I am not a fan of John Lewis, as a Congressman. I love him for he has done in the past for Black people, however, I live in the world of “What have you done for me Lately.” (I do love Janet).
So, when I read that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson was running against Congressman Lewis, I jumped out of my seat at work. Here is why:
- *Judge Johnson is a professional
- *Judge is obviously a judge
- *Well respected, and intelligent
- *Experienced at local campaigning
Now, who will his base be? Young, African-American professionals, who supported Mayor Reed and Northside Whites. This coalition is more connected on the issues than one may think.
Both are interested in the economy, health care, and education. Both are moderately conservative and, more importantly, both groups are educated and not predisposed to emotional pleas of race baiting and speeches harping on 40 years ago.
I was at a fundraiser for Congressman Lewis this past campaign season and the speech I heard was a speech about his marches and fight for equality. Well, as I said, I love you for that. But, please do not insult my intelligence. What legislation have you passed that you can point to and say “this is what I have done for you lately.”
None. Nada. Zilch.
The argument I hear most often proposed for keeping Mr. Lewis is: “He is a senior member of Congress.” Well, a senior member of Congress with a historical legacy should rank higher than 236 out of 435 in bringing home the bacon.
What good are you to me if you cannot do the one tangible thing we need in the 5th and that’s federal funds? Yeah, Morehouse School of Medicine is happy every two years but what about Morris Brown or, for that matter, CAU?
“He is chair of subcommittee on ways and means, the most powerful committee on the Hill.” Well, what good does that do me, if over four years you have proposed no original tax reforms.
As an African-American professional, I would love to see some reform to our tax codes. And as a tax payer, maybe tax cuts should be viewed as a give back to the constituents who fund your re-election campaigns. And not tax increases for the rich so you can rally your seniors, and poor people to the polls.
The bottom line is Moses never saw the promised land. It is not fair to the Joshuas of this community to have to wait for their turn. This is not a monarchy, it is a democracy with two parties. So if Judge Johnson or any other QUALIFIED young person wants to run against Lewis, or any of the other civil rights Lions who are holding on with their wrinkled fingers to a mantle of ineffective leadership, then run.
Build your base with young professionals who are appreciative but need something tangible to vote for not a past legacy. Boxers who hang on too long, usually get knocked out cold eventually.
Editor's Note: This map shows the boundaries of the 5th Congressional District: 5th Congressional District map.