Tuesday evening, iconic journalist Dan Rather posted a scathing takedown of Donald Trump. While it’s not exactly shocking that Rather isn’t a fan of “The Donald,” it’s what he said that was incredibly profound. It’s one thing if he simply opposed Trump because he doesn’t like his policies, economic plan or what he says he’s going to do about Social Security and Medicare. Those are normal issues which could factor into anybody’s support of a particular politician.
However, what Rather said went well beyond your typical criticisms of a presidential candidate. He essentially said that Trump is incompetent, ignorant and his presidency would pose a massive threat to this country.
Let me go through a few of the things he posted:
No trying-to-be objective and fair journalist, no citizen who cares about the country and its future can ignore what Donald Trump said today. When he suggested that “The Second Amendment People” can stop Hillary Clinton he crossed a line with dangerous potential. By any objective analysis, this is a new low and unprecedented in the history of American presidential politics. This is no longer about policy, civility, decency or even temperament. This is a direct threat of violence against a political rival.
He then touched on how history is going to view those who are supporting Trump:
To anyone who still pretends this is a normal election of Republican against Democrat, history is watching. And I suspect its verdict will be harsh. Many have tried to do a side-shuffle and issue statements saying they strongly disagree with his rhetoric but still support the candidate. That is becoming woefully insufficient. The rhetoric is the candidate.
What he wrote there is similar to what President Obama recently said where he mocked Republicans who are constantly having to speak out against something Trump has said or done — only for those same folks to keep insisting they support him as our next president. At some point you either have to endorse the entire candidate or stop saying you want him to be our next Commander-in-Chief. It’s ridiculous that so many Republicans keep having to condemn their own candidate, while insisting that something he’s said or done doesn’t represent the party. If all these comments he keeps making don’t represent the party, then how the heck is he your party’s presidential candidate?
Though I particularly enjoyed how Dan Rather concluded his post:
We are a democratic republic governed by the rule of law. We are an honest, fair and decent people. In trying to come to terms with today’s discouraging development the best I can do is to summon our greatest political poet Abraham Lincoln for perspective:
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Lincoln used these stirring words to end his First Inaugural Address. It was the eve of the Civil War and sadly his call for sanity, cohesion and peace was met with horrific violence that almost left our precious Union asunder. We cannot let that happen again.
I liked that he used Abraham Lincoln because it showed the stark contrast of what a Republican president sounded like over 150 years ago compared to the idiotic drivel that spews out of Trump’s mouth — and Lincoln just so happens to be a Republican president who, unfortunately, was eventually assassinated because of the vile hatred, ignorance and violence like what we’re seeing fuel Trump’s campaign.
While I’m confident Trump supporters will dismiss Rather’s comments as nothing more than him being “pro-Clinton” or a “liberal” because, well, that’s what Republicans always do when their b.s. is called out by someone, I would like to point out that his post didn’t have anything to do with being a liberal or conservative. Nothing he said here was partisan or even had anything to do with the ideologies of the two parties.
When you’re someone in Trump’s position – regardless of party affiliation – words matter. There are a lot of crazy people out there who can easily be triggered to justify horrific acts based upon what presidential candidates, or political parties, seem to support and endorse.
Doubt me? Go ask the families of the victims of the Planned Parenthood shooting that occurred in Colorado Springs last fall when a madman with a gun cited word-for-word propaganda the GOP and its presidential candidates had been repeating as his justification for committing mass murder. I have no doubt that if Republicans hadn’t been using that blatantly false rhetoric to push their anti-Planned Parenthood agenda, those people would still be alive today.
So, when Dan Rather posted what he did on Facebook, he wasn’t doing so as a supporter of Hillary Clinton, a liberal or anything else — he was speaking out as a human being who’s highly concerned that he’s seeing a presidential candidate from a major political party saying utterly horrific things that could incite violence.