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Mon Dec 30, 2019, 03:35 PM

Don't go yet, John Lewis. We need you.


Donít go yet, John Lewis. We need you.
Atlantans take pride in their congressman. How many other Americans can say that?
Posted Dec 30, 2019 11:04 AM
Patricia Murphy


Throughout his career, those who know Lewis have described him as a man of fame without pretense, often walking alone in an airport and without an entourage at events. He stands tall, even at 5 feet 6 inches, and can command a room with just a whisper of wisdom on fairness or justice or the requirement to act for what we know is right.

He has joyfully taken his fight to young people with graphic novels about the Civil Rights movement and a mobbed appearance at ComicCon. But heís kept his fight for equality alive by expanding it to immigration and health care and criminal justice reform. Lewis led the sit-in on the House floor in 2016 to push for gun safety legislation and, earlier this year, added his voice to the call for the presidentís impeachment, which started the momentum to make it a reality. When John Lewis says something is not right, Democrats always listen. Many Republicans do, too.

One voice that has been absent in the chorus of well-wishes for Lewis since Sunday has been the presidentís. But thatís certainly not a surprise in light of Lewisí impeachment vote and Trumpís 2017 tweet that Lewis was, ďAll talk, talk, talk ó no action or results. Sad!Ē He added that district is ďin horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).Ē Speaking from experience, neither is true.

But if we know anything of Lewis, itís that he has already forgiven the truly unforgivable in the past and likely will again. Heís seen the very worst that our country can be and stayed faithful that someday it would get better. That, in essence, seems to be what the grief over Lewisís news has been about.

John Lewis is living proof, still, that Americaís darkest days can see the dawn, that hate can subside, and that there is still a place for dignity, character and truth in our country and our capital. Donít go yet, John Lewis. We need you.

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