MIAMI (CBSMiami) — “History will demand to know which side were you on,” began Dan Rather’s passionate online rant concerning a Donald Trump presidency, those who voted for him and the unpredictable future it brings.
The 85-year-old news veteran, and former anchor of the CBS Evening News, urged an audience Tuesday on his Facebook page to take action, invoking that “Now is a time when none of us can afford to remain seated or silent.”
“When I see neo-Nazis raise their hands in terrifying solute (sic), in public, in our nation’s capital, I shudder in horror,” Rather wrote. “When I see that action mildly rebuked by a boilerplate statement from the President-elect whom these bigots have praised, the anger in me grows. And when I see some in a pliant press turn that mild statement into what they call a denunciation I cannot hold back any longer.”
Though, the President-elect has, in turn, consistently rebuked the endorsements from extremists like the KKK and neo-Nazi support.
— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) November 22, 2016
Regardless, Rather zeroes in on the ugly perception that seemingly did strike a chord with some of his voters.
“This is not about tax policy, health care, or education,” he says. “This is about racism, bigotry, intimidation and the specter of corruption.”
While the Declaration of Independence gave the nation the fundamental principles of equality, endowed with unalienable rights, Rather suggests that each new generation of Americans must “renew these vows” because the “truths may be self-evident but they are not self-replicating.”
“This nation was founded as an opposite pole to the capriciousness of an authoritarian monarch. We set up institutions like a free press and an independent court system to protect our fragile rights,” Rather continues. “In normal times of a transition in our presidency between an incoming and outgoing administration of differing political parties, there is a certain amount of fretting on one side and gloating on the other. And the press usually takes a stance that the new administration at least deserves to have a chance to get started – a honeymoon period. But these are not normal times.”
In another post on his page, Rather explains why Trump wasn’t “undone by the sheer number of different outbursts and scandals during the campaign.”
“Let me call it the ‘bed of nails’ syndrome,” he says. “The reason why someone can lie on a bed of nails without getting hurt is because if the nails are close and numerous enough than the pressure is dispersed and the skin is not punctured.”
Overall, Rather remains optimistic, comforted by the notion that “the vast majority of Americans stand with me.”
However, it’s those to whom Trump has surrounded himself with that does bring Rather worry. He says he hopes Trump can rise above the rhetoric that dogged his campaign, “but of course I am deeply worried that his selections of advisors and cabinet posts suggests otherwise.”
Rather was anchor of the CBS Evening News from 1981 to 2005, also contributing to CBS’s 60 Minutes, before leaving the network in 2006.