Thursday, May 23, 2024

Senator Heidi Cambpell Thinks Tennessee is a Totalitarian State.

Heidi Cambpell
by Rod Williams, May 20, 2024- Nashville Tennessee State Senator Heidi Cambpell thinks Tennessee is a "totalitarian state."  She is quoted in the Scene saying so: “In case anyone hasn’t noticed, the controlling party can do whatever they want without Democratic votes. It’s part of living in a totalitarian state.” 

Isn't that a little strong? I know being in the minority in the legislature where your party could caucus in an elevator or mop closet must be frustrating. I hope that frustration of being in the minority does not cause minority members to lose touch with reality. 

We are a state dominated by one party. Republicans control the governor's office, the House and the Senate. However, we got to this point by people exercising their right to vote. The government we have reflexes the preferences of the people. Tennessee is not that unusual. There are 37 states where one party dominates, controlling both houses of the legislature and the governor's office. Republicans control 23 states and Democrats control 14. If I lived in California or one of the other 13 states dominated by Democrats, could I whine that I lived in a totalitarian state? I, of course could, but I wouldn't, and it would not be justified if I did. 

Being dominated by one party is not the same as a one-party state system. One-party systems are a common trait of communist Marxist-Leninist and fascist political philosophies. Under these systems, other parties may even be allowed to exist, but they have to accept the dominance of the controlling party. Tennesse is not a one-party state nor are we totalitarian. As long as we have our constitution, we cannot be a one-party system, nor totalitarian, or even authoritarian. 

There are degrees of totalitarian systems. The most severe totalitarian systems in modern history would have to be Mao's China, Stalin's Russia, and Hitler's Germany. In an extreme totalitarian state such as those, not only does a political party control the government and the economy but exercises extreme thought control and dominates every facet of one's life. To own the wrong art book, or the wrong phonograph record, or even wearing eyeglasses can get you sent to a slave labor or "reeducation" camp. Does Heidi Cambpell think we are that kind of totalitarian state?

Of course, there are lesser degrees of totalitarianism where if you do not make waves and engage in protest and keeps a low profile, life is tolerable. And, then there are varying degrees of authoritarianism. Does Heidi Cambpell know any of this? I wish the Scene reporter would have asked her to elaborate and explain to what degree we are a totalitarian state.

Surely, Heidi Campbell knows the difference between being in the minority in the state legislature and living in a totalitarian system.  Maybe, she added the "it’s part of living in a totalitarian state" comment as hyperbole. Maybe she said it tongue-in-cheek. Sometimes what is reflected in print comes across differently than when one hears what is said. Facial expressions and change in tone of voice may reflect that she was not serious. If that is the case, then the Scene reporter did a bad job and did not communicate that.

If, however, Heidi Campbell really thinks Tennessee is a totalitarian state, maybe she should visit North Korea to learn the difference. 

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1 comment:

  1. Heidi forgets what life was like for Republicans when Democrats ran the state.