Among the many honors paid to the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, one of them came from former President Barack Obama.
He said this: “You’re not a sucker to have integrity, and to treat others with respect.” Obama was paying tribute to the strength of character that Cummings demonstrated during his two decades in Congress and in his life before politics.
This hasn’t been said by too many observers out loud, but I’ll do it here. There appears to be an implied dig at the current president of the United States by his immediate predecessor, although I do not believe that Barack Obama intended it that way.
President Obama spoke of Cummings’ kindness, his compassion, his empathy for others and, yes, his integrity as signs of his great strength.
Why project this onto Donald Trump? Consider that the president has this way of projecting himself into so many other contexts. He takes credit he doesn’t deserve; he inserts himself into times of crisis; he seeks to turn tributes for others inward.
It isn’t totally unfair, therefore, to cast the words of tribute and honor on the late Elijah Cummings into, well, a more unflattering portrayal of the man who not long ago launched a ridiculous social media sh**storm against him. You recall, certainly, how Trump described Baltimore — which Cummings represented in the House — as a “rat-infested” hellhole that wasn’t “fit for humans.” He launched that attack as a direct assault on Cummings’ service in Congress.
Cummings invited Trump to tour the city with him. He wanted to show the positive aspects of life in the city he called home. He did not sling barbs back at the president that mirrored the childish petulance that Trump exhibited.
Cummings instead chose to treat those with whom he worked with respect and dignity. Does that kind of behavior reflect directly on what we see from the president of the United States? No. It does not!
There. I have just said what I know is on the minds of many other Americans.