In a troubling display of political retribution, two Democratic lawmakers in Tennessee, Rep. Justin Jones and Rep. Justin Pearson, were recently expelled by the Republican supermajority in the Tennessee House for violating decorum rules. Their transgression? Participating in a protest on the House floor advocating for gun control in the wake of a tragic school shooting in Nashville. This vote marked the first time in Tennessee’s history that expulsion has been wielded as a partisan weapon against lawmakers on the other side of the aisle.
If I have my news, and you have yours, and both of us rely on truthiness — the uncontestable “essential” truth of our beliefs, regardless of facts — it’s impossible to have a conversation.
Highly informed voters are also highly biased. That’s a serious problem for democracy, but also for any other system of political decision-making in big groups.