Ousted Tennessee State Rep Claims There Is 'No Democracy' in His State


If you live in Tennessee, it is with great regret that you must be informed you are not living in a democracy.

You have no voice, sorry.

All those votes you have cast, unfortunately, they mean nothing.

At least, this is the message former Tennessee Rep. Justin Jones (D) sought to convey during a Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

Days after being expelled from the state House, Jones decried the rules of debate in the chamber.

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“They’ve limited debate to what they say is five minutes. But in reality, you ask one question, they’ll spend five minutes answering it, and your time is up,” he said, adding, “Or the speaker, Cameron Sexton, an autocrat, will not even call on you, will cut off the debate.”

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Finally, Jones lobbed the laughable assertion, “There is no democracy in Tennessee. Tennessee is the most undemocratic state in the nation.”

Do you think there is democracy in Tennessee?

His comments come days after Republicans took the explosive step of expelling him and former state Rep. Justin Pearson from the chamber a week after they participated in a protest to call for stricter gun control.

As NBC News notes, “During the March 30 protest, the trio led supporters in chants calling for stricter gun safety measures after a mass shooting in a Nashville school that killed six people — including three 9-year-old children.”

“A bullhorn was used, in violation of rules for the House chamber, and the legislators were gathered in [an] area on the House floor without being recognized to speak. House leaders at the time called their actions ‘an insurrection,’” it added.

The resolution accused Jones and Pearson of bringing “disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives” and engaging in “disorderly behavior.”

However, it appears Jones and Pearson could be reinstated by the votes of city councils in the districts they represented.

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The vote to oust Jones and Pearson was just a ridiculous overreaction to their protest — even if they violated the rules of the chamber. And it created the horrible optics of kicking out two, young Black representatives while keeping an elderly white woman, who also participated in the protest, in the chamber.

However, the claim that there is “no democracy” in Tennessee is just laughable. They were elected in the first place and sent to the legislature.

This is a state former President Donald Trump carried in 2020 by more than 20 percentage points. And it has 75 Republicans in its House of Representatives to 23 Democrats. It is not some swing state where the party in power has a razor-thin majority.

Jones may not like how the residents of Tennessee vote. But they gave Republicans a sizable majority in the legislature. And Republicans are going to act with the mandate they were given. Like it or not, that’s what parties do when they have power — and especially large majorities.

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