A Growing Political Divide between Tennessee and its Cities

Image credit: The Wall Street Journal

The political outlook across the Volunteer State is turning darker as Tennessee is experiencing deeper divides between its state legislature and its cities. The central conflict between local Democrats and Republicans has been red iconised just recently with the expulsion of two Democratic legislators from Nashville and Memphis. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were ousted from the GOP majority, causing upheaval among the Democratic powers in the major cities of Tennessee.

Tennessee’s Republicans still hold control of the state legislature, but Democrats in the metropolitan areas are now taking action as they vow to reinstate the legislators back in. This is only the latest episode of widening divisions between the two major political parties that has been playing out in Republican leaning states with Democratic cities like Tennessee.

The schism of power between the state government and the metropolitan cities could have serious implications for the state, as it further cements their divide along political lines. This could have long-term consequences, not just for residents of the state, but also to those who rely on its services. As the differences become more polarised, the need for compromise becomes ever important.

Jones and Pearson represent the Democratic factions in Nashville and Memphis respectively and their expulsion symbolises the clash in power being had between the two states. With no clear answer in sight as to how the political battle will be resolved, civil unrest and a breakdown of services may be the ultimate result for the state and its citizens.

Leading the charge against the Republicans are music artist and Nashville-born, Justin Timberlake and Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro. Both are supporters of the Democratic representatives and are calling for their reinstatement into the state senate. Timberlake has come out strongly in favour of the pair using his large public profile and platform to call out Republican authorities’ “overtly radical moves” while Yarbro wrote to the Republican governor, Bill Lee, pleading for the reinstatement of Jones and Pearson.

It is vital that a compromise is reached between the sides to ensure that all parties can move in harmony for the benefit of the state. All eyes are now on how the situation will play out, and how it could set a precedent for other red states with blue cities across the United States.