Like the sickening aftershock of an ugly earthquake, people in Georgia’s 14th U.S. House District are being rattled by the post-Trump Trumpism of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Elected unopposed in 2020, Greene has repeatedly offended ordinary decency, promoting Q Anon conspiracist nonsense. Democrats, independents and more moderate Republicans in Northwest Georgia are clearly not entertained. Who though can defeat her in the 2022 General Election? Like the Dew’s John Hickman talks to Holly McCormack, who has a strategy for freeing the district from the embarrassment.
Hickman: That you were the first candidate “to throw your hat in the ring” for the 14th U.S. House District Democratic nomination suggests serious passion. Is that a fair description? One of the first things that voters is going to want to known is why are you running?
McCormack: I’m a first-time candidate, but I’ve never wavered in my commitment to doing what’s right. Ever since I was a kid I would stand up for other people. I always cared about my community.
Hickman: As I looked at your social media messaging, I noticed that the word ‘work’ shows up a lot. Could you offer a few words about the importance of work in values?
McCormack: My dad was in the army, he taught me the meaning of discipline and if something was worth doing, it’s worth doing right. I’ve taken that sense of discipline and applied it to the rest of my life – my family, my work, and now running for U.S. Congress.
Hickman: I want to get to Marjorie Greene and her Jewish space lasers in a moment, but let me ask a question about her comrade in crazy: Lauren Boebert. The Colorado 3rd District Member’s H.R. 859 bill would prevent Biden from “issuing moratoria on leasing and permitting energy and minerals on certain Federal land, and for other purposes.” Do we really have to sacrifice nature and tribal sovereignty for economic growth?
McCormack: Absolutely not. We need to protect our natural resources and beautiful public lands. The national parks service was founded on the principle of protecting our natural resources, not as a sacrifice to the economy, but as an investment in our future. We should never infringe upon tribal lands and should uphold our promise to protect federal lands for the next generation, not for this generation to exploit. We can no longer think about what we can take from this planet, but should be asking ourselves “what should we be giving back?”
Hickman: You have also commented online about the importance of family and rural health care. Doesn’t it seem strange that the Republicans spent decades invoking ‘family values’ but now can’t be bothered to focus on that?
McCormack: Georgians take care of one another, that is our family values. We’ve always had a void of leadership here and Republicans will swoop in and define family values depending on what policy they want to pass. Marjorie Taylor Greene does not embody our Southern values. My parents taught me that it all starts with kindness and that’s what I pass on to my children everyday. We need someone who lives in this district, lives our struggles, and understands our family values.
Hickman: What else can be done for families?
McCormack: The timing of this interview is good. So I was just on the phone with United Way in Whitfield County. We talked at length about families in need, about families dealing with trauma. Part of the answer has to be the education of adults, to teach the recognition of need, to free our capacity for empathy. To stand up for people. The last year has seen most of us hunkered down in response to the pandemic. We need to leave our personal circles, we need to turn words like ‘family values’ into action.
Hickman: The last four years have presented America with dangerous political weirdness, and it is still ongoing in Northwest Georgia. Do you understand why we have been subjected to crackpot nonsense of Marjorie Greene? Her ‘Jewish space lasers’ comment almost suggests a disordered mind. We have had some odd characters represent this area in the past, but she is far and away the strangest.
McCormack: Marjorie parachuted into the district to run a campaign based on lies and manipulation. She spent millions of her own money to deceive voters with her conspiracy theories. She isn’t even from the district and she chose our district because she saw it as an easy target. My campaign is building out our infrastructure to focus on the issues that Northwest Georgians actually care about. We’re having events in the district, starting with this listening tour, and meeting folks where they’re at.
Hickman: Is Marjorie Greene’s personal life fair game in the election? Is talking about it a form of ‘slut shaming?’
McCormack: Marjorie Taylor-Greene’s personal life is no concern of mine. There’s enough to criticize in Marjorie’s policies, we don’t need to talk about her personal life.
Hickman: That as clear a statement on the matter as I have heard!
Hickman: To win the 14th in the general election will require attracting Republican voters. How can that be done?
McCormack: By showing people that I’m a genuine and empathetic person who is actually from the district. Marge likes to make noise and distract people from the real issues our district is facing. I live in this district, I live these struggles, I know these people and I know that she does not represent us. I’m actually going around to listen to my community members and figure out what help they need. Expanding rural broadband, building infrastructure, and keeping rural hospitals open will bring new life to Northwest Georgia.
Hickman: So is there a way to make 2022 not about her?
McCormack: People are waking up to the fact that she embarrasses Northwest Georgia. She’s a caricature. She’s copied the Trump business model of sowing hate to capture public attention. We are going to flip the script. When she engages in antics, we are going to use that attention to talk about the issues that really matter. To talk about how I will step up for the community, to show what needs to be done.
Hickman: Thank you for taking the time to talk.
Image Credit: the photo of Holly McCormack was provided by her campaign.