Suppose you watch the corporate media. If you do, you can be forgiven for seeing Marjorie Taylor- Greene as one of American politics’ most powerful and influential women.
I see something else.
I see the five “Sisters” of the South Carolina State Senate filibustering three times in eight months to block the Senate from passing a total virtual ban on all abortions for any reason. I see them as America’s most powerful and influential women. There are more coming.
H.L. Mencken often wrote of the “Boobus Americanus,” who occasionally pops up in American politics and burns brightly for a year or two. He must have conjured Rep. Green up from his perch high above; he evokes her in almost everything he wrote about democracy.
But his was a narrow and admittedly cynical view. If you want to see what five women can do, read about the abortion fight underway in South Carolina.
The five women above (photo courtesy of the New York Times) are all state senators, but they come from very different places and hold very different beliefs about abortion. Three are Republicans, One is a Democrat, and one is an Independent.
South Carolina is 47th in America regarding the proportion of women in a state legislature. But all year, they have ground this one to a halt again and again and again.
Some of them believe abortion is a woman’s decision, not one to be made by the ossified old white who are their colleagues.
Some oppose abortion and think it should be restricted. They all think the men around them were lying when they said their only goal was to keep women safe. They believe their legislature is going way too far.
None of them believe there should be a total abortion ban that would virtually eliminate abortion in the state and, they say, endanger the lives of women.
They argue that the overwhelming male-dominated and Republican legislators in states across the country should listen and look all around them to seek to negotiate a compromise or find some middle ground, as the Founding Fathers think compromise was the core of our experiment in democracy. Their sanity is shocking.
The clueless old men need to back off, they say. Women will not put up with it.
These are not political radicals from Berkeley. These are real work and family women from the heart of the Deep Red South. They speak for women everywhere.
Alexander Hamilton described political parties as “the fatal disease” of popular governments. As long as the two parties would compromise, he was wrong. In this time and this Congress, he was prescient. Partisan politics are turning evil.
The Five Sisters in South Carolina get it right. They are the better way.
If I want to understand what is happening to America, it is essential for me to watch women like these, not cable news windbags or gaseous and divisive pundits on their podcasts and talk shows.
Those who are still “woke” and love to read history books might understand that two revolutions are underway in America. A revolution formed our country, and they will break out again and again. That is how democracies work. That was the original idea.
One uprising is the revolution against our democracy by white and primarily Christian men, young and old, who feel women and other newcomers to America (don’t forget the Jews.
They will always come after the Jews, my grandmother insisted) are seeking to displace them, take control away from them, and dare to make their own decisions.
They will not succeed, even though the new few years will feel like riding on a roller coaster with no breaks. We find ourselves in another civil war, a different kind but one with profound consequences.
The future will not turn on the Marjorie Taylor-Greene’s.
If you can quote one intelligent, truthful, or meaningful thing Marjorie Taylor Greene has ever said, I will now my head and return to minding my business. I can’t find one that suggests she is a person of great power and influence in America.
She has joined the circus and dances with elephants and clowns and is often louder than anybody else, an essential ingredient in American politics in 2023. Which quote of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s might one day be carved into marble in the capitol? My favorite is this one given on a podcaster’s radio show: “Global warming Is healthy for people.”
Or perhaps the interview she gave when she said she felt the school massacres of children were really plots by Democrats to force Republicans to pass gun control legislation. Thomas Jefferson, watch out.
Republican Senator Sandy Senn, on the other hand, gave her fellow legislators (the five women are the only women in the state senate an eloquent and stirring earful. She will be remembered for its power and simplicity:
“We, the women, have not asked for, nor do we want, your protection,” she said, addressing her male colleagues on the floor, wearing flip-flops for comfort during her third filibuster. “We don’t need it. We don’t buy into the ruse that what you want is to take care of us.”
I’ll tell you what.
These Five Women are on the other side of the revolution the white Christian men provoke nationwide. The angry and bigoted men are the British of 2023, the powerful entity that believes itself too powerful to be challenged or defeated. They haven’t met the “sisters.”
These women understand what the American Revolution was and still is all about. It is not about telling others how to live, how to bully, what books to read when to have a child, what corporations can say, or what to worship.
You rarely, if ever, see women like these on the news; the so-called journalists are all clustered around their computers and Twitter feeds, too distracted to go anywhere or have a clue about what is happening beyond Washington, New York, and Los Angeles.
How could you possibly know that these women even exist?
There is a revolution coming, and it is here.
Sisters nationwide are running for office, signing petitions, filing lawsuits, raising hell in state capitols, and fighting for their right to self-determination and freedom from tyranny. The British thought Americans were loud, rude, and unwilling to fight for their freedom. It seems they don’t want or need the help of men to live their lives in freedom and security.
Marjorie Taylor Greene is not the future. She is a ghost from H.L. Mencken’s cynical past: “On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and a downright moron will adorn the White House.”
We’ve tried that. It didn’t work out. She’s not going anywhere. It’s time for something different.
When I look at my news and remember my history, I see a repetition of the same thing, the same scenario. White men have been doing this for centuries. They even launched a civil war to keep their power intact.
They never imagined that women could bring them down.
They still can’t.
This time it’s the rich and entitled men and the poor who believe they can impose their will on all the women in the country. They say, “We are just trying to protect them, keep them safe, and save innocent lives.” They aren’t buying it because it isn’t true.
There is a legitimate and sincere opposition to abortion. But these men have gone too far. They are shooting themselves in the foot.
They will never believe it or get it.
Neither did Geroge III. For that reason, they will lose. I even think I’ll be around to see and cheer the outcome.
The Sisters of South Carolina have passionate disagreements with one another. They understand what the men have forgotten: the power and meaning of a democracy rests on people working with one another rather than dominating one another.
Their strength is frightening and enraging angry white men all over the country. Countless sisters are rising over abuse of government power to say they don’t buy it and won’t put up with it.
King George III would have fit right into the South Caroline State Senate, yet another grumpy older man who never got it, even long after it was over.
“America is lost! Must we fall beneath the blow?“ he wrote in his neat, sloping hand. “Or have we resources that may repair the mischiefs?”
The men trying to control the lives of American women – these are not the same women they are used to dominating over time – also believe they have the resources to repair the “mischiefs” of the sisters, who they patronize and scold for being loud and unyielding.
Just behave, they see, and be polite.
The genie is out of the bottle. She is never climbing back in.
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis don’t get it either, and they never will. They ought to read our history. They are on the wrong side of the genuine revolution they are creating.
Those impertinent, nasty, and stubborn voices they hear are the future. Women are on the move and moving up everywhere.
Their time is coming to an end. In history, the Trump and DeSantis of our time will seem as ridiculous as they are. There are statues of Mickey and Minnie Mouse all over the place. How many figures of them or their new “leader,” Miss Taylor Greene?
If you believe America is lost, watch cable news.
If you think America is being reborn, look for the sisters.
They are everywhere, organizing all over the country; theirs is the true revolution I see.