Opinion: Republicans. The party of conspiracy


Ricky Barker, Columnist

On Jan. 29, Representative Cori Bush of Missouri decided that she wanted her office in Congress to be moved. This decision was made due to her verbal conflict with  Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. The argument began as a confrontation about masks and then escalated.  Greene’s team began criticizing Bush for unrelated political actions, still refusing to put on a mask. Bush then retorted with criticisms of her own. Greene’s confrontation shows the disturbing emerging political conspiracies spreading through the republican party and their impact. Something needs to change.

This may sound like a two-way fight between contrasting politicians, that may be the blame is equal on both sides. However I’d like to reiterate that Greene was not wearing a mask, even though masks have proven crucial for preventing COVID-19. 

Greene has already been under fire for a series of the social media posts she has made referencing execution and death for a number of prominent Democrats including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who was “guilty of treason.” Included was also a video of Greene harassing a survivor of devastating public Parkland school shooting and gun control activist David Hogg. She is seen calling Hogg a “coward” and claiming that he was paid to be there.

It does not stop there, Greene believes in multiple fringe conspiracy theories, including QAnon. She does not believe that a plane actually hit the Pentagon on 9/11. She believes the California wildfires could “possibly” be caused by giant space lasers made by a Jewish company, that former President Barack Obama is a Muslim and that Hillary Clinton devoured a small child. She did eventually renounce these claims but under the pressure of the hearing that removed her from committee assignments.

The fact that people like Greene have positions in our government is concerning to say the least. She’s not the only one, recently elected Representative Lauren Boebert has spread several similar concerning views. In a statement, she expressed that she hoped that the QAnon conspiracy was “real”. QAnon is a far right conspiracy that there is a secret war going on between the righteous and the secret cabal of politicians called the “deep state.”  In fact, one in three Republicans believe that QAnon conspiracies of the “deep state” are mostly true. This ideology is spreading through the party. This growth has been happening for years but the recent presidency has really empowered it.

The spread of false information through the Republican Party has become so concerning that some of the most surprising people are standing up to it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, famous right-hand man to former President Donald Trump, has actually denounced Greene. In a statement about Greene, he stated, “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality.”

When politicians like McConnell are finally speaking up about the state of his party, you know things have gone downhill. Characters like Greene and actions like the raid on the Capitol have shown that the Republican Party is a dark place. There needs to be some serious soul searching and messaging changes before anything can get better. It’s scary to see how far extremism can go.