Sunday, February 25, 2024

Justin Jones, Always the Aggressor, Yet Always the Victim

Writer’s Note: This is the third part of a three-part series about former Tennessee legislator Justin Jones and his history of left-wing activism. Part One is available here, while Part Two is available here.

Nashville is a Democrat-run city.

And in Nashville, progressive activist (and dare I say, anarchist?) Justin Jones often gets away with his scorched earth tactics.

By coddling Jones and never holding him responsible, Nashville’s media, courts, and academic systems are enablers. They encourage Jones’ narcissism and his persecution complex. They encourage him to harass and smear innocent people.

Members of the Nashville press mostly overlook Jones’ past misdeeds. This is especially true this past week, as they’ve profiled him in one sympathetic news report after another. In 2018, Justin Jones disrupted a private Marsha Blackburn rally and resisted security. His advisors at Vanderbilt Divinity School, instead of condemning Jones, said Republican officials acted in sin by physically removing him from that event.     

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Jones also faced no legal consequences for disrupting that Blackburn rally. Then-Judge Dianne Turner, a Democrat in Davidson County’s General Sessions Court, dismissed Jones’ case, citing a paperwork error. 

Jones was banned from the state capitol after he threw a hot beverage at then Speaker of the House Glen Casada and State Rep. Debra Moody (R-Covington). But Nashville General Sessions Court Judge Samuel Coleman — again, a Democrat — denied a motion to ban Jones from the building.

Martin Luther King. Jr. may have engaged in more than a few acts of civil disobedience, but no sane person ever accused him of behaving like an adolescent, at least in his public endeavors.

Jones’ emotional immaturity will continue to exceed his gifts as a communicator.


Tennessee Republicans hold a supermajority in the state house. State legislators expelled Jones from that body last week. That was the first time anyone has held him accountable for his behavior.

Jones believes the GOP is a party of deceit, hypocrisy, bigotry, and dangerous fanaticism. And, whether he’s a state representative or a private citizen, he’ll continue to cause chaos and mayhem at the state capitol.

But Jones will likely never take his activism outside Nashville, especially to any rural Tennessee districts that, year after year, and in large numbers, elect or reelect the supermajority Republicans whom he so despises.

Tennessee, is a red state that voted GOP in the past six presidential elections, including twice for Donald Trump. The Volunteer State markets itself as socially conservative and business friendly. Liberal-progressive ideas won’t go far in the state legislature.   

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If Justin Jones believes strongly enough that the GOP is a cancer on Tennessee, then he could leave Nashville for a week and travel to as many conservative state house districts — the supposed belly of the beast — as time allows.

There, Jones could try to convince the locals to understand his point of view…and maybe plant a few seeds in voters’ heads. Assuming, of course, he acted polite and assuming his ideas were any good.

If Jones engaged in his usual tactics, however, the residents of Tennessee’s majority conservative districts would never tolerate his disgusting behaviors.

Jones is only as brave and inflammatory as the media and legal systems will permit. And it’s a shame that Nashville’s political and media apparatuses neither expect nor demand better from him.

Jones’ expulsion was no act of political oppression.

Instead, Jones earned it.

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