American news legend Dan Rather posted another essay on Facebook that was shared by hundreds of thousands. In his piece, Rather addresses the malformed irresponsibility of a reckless and incredibly dishonest president, as well as the shameful actions of a Republican party that support him. As a longtime self-proclaimed independent voter, Dan Rather censures the lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat, who continue to normalize today’s chaos.
In helping Americans to deal with the massive dysfunction, Dan Rather keeps us informed and helps us to realize we are not overreacting, we are not crazy—and that what is happening is truly frightening, confusing and horrendous. Most of all, Dan Rather helps us to believe we will get through this, but while doing so, we must never accept today’s contorted reality as “normal.”
Here is the Dan Rather Facebook post of June 9, 2017.
As with many of my fellow Americans, I don’t consider myself partisan politically – never have. I am a registered independent voter and have been for most of my life. With that in mind, I submit the following:
Can we please get this out of the way? None of what is happening at the top of government now is normal. None of it. And no one should normalize it. No one.
We have a President who lies without a second thought. Big bold lies that are easily disproven. That is not normal.
We have serious allegations around obstruction of justice by that President. That is not normal.
We have an FBI director fired for insisting to continue pursuing a serious investigation into the sanctify of our republic. It has never happened before in our history. That is not normal.
We have a hostile foreign power attacking and undermining our electoral process. That is not normal.
We have an Attorney General under a serious shadow of association with said foreign power, with indications that there is much more to this story than we yet know. That is not normal.
We have Federal judges, our closest foreign allies, and the free press under scurrilous attack from the President and his enablers. At the same time we have despots praised. That is not normal.
We have an Administration fanning the flames of division over race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and gender. That is not normal.
We have an overhaul of our entire health care system being written in secret on a rapid time frame. That is not normal.
We have a sordid confluence of the President’s business interests and his political power. That is not normal.
The list could go on and on. And feel free to add your own to the comments section.
What concerns me even more than any of these items is the fact that they are largely being met by a shrug or excuses from most Republican elected officials. Even many Democrats seem overwhelmed and are inclined to let some of this just ride. That may be how politics works. But this is bigger. It’s about our nation.
We are shifting the goalposts for our democracy. We are failing to be outraged by the outrageous because there is something even more outrageous that always seems to hit the news cycle. And that is dangerous.
What gives me hope is we have had waves of abnormality in our country’s history. And we’ve had times when what we would consider now to be not normal, like segregation, was considered normal. What has centered and saved our country time and again is civic engagement. I believe that most people in this nation don’t think any of this is normal. And they could very well vote out those elected officials in both parties who are normalizing these outrages.
There is something about the words of Dan Rather that seems to soothe and calm. Perhaps it’s because he has lived a long enriched and experienced life and spent most of it within media. During his 85 years, this investigative journalist has seen more than most of us can even imagine. He’s had the inside scoop, as well as the public perspective of watching our country go in and out of wars, fight and win social changes, witness governmental scandals and experience and survive the greatest of national disasters and turmoil. Like us, and with us, Dan Rather sees Donald Trump’s election (legitimate or not) as an outrageous and perilous stain on American history. And although the words of Dan Rather cannot dissipate the irrational facts that are in our faces every day, he helps educate us with intelligent and thought-out speech, and he gives us hope that inspire resistant and persistent protest through nonviolent measures. For all that and more, we remain incredibly grateful this great American.