FINAL WORDS

John Dingell Criticizes Trump’s ‘Bully Pulpit’ in Reflections Published After His Death

John Dingell criticized President Trump’s “bully pulpit” in reflections published in The Washington Post one day after his death. Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history, died on February 7 at the age of 92. Prior to his passing, Dingell dictated a final message to his wife, Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, in which he criticized the increasingly acrimonious tone of political dialogue. “In our modern political age, the presidential bully pulpit seems dedicated to sowing division and denigrating, often in the most irrelevant and infantile personal terms, the political opposition,” Dingell reflected. “And much as I have found Twitter to be a useful means of expression, some occasions merit more than 280 characters.” “My personal and political character was formed in a different era that was kinder, if not necessarily gentler,” he continued. “We observed modicums of respect even as we fought, often bitterly and savagely, over issues that were literally life and death to a degree that—fortunately–we see much less of today.” Dingell also pointed to how bipartisan efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives enabled the passage of civil-rights legislation and Medicare, saying “we did it with the support of Democrats and Republicans who considered themselves first and foremost to be Americans.”