Can we stop politicizing the dead and get back to honoring them?

Can we stop politicizing the dead and get back to honoring them?
John Lewis, Herman Cain (Image via Twitter)

This “new normal” of condemning the dead and using them to score political points is vile, disgusting, and dishonors their memory. Stop it.

The deaths of two celebrated blacks were front and center in the Thursday news cycle: The funeral of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who died of pancreatic cancer two weeks ago, and the death of businessman, former Kansas City Federal Reserve chairman, and presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Both were larger-than-life American figures who loved their country and were admired by millions.

Lewis marched with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and he had the scars to prove it. But through it all he was an advocate for peaceful demonstrations — not the rioting, assault, and looting commonplace throughout the country today.

Lewis served with honor in the U.S House of Representatives for 33 years.

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Cain, described by his friend President Trump as “a Powerful Voice of Freedom and all that is good,” brought an ailing Godfathers Pizza chain back from the dead and lit a spark in the Tea Party movement with his 2012 presidential run that called for simplifying the tax system with his 9-9-9 plan.

Cain died just as he was getting set to launch a weekly Newsmax TV show.

News of Cain’s death wasn’t even 30 minutes old before Vox journalist Aaron Rupar felt it necessary to stain his memory by suggesting that he was the cause of his own death. “Herman Cain’s last public appearance was appearing at Trump’s Tulsa rally without a mask,” Rupar tweeted. “He posted an anti-mask tweet the day before that has since been deleted.”

CNN political commentator and “The View” co-host Ana Navarro, who’s been known to dismissively file her nails while other commentators are trying to make a point, decided to use Cain’s death to make her own point.

Rupar and Navarro can perhaps be excused — they’re both petty and partisan. But certainly an international news organization would be above such attacks, wouldn’t it? Nope, not if your name is Reuters.

Rather than honor Cain’s life, Reuters made his death an object lesson.

“Herman Cain, ex-presidential candidate who refused to wear mask, dies after COVID-19 diagnosis,” its headline read.

Chad Felix Greene, a staff writer for The Post Millennial, offered a one-word observation of the state of today’s press.

“Journalism,” was all he said.

But perhaps even more disgraceful was the funeral of Rep. Lewis. The remarks made by former resident Barack Obama were less a eulogy than they were a stump speech, prompting Twitchy editor Samantha Janney to ask, “Funeral or Democratic National Convention?”

“As we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities,” Obama said. “Even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election that’s going to be dependent on mail-in ballots.”

In truth, earlier this month a West Virginia mail carrier pleaded guilty to one count each of election fraud and mail tampering. Trump didn’t make that claim; the mail carrier did with his own guilty plea.

Obama also used the eulogy for make a call for action.

“And if all this takes is ending the filibuster, another Jim Crow relic, in order to secure the God-given rights of every American, then that’s what we should do.”

In actuality, the Jim Crow era lasted from the post-Civil War until 1968. The filibuster rule was adopted by the U.S. Senate in 1806 by Senate Rule XXII, and has a long history going back to ancient Rome.

Obama also accused the federal government of “sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.”

Anyone who’s seen any of the footage of the riots in front of the Portland, Ore. federal courthouse is aware there’s nothing “peaceful” about them.

We used to say, “Never speak ill of the dead.” Now we’re using the dead to score cheap political points – and even to fabricating “facts” to do it.

Stop it. Honor the deceased’s accomplishments during their brief time on Earth, and leave the politics for another day, using another vehicle.

The amazing lives of two great Americans deserve to be celebrated, not demeaned.

Michael Dorstewitz

Michael Dorstewitz

Michael Dorstewitz is a recovering Michigan trial lawyer and former research vessel deck officer. He has written extensively for BizPac Review.