“As a country, we are so much better than this, When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked: In 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact?”
— Elijah Cummings
Elijah Cummings was the moral voice and conscience of the U.S. House of Representatives. The son of sharecroppers, he rose to the seat of power as the chair of the House Oversight Committee without forgetting from whence he came. He was the rare person in the partisan congress who made friends across the aisle and yet never compromised his integrity of passion for the last, the lost and the least.
Like the prophet Elijah before him, now that he has died, the question will be, “Who will take up his mantle?” Right now, more than ever, we need patriots who put country ahead of party, and the values that used to define this country ahead of politics.
He is dancing with the angels now, and God has said to him, “Well done, you good and faithful servant.” But what of us? As the elected leader of the U.S. betrays our allies and claims they are worse than ISIS, puts children in cages, seeks to trade tax approved military support for political favors, does the bidding of Putin by allowing him the foothold he has long sought in the Middle East, lines his pockets by hosting events like the G7 in his resort and makes a mockery of diplomacy and military strategy as we bomb our own bases after fleeing our mission to protect the world from ISIS in shame and our soldiers become hired mercenaries for Saudi Arabia, what are we going to do?
If you continue to support polices that bring shame to our nation or the leader who enacts them, you have answered that question. There are things that matter to you more than national security, loyalty to our allies, decency, national honor. and electoral integrity.
Elijah Cummings never sought to make this about “us and them.” He defended friends who were across the aisle. It is way past time for people to see that what is going on is now has nothing to do with political party and everything to do with American values. We need to let our elected officials know that what is happening is not OK and do what we can to keep our democracy intact.
In the word of Elijah Cummings, “We are better than this.” Take up that mantle and show it.