Carter County Democratic Party responds to Harshbarger

Published 11:31 am Tuesday, January 23, 2024

To the Editor:
The January 9, 2024 report of U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger’s address in Jonesborough revealed how little she values all constituents she is supposed to represent. Perhaps a well-publicized town hall where all voters – Democrats, Independents, as well as Republicans – could ask questions and express their concerns would be too “nice and fair” for her. Civility and respect are traits we expect in our elected officials, but she promotes toxic partisanship when she advises the Republican National Committee not to spend money on election integrity in red states but on those blue ones “where you know they’re going to cheat.”
Her refusal to accept the election results even after they were ratified by the states and her refusal to certify President Biden’s victory shows her mistrust of the government she was elected to serve. Saying “they could not prove to me that it was a free and fair election” prompted two paragraphs of facts in the news article to the contrary as reported by the prominent election analyst hired by Trump’s campaign itself as well as the Associated Press.
If she trusts red states to support people like her, why do their legislatures gerrymander, redistrict, purge voter rolls, shorten early voting periods, create strict absentee voting requirements, and intimidate voters outright? Is Tennessee, for example, really a red state if these measures must be used? Tennesseans especially should clearly see the results of an unchecked Republican legislature: Women subjected to draconian abortion laws; public schools losing funds for taxpayer gifts to private schools; fewer doctors and hospitals due to lack of Medicaid expansion; and increased gun violence.
Rep. Harshbarger sounds happy that she and her Republican colleagues “are really putting the gauntlet down with HR2 now when it comes to funding the government.” We expect Congress to work out our border issues rather than threaten a shutdown if they don’t fund the inhumane policies of the Trump years. While Harshbarger wants to fund “our military, pay troops and law enforcement,” she holds Ukraine hostage. Closer to home, she ignores the social safety nets many of her constituents depend on: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food assistance for low income families. Her narrow grasp of how governance is supposed to solve these problems is deeply disappointing. Perhaps she, like others who think government is the problem, should seek some other line of work.

Sharon Hart
First Vice President
CC Democratic Party

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