Rep. John Lewis Under a Microscope
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
On January 13, 2017, Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) answered questions on NBC Television’s Meet the Press. When asked if he would attend the inauguration of Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the United States, Lewis stated:
I don’t see the president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in having this man get elected, and they helped to destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I don’t plan to attend the Inauguration. I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians and others that helped him get elected. That’s not right. That’s not fair. That’s not the open democratic process.
Lewis has supplied no evidence to back up his claim about Russians arranging for Trump’s victory. Without such evidence, his claim should have been deemed outrageous and ignored. But, because he also said he would boycott the Trump inauguration, he received nationwide media coverage.
The Georgia congressman obviously knows how to gain publicity. And he doesn’t stick to the truth to get it. He stated that boycotting the Trump inauguration would be the first time in his 30 years in Congress that he wouldn’t be present at such an event. The truth is that he stayed away from the 2001 inauguration of President George W. Bush, saying he didn’t believe Mr. Bush to be the real victor. Then he attacked the candidacy of John McCain/Sarah Palin accusing them of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” Had they won in 2008, it seems likely that he would have boycotted that inauguration as well.
John Lewis was born in Alabama in 1940. One of ten children, he was educated at a Nashville, Tennessee theological seminary and at that city’s Fisk University. He first met Martin Luther King in 1958. During the 1960s, as the leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lewis was the youngest of the six men who were considered leaders in the King-led Civil Rights Movement. He came to national attention during the 1965 protest march across the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama when his skull was fractured by state troopers.
A diligent student of the King non-violence ruse, Lewis and others were responsible for riots and increased levels of hatred in demonstrations all over the South. Their plan included creating situations where violence would occur. King spelled out this strategy in the April 3, 1965, issue of Saturday Review where he explained that demonstrations would lead to violence and then to subsequent legislation building government power over the entire nation. Without the violence needed by King-led or King-promoted demonstrations, they claimed their cause would achieve little or nothing.
After the Selma riot, John Lewis rose to greater prominence in the Civil Rights Movement. He eventually shifted his efforts toward gaining elected office, losing a 1977 bid for a Georgia congressional seat. By 1981, he had won a place on the Atlanta City Council. Then, in 1986, he became the U.S. Congressman representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional district. He has been reelected ever since.
Lewis is one of the most liberal members of the entire House and unquestionably one of most consistently Democratic congressmen in the Deep South. In recent years, he has used his congressional vote to support costly and unnecessary environmental mandates, continue tax-payer funding of abortion, maintain immigration outrages, block an attempt to rein in presidential legislating by Executive Order, and continue federal control of education. The district he represents is notable for the heavy amount of government funding of its citizens.
Like so many Civil Rights promoters, Lewis frequently blames others for “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” He pontificates, “We shouldn’t divide people; we shouldn’t separate people.” But he is a leader of a Black Caucus in the Congress (no whites allowed), and he crusaded for 15 years to have the federal government establish an African American museum in the nation’s capital (no whites depicted as heroes). Each of those institutions will perpetuate racial division.
Like too many of his colleagues, John Lewis regularly swears an oath to support the U.S. Constitution. But he then puts it in the bottom drawer where it never gets in the way of his support of the liberal agenda that is harming America.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.