I got to meet John Lewis about two years ago. He was at Comic-Con, promoting a graphic novel based on his history working for civil rights in the South in the 60s. When I saw him, he was standing there all by himself on the embarcadero outside the convention center on Sunday afternoon, as the con was winding down. He was still in his “costume” — the younger version of himself, wearing what I assume to be copies of the suit and raincoat he wore 50 years ago.
I walked up to him and shook his hand.
My job puts me in occasional contact with billionaires and the people who run the most powerful corporations in the world. And while I respect them, I don’t stand in awe of them. Meeting them is just my job.
But meeting John Lewis that day — I was in awe.
He was just standing there alone and in public. He may have had one or two staffers or publicists with him, or maybe he was just alone. No bodyguards, no armored podium. That is a level of physical courage I cannot imagine from most national politicians. Certainly not Donald Trump. When John Lewis was getting his body broken to defend freedom, Trump was getting multiple draft deferments.