Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) to the newsmakers line to discuss his proposed bill that would outlaw Critical Race Theory training in U.S. Military Academy.
Leahy: We are joined on the newsmakers line by our very good friend, Congressman Mark Green. Good morning, Congressman Green.
Green: Well, good morning to you guys. Thanks for having me on the show.
Leahy: Well, we’re always happy to have you on. Is Congress in recess today or this week?
Green: We are in what’s called committee week. All of our Zoom meetings are committee meetings. All our committee meetings are Zoom meetings. Yesterday we met on the AUMF and stuff like that.
Leahy: Can you do your Zoom meetings from the district or do you do them in D.C., typically?
Green: Usually the district for me. If it’s a committee that I’m actually running, I’m a ranking member of the Western Hemisphere, I prefer to do that in in Washington because you just have the assets of the staff there. If something changes in the middle of the committee, you can make things happen. So that’s much better. But if I’m just a member, I can be home and doing the meeting from Clarksville or really anywhere in the district.
Leahy: We’ll invite you to come in studio someday and you can do your Zoom meeting from the studio if you like. (Chuckles) Live and on-air.
Green: That would be interesting.
Leahy: You can come in anytime. Just come on in the studio. We would love to have you in the studio. Now on Wednesday, Congressman Green, you introduced a very important bill to block Critical Race Theory training in U.S. Military Service Academy. Tell us about that bill.
Green: Certainly. Well, we had learned that Critical Race Theory was being taught at West Point, my alma mater. And Critical Race Theory makes various assumptions because of the way the theory came from, the critical theory itself. It’s a complete rejection of America’s founding principles. The theory rejects toleration of any kind of different viewpoint. It rejects equality under the law.
It rejects self-government. It’s a terrible Marxist-based ideology. Essentially, if you assume someone is racist because they look a certain way, that’s racism. And so Critical Race Theory only divides us, it doesn’t unite us. And that’s why it can’t work in the military. We are here at these academies teaching these young people how to lead warriors someday.
And we’re teaching them to hate their country and to hate each other. And you don’t get unit cohesion that is necessary for victory and combat by teaching this incredibly flawed, intentionally flawed ideology. We basically said you can’t teach this in these academies, and hopefully, that will pass.
Leahy: How did it come to be that Critical Race Theory is being taught at the U.S. Military Academy and apparently other service academies?
Green: The previous superintendent of the universe of West Point hired academicians and did so under the, I think, assumption that they had to be liberal to be good. I don’t know really how he hired these people, but they’re in there and they’re teaching it. And then they push back on academic integrity and say, well, we’ve got to be able to teach what we want to teach.
And so despite the fact that many of them, in fact, most of them are military officers. This tension existed. The last superintendent allowed it. And the current superintendent, who actually is an African American guy, he hates Critical Race Theory, and he’s doing everything he can to get it out of the curriculum. And we’re going to make it really easy and make it against the law.
Leahy: Now, here’s the thing. You have a slight disadvantage in the House. What is it now, like, 218 to 210 Democrat advantage? Something like that?
Green: No, we have a Delta of five.
Leahy: Delta of five. Not eight. That’s a very narrow Delta. What happens with your bill?
Green: What we have to do is convince enough guys on the National Defense Authorization Act inside the House Armed Services Committee to put it on the National Defense Authorization Act. It probably has no chance of passing as a bill. But what we’ll oftentimes do in bills like this is attach it to the National Defense Authorization Act, which everybody knows we have to pass.
We have to authorize our military. If I can convince enough Democrats in that committee to put it on, and there are some real moderate Democrats in that committee, they wanted to be on that committee because they’re pro-military, which puts some conflicts with the heart of the Democrat Party anyway. So we get those guys convinced and we get it on the NDAA and they can’t take it off. They can’t say no.
Leahy: It sounds like you’re somewhat optimistic you’ll be able to get it in there.
Green: I think there’s a good chance. Adam Smith, the chairman of the committee is not afraid to push back against Nancy Pelosi. He did so on the National Guardsmen around the capital and wrote her a scathing letter, made it public, and humiliated her on that. That was part of the big step down from thousands of these guys to a few hundred.
Leahy: Do you find being up there in a situation where the very narrow majority seems to have zero interest in doing the legislative process the way the founders of the country envisioned it with thoughtful consideration at the committee levels. And then when you have a bit of a consensus, bring it to the floor for a vote. They seem to be hardcore ideologues interested in pushing forward a far left agenda. Do you find that frustrating right now up there in Washington?
Green: Yes. It’s very frustrating at times. I’m like, what is going on here? The thing that they’re doing is they’re justifying their actions by saying, if a bill passed a previous Congress’s floor, then they can bypass the committee process. Which makes no sense because now there’s a new Congress in there and they should have a voice just because it passed the last Congress doesn’t mean it should not bypass the committee process.
That’s what Nancy Pelosi is doing. And all these radical, liberal leftist stuff like the Equality Act being a prime example that strips religious freedoms from people. And that, by the way, tells you where they think the rights come from. If the government can take them away, they believe our rights come from the government, which you and I think totally differently.
They come from God, our Creator. But they’re doing this stuff and ramming it through. But now we picked up two more of the special elections. One out of Louisiana. Looks like we’re going to pick up one in Texas. So that’s going to make it even harder for them. We are getting there. There’s a strong chance we win the majority in 18 months.
Leahy: But it’s going to be a long 18 months, isn’t it? (Chuckles)
Green: Yeah, it is. It is very frustrating, Michael.
Leahy: Look, I have great empathy for your circumstance there because you’re a very gung ho get it done kind of guy. It’s a situation where the leadership has subverted the congressional process to such a degree, it makes it virtually impossible to get anything done in a bipartisan way.
Green: Oh yeah, absolutely. Well, the truth of the matter is there isn’t much overlap between the two parties anymore anyway. The areas where we can actually do something in a bipartisan fashion are very small. We certainly hope the military and national security, things like that. But even there, we’re running into walls.
Leahy: As an example of that, let’s take Steve Cohen from Memphis, who I think is a kind of a crazy left-wing person. If you were to be in a room with them him, is there anything that two of you could agree on?
Green: I would only be there if it was my duty to be there. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: That’s a good answer. That is a very good answer. Are you going to spend a lot of your time helping Republicans win the House back in 2022?
Green: That’s my key goal. I did it last time. I worked for 30 different candidates. Every one of them got either elected or reelected. We’re slowly putting together the people that we’re going to support in the next cycle. And my job is to make sure that we take the House and make a Republican Speaker of the House.
Leahy: Well, that sounds great. I really appreciate you coming on the show today.
Listen to the full second hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “People Voting” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.