Veteran U.S. politician, John Dingell Jr. dies at 92

The Canadian Politician – (Toronto) Veteran U.S. politician and longest serving member of Congress on record, former Representative John Dingell of Michigan has died at the age of 92. Mr. Dingell served his constituency from 1955 to 2015, 59 years and 22 days. He died on Thursday, Feb. 7. In his almost six decades in the House of Representatives, Mr. Dingell was a voice to be reckoned with both as a floor member and committee chairman.  He was keenly respected for his legislative skills and ability to build bridges in the acutely partisan chambers of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a tower of political and fountain of knowledge to his contemporaries.

During his tenure in the House, eleven U.S. presidents were voted into office and he cast an unprecedented 28,551 votes on the floor of the House.  Since his death, accolades have been pouring in for the lion of U.S. legislative politics.  Returning House speaker, Nancy Pelosi ordered flags at the U.S. Capital at half-staff in his honour.  President Trump who he had been critical of, knew of the importance of the moment and followed suit in Pelosi’s steps. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer noted that “John Dingell was a giant legislator on behalf of the people,” noting his knack for advocacy and ensuring the people he served were well represented and their voices heard.

In his retirement, Dingell became an avid user of Twitter using the platform to voice his opinion and views on the current state of affairs in the country. At his death, her had a following exceeding a quarter of a million. His last, inspiring words to America belied his dignity and patriotic inclination –
“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,” he stated.

“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. And much as I have found Twitter to be a useful means of expression, some occasions merit more than 280 characters,” he wrote.

“I would be remiss in not acknowledging the forgiveness and sweetness of the woman who has essentially supported me for almost 40 years: my wife, Deborah. And it is a source of great satisfaction to know that she is among the largest group of women to have ever served in the Congress (as she busily recruits more),” he stated.

“I never forgot the people who gave me the privilege of representing them. It was a lesson learned at home from my father and mother, and one I have tried to impart to the people I’ve served with and employed over the years. As I prepare to leave this all behind, I now leave you in control of the greatest nation of mankind and pray God gives you the wisdom to understand the responsibility you hold in your hands,” he concluded.

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