(The following is a letter I wrote to all TN Republican House of Representative members.)
I am writing you today due to my concern about the liberty and democracy of our state of Tennessee. There have been a number of measures taken recently which, in my estimation, represent hardly disguised over reach of our state government. I ask you to focus on making Tennessee one of the best states in the nation. There understandably may be differences in opinion between you, as a representative of our state government, and local governing bodies. But I implore you to not try to micromanage local governments and especially not to overrule them. To do so is to violate the sovereign will of the people and represents an attack on our democracy and freedom.
I have been compelled to write to you now after the most recent abuse of power. The swift expulsion (or near expulsion) of elected officials for a relatively minor offense violates our principles of democracy and freedom. To compare their actions to those of protestors on January 6th 2021 is wrong, both categorically and morally. One would think that leniency could be shown, recognizing the strong emotions brought about by the murder of our children a mere days before the offense took place. I admit that I can not comprehend how the legislature could so swiftly take harsh action against its own members for a disturbance while finding no will to even listen to the idea of gun legislation in the wake of our children being murdered. If you believe that gun legislation will not help, that is one thing. But to expel members of another party—effectively for differing views—is unacceptable to me. It feels that we Tennesseans are currently experiencing the tyranny of the Republican party. It’s not that I am against the Republican party, but I believe these actions would be wrong regardless of which party was behind them.
Among my other grievances are:
- The attempt to reduce the size of the Metro Nashville council (apparently as retribution).
- The attempt to take control over and/or change the status of various institutions in Nashville including the airport and convention center.
- The felonization of peaceful protestors (representing an attack on free speech and freedom of assembly).
- Attempts to control schools and health based more on politics than anything else (including firing of the health director).
- The “witch-hunt” in which trans-gender and related members of our community—some of the most vulnerable and “the least of these”—have been targeted (arguably in most cases more for political purposes than any legitimate concern to our state).
- Gerrymandering of congressional districts, with the only excuse being, “Democrats would do it too”.
- Restrictions on voting including restrictions on voter registration, apparently in attempt to reduce the registration of non-Republican voters.
As a Tennessee constituent, I sincerely implore you to do what is right for our state. I hope as much concern will be shown for our living children as has been shown for the unborn. Thank you for considering my concerns.