Elijah Cummings was a towering American hero. He was the most important public leader in our state. In the coming days and weeks much will be said in his honor.
As Chair of Our Revolution Maryland, I write both in my official capacity and personally based on my enduring admiration for Congressman Cummings.
Whatever the occasion, whatever issue he was addressing, regardless of the question he was answering or the confusion he was clarifying, Mr. Cummings always brought the discussion back to the underlying issue: democracy.
For him, the day to day story of America was the ongoing struggle between the powerless and the powerful, and democracy was both the weapon of the powerless and the arena where the struggle took place.
Thus, Mr. Cummings recognized that nearly every political issue Congress has grappled with in the past several decades including – the destruction of government through tax cuts, deregulation, union busting, the climate crisis, systemic racism, inequality, immigrant bashing – resulted from the efforts of a small minority to constrain the will of the vast majority.
The vision that Elijah Cummings had for America was truly democratic. He strove to reflect in his votes and legislative proposals the majority’s struggle to create a society that serves all of us.
Every time I heard Elijah Cummings speak, he reminded me both of the efforts of the economic elites to consolidate wealth and power within their narrow ranks and the majority’s need to stop them. For recognizing this basic truth about our country and siding consistently with America’s poor, workers, and middle-class rather than the affluent, Elijah Cummings will always be a towering hero.