CPAC 2020 – John Cummings: Education is “the Civil Rights Issue of This Generation”

At CPAC 2020, I had the pleasure to interview my friend for over 40 years John Cummings. He is running against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) in NY District 14. Cummings is a former New York City (NYC) police officer, injured in the line of duty. Disclosure: John Cummings was the first person I met on the first day of high school over 45 years ago). After retiring from the New York Police Department due to injury in the line of duty, he has for the last 22 years gone on to teach civics and history at the same high school we both attended, St. Raymond’s Boys High School. Cummings has come from almost nothing to create a life of integrity and quality.

For John Cummings, winning is important, and he believes he can win against AOC. He understands President Trump; he agrees with me, Trump has a “New York State of Mind.”  In my interview with Cummings, he talks about the electoral college, “The presidential election is not a popularity contest, but it is is the best way to elect a president because it gives a voice to smaller states.”

Cummings discusses the founder’s principles as only a civics teacher can do. On the Freedom of Speech, he said, “Political correctness provides a big barrier, and when we shout down people we disagree with, it prevents the free flow of ideas, which is what our country is all about.” Free speech was important back in the 1780’s when discussing the Constitution. The free flow of ideas was celebrated even among differences of opinion and arguments.

Cummings said, the 2nd Amendment is “key to ensuring that the people can protect themselves against the tyranny of the government. Red flag laws are the first step to gun confiscation.” Once the government has access to your health records, they can deem you not responsible to carry a gun.  

Cummings called education “the civil rights issue of this generation.” AOC is is against school choice, but isn’t it curious that AOC would use her influence to get her niece access to a charter school? She wants to limit access to charter schools from the people who need it most. Cummings has a plan for education, and if elected he will focus his agenda on improving it.

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On a local level, Cummings wants to bring change to NYC truck stops. “There are no truck stops from New Jersey to Connecticut, forcing truckers to pull over onto NYC streets because they just have to. They have no choice.”

We discussed Cummings’ background growing up and living in the same neighborhood he is running in, while AOC has never gone to school in the district and has never lived there. He has a compelling message to the youth of America as a teacher and a member of the community. He is one of them, his #IAMYOU2020 is the cornerstone of his candidacy. He lives in the district, teaches in the district, and grew up on the same Parkchester fields playing in little league with people such as Andy McCarthy of Fox News. 

“I live there, and I work there. I buy groceries and sit in the same traffic. I grew up with these people. They are friends and neighbors. I have taught their children, and as a NYC police officer, I have been serving the people of this district my whole life. My dad was a NYC police officer and I followed in his footsteps. After being forced to retire from injury, I ended up teaching the kids of my neighborhood. I am running for my students and my neighbors! Unlike AOC, I was born raised and worked here my whole life. I know my neighbors and they know me.”

Watch the video below to catch the whole interview at timestamp 41:27:

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Frank D'Onofrio
Frank D'Onofrio
Frank D'Onofrio is a writer for NRN. He's is a passionate patriot. D'Onofrio has been a technology manager for over 25 years, and has traveled the world. He believes in the future of America. He believes our children should be taught to believe in American exceptionalism, that comes from our founders, and those who fought and died to maintain our freedoms.