Contrary to Mr. Foust’s assertion in his letter (“I’m not buying it,” April 19), what we saw in Nashville was a peaceful protest, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment and is protected by Article II, Section 27 of the Tennessee Constitution.
Representatives Pearson, Jones, and Johnson were elected to represent their districts. However, during the legislative session just completed, Pearson, Jones, and Johnson were consistently shut out of meaningful participation in the legislative process; in committee meetings and floor debates, they were not recognized to speak; votes on bills taken by voice instead of actual voting meant the supermajority could ram through legislation with no actual voting on bills in committee. Thus, these democratically elected representatives were undemocratically silenced and prevented from doing their jobs, i.e., representing their constituents.
In spite of the overreach of the supermajority in expelling Mr. Jones and Mr. Pearson, democracy prevailed. Their respective local officials affirmed the votes of their constituents and returned them to the seats to which they had been elected. Likely they will be re-elected in special elections. Democracy, as the will of the people to elect their representatives, has survived another attack from the GOP in our state.
Let’s review the facts. We must remind Mr. Foust that most of the men who wrote the Constitution were white men who owned slaves. Yes, they set up our country as a democratic republic; in other words, neither a pure republic nor a pure democracy. This was because they did not think the “mob,” specifically, those who were not white male landowners, had any rights to make decisions. Fortunately, many amendments to our Constitution have made our country more democratic.
Mr. Foust seems to be supporting the Republican Party. We must remember that this is the party that finds it necessary to gerrymander districts in order to win elections. I also noticed that he is pushing the election fraud lie, although exhaustive fact checking has found little evidence that fraud actually exists.
I agree that our country is in trouble due to divisive politics. But it is Mr. Foust who is sowing division and espousing revisionist history.