On a normal Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I would simply share a quote or speech by one of America’s greatest heroes and enjoy my free parking downtown. A lot of people sacrificed so I could avoid feeding the parking meter.
This is no normal MLK Day. On Friday, this great nation is slated to inaugurate as its president a cartoon villain so morally and intellectually bankrupt that he slandered a civil rights icon on the very weekend designated to honor Dr. King’s legacy.
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, stood on the front lines with Dr. King and got beat down for standing up. He got up and kept marching, and has spent the past 30 years in Congress speaking up for those — black, white or other — whose voices are all to easy to ignore.
In a taped interview broadcast Sunday, Rep. Lewis used his voice to speak for millions of Americans who can’t “get over it” when the “it” is Russian interference in the American electoral process, combine with lingering, credible questions about possible collusion between the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin‘s spies.
Saying he doesn’t see Trump as a “legitimate president,” Rep. Lewis said he will not attend the inauguration.
“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” he said.
As expected, the Tweeter-in-Chief lashed out, accusing Rep. Lewis of being “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”
The tweet drew significant backlash in defense of Rep. Lewis, and sales of his memoir skyrocketed. The furor did just what Trump intended — drawing attention away from questions about his ties to Russia. He is not as stupid as many Americans think.
But he is massively ignorant. While many understandably (and perhaps accurately) cried racism over Trump’s attack on Rep. Lewis, I’ll bet he had never heard of John Lewis before Sunday. Donald Trump has lived in a bubble of privilege his entire life. When John Lewis was marching for civil rights, Donald Trump — a military school graduate — was collecting five deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam.
Donald Trump is an expert on one subject — Donald Trump. All other topics are trivial. Dr. King saw through frauds like Trump, and called them out far more eloquently than I ever will:
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”