, where Marjorie Taylor Greene spends her time between two sessions in Washington, displays a quiet tranquility. People stroll slowly down the main street, greeting each other warmly while others laze on the terraces flooded by the southern sun.

In front of the town hall and its neoclassical columns, a statue of Remus and Romulus fed from the breasts of a she-wolf makes a not-so-subtle nod to the founding myth of its illustrious namesake in Italy. The old Myrtle Hill cemetery has overlooked the setting since 1857, an oasis of greenery and tranquility in this dynamic brick city center.

This serenity seems a thousand miles from the apocalyptic vision peddled for four years by the most illustrious citizen of Rome, the region's representative in the American Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene.

At the beginning of April, it hailed the resurrection of Jesus for Easter, urged the people to rise up against the entire American political class, led a crusade against a representative from its own ranks, accused Joe Biden of wanting to convert the Ukraine as the 51st American state and warned of the “monsters” and “hordes of illegals of gun age” who, in his eyes, were invading the United States.

It was a short week for the Georgia politician. Since her first election in 2020, the 49-year-old has, among other things, claimed that lasers put into orbit by a Jewish cabal had started wildfires in California, that the rioters of January 6 had “marched peacefully” in the Capitol and that the Democrats were a party of pedophiles.

Zealot of the ultra-right, accustomed to incendiary declarations and unwavering ally of former — and perhaps next — President Donald J. Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene, follower of conspiracy theories and the scorched earth strategy in Washington, sails easily towards a third term, despite his abrasive style which often allows itself some shortcuts compared to reality.

In the streets of Rome, his electorate passes the sponge on the procession of controversies and lucubrations that the muse of the MAFA movement leaves in its wake.

« I don't give a damn about what she says and does”

“I voted for her last time and I plan to vote for her again in November,” says Michael Pearson, a 46-year-old entrepreneur we meet on the promenade along the Oostanaula River, which winds near Barron Stadium, home of both teams local football clubs.

The political choice of this father of three stops at his doorstep and his pocket. “I don't care if you're a donkey, an elephant or even, why not, a penguin,” he says of the animals that symbolize major parties in the United States. “As for me, I vote for what’s best for me and my family. Afterwards, I don't give a damn what Marjorie Taylor Greene says and does. All I care about is how she votes — and she often votes my way. »

Since the Democrats took over the White House, explains Michael Pearson, its revenues have stagnated while prices have skyrocketed. “Americans’ biggest concerns are money and safety. I have the feeling that both are faltering with Joe Biden in power,” he summarizes.

Mycah Childers, 27, will also vote for the Republican representative in November. “I currently have two jobs, and despite that, I don’t see at all how I will one day be able to access property. The price of houses has become a real madness,” he laments.

Originally from Rome, he concedes that MTG and Donald Trump could sometimes “drop the volume of a few ticks” and add a little lace to their speeches. “At the same time, when Trump was president, we were respected internationally. How do you expect us to be taken seriously with Joe Biden, who is 81 ?” he adds.

“Maybe I’m brainwashed”

In her small embroidery studio, April Wright hand-sews “Make America Great Again” and “Trump 2024” onto red caps. All petite behind her counter, she doesn't hide her affinities: even if she doesn't know her much, she will vote for Marjorie Taylor Greene in November “because she's a Republican.”

< p>“I’ve been doing business here for 21 years, and I never felt unsafe until recently,” she explains.

She describes finding herself alone in her shop while a young man was loitering inside. “He was Spanish-speaking. I have no prejudices, but… I really didn’t feel comfortable, she explains. Maybe I'm brainwashed by the news, too, which constantly talks about crime and uncontrollable immigration at the border. »

A handful of democrats

After two days of surveying the population in the streets of Rome, Le Devoir came across a democratic couple in this region permeated by the Grand Old Party. “I’m going to vote for Biden,” admits Laura Neal. I cannot, in good conscience, vote for Trump: he is a despicable person who attacks women and degrades anyone who comes into contact with him. »

Her partner, John, cannot bring himself to vote for one or the other of the two major parties, “corrupted by money” in his eyes. In November, it is next to the name of independent candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. that he will draw his Republicans and Democrats are constantly fighting against each other — and all Americans are suffering in the meantime. »

Their representative, Marjorie Taylor Greene, does not find favor in their eyes. “Scary” and “extreme,” his way of bulldozing his opponents represents “an insult to the face of the United States,” according to Laura.

The Neal vote risks little to change the outcome of the vote in Georgia's 14th district, a region where the Grand Old Party starts the race with a 22-point lead over its opponents, according to the Cook Political Report's partisanship index.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is likely headed for a third term. However, her rants have been aimed at her own camp for several weeks, she who is calling for the head of Republican Mike Johnson, the President of the House of Representatives.

Some claim that her ambitions are now moving towards the White House, where the woman her adversaries ridicule and shame is already dreaming of being Donald J. Trump's running mate.

This report was financed with the support of the Transat International Journalism Fund-Le Devoir.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116