US POLITICS: Dan Rather comments on President Donald Trump and the US Elections 2020

Dan Rather

Dan Rather, 88, says we are in ‘a moment of reckoning unlike any I have seen in my lifetime’

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has become a beloved voice of reason, knowledge, and experience for many Americans on social media the past few years. At 88, Rather has seen more than most of us, and as a journalist, he’s had a front row seat as modern history has played out. He combines that lifetime of experience and perspective with an eloquence that hearkens to a time when eloquence mattered, he called us to our common American ideals with his book “What Unites Us,” and he comforts many of is with his repeated message to stay “steady” through the turmoil the U.S. has been experiencing.

All of that is to say, when Dan Rather sounds the alarm, you know we’ve reached a critical historical moment.                  

Recently, President Trump again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election when directly asked if he would—yet another democratic norm being toppled. Afterward, Rather posted the following words of wisdom—and warning—to his nearly three million Facebook fans:

Here is the text of his Facebook entry:

There is no more time for silence. There is no more time for choosing party over country. There is no more time for weighing the lesser of two evils. All women and men of conscience must speak or they are complicit in America lurching towards a dangerous cliff of autocracy and chaos.

This is a moment of reckoning unlike any I have seen in my lifetime. I have seen this country in deep peril, as the hungry begged for sustenance during the Great Depression, as the Nazis marched across Europe and the Japanese across Asia, as missiles were moved into Cuba, as our political leaders were murdered, as a president ran a criminal conspiracy from the Oval Office, as planes were hijacked into skyscrapers. All of these were scary times, but through it all I never worried about a president actively undermining American democracy and inciting violence to do so – even Nixon, for all of his criminal activity.

What Donald Trump said today are the words of a dictator. To telegraph that he would consider becoming the first president in American history not to accept the peaceful transfer of power is not a throw-away line. It’s not a joke. He doesn’t joke. And it is not prospective. The words are already seeding a threat of violence and illegitimacy into our electoral process.

I suspect he is doing this because he feels he needs to. It is the same reason he sought dirt on Joe Biden, because he is deeply afraid of losing. Losing an election could mean losing in a court of law. It could mean prison time and ruin. But I suspect Trump’s motives are more instinctual. He needs to hold on to power for the sake of power. He cannot lose, even if he has to cheat to win. Even if he has to blow up American democracy. He considers little if any about 200,000 plus deaths from COVID. Why would he care about our Constitution or Bill of Rights?

There is no sugarcoating the dangers and darkness we live in. But I remain heartened that the majority of Americans do not want this. Trump is in danger of losing states that he should be winning handily. Yes, his base is energized and numerous. But so is the opposition. I have seen opposition parties in foreign countries channel the morality of their causes to bring great change. And most of those opposition movements didn’t have the strength, power, and resources of those who stand against Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has himself defined the stakes of the election. This is a battle for American democracy as we’ve known it. We are well past warning shots. Allies across the political spectrum are ringing alarm bells. Right now, all those seeking to defeat Donald Trump know winning a close election may not be enough. The size of a victory will likely matter. Failing that, what happens? I don’t know. But I would say we all should try to remain steady. Try to conserve our energy for the battles ahead. Be committed to your community, your country, and your conscience. If enough Americans of decency and courage come together, the future of this nation can be better, fairer, and more just.

Source: https://www.upworthy.com/dan-rather-says-we-are-in-a-moment-of-reckoning

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On September 26, 2020 at 4:04 am

    Brave words !
    Will stormy November become hurricane
    2021 ?
    USA will survive but damage limitation is way
    forward. Batten down hatches ! Be aware,
    beware, be prepared !
    Survival of the most adaptable/diverse of
    the species …corV19-20-21

    Forever the optimist !

    Kamtan

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 26, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    HOPE Turned Out Black Voters for Barack Obama

    Will FEAR Bring Them Out Against His Successor?

    The Economist

    It was interesting to recall, while Lexington was observing some canvassing of black North Carolinians last week, that only three months previously America had been convulsed by the biggest racial-justice protests since the 1960s. On the doorsteps of poor black neighbourhoods in Greenville and the countryside east of the city, nobody raised them.

    NOR DID THE COUPLE OF DOZEN VOTERS YOUR COLUMNIST MET MENTION ANOTHER MILESTONE, JOE BIDEN’S DECISION TO PUT A BLACK WOMAN ON THE TICKET.

    Asked for their view of Kamala Harris, most of the targeted voters, who were all black and mostly women, merely nodded politely. One assessment is that she seemed “strong enough to back up Joe”; another praised her “professionalism”. Beyond such bland statements, few of the voters even mentioned Mr Biden.

    BUT ALL SAID THEY WERE ESPECIALLY DETERMINED TO VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE THIS YEAR, BECAUSE OF DONALD TRUMP.

    “Gotta get 45 out, that’s the only thing that matters,” said Mary Ellis, at her house in Greenville Heights, one of a row of single-storey dwellings thumping with music. “Everything I hear from him isn’t right,” said her neighbour, Magdalene Knight. “It scares me to think we’ve got a generation of young people watching his immorality,” said Ruby Perkins, a retired teacher, with a large “Thank you Jesus” sign outside her door.

    “THAT MAN LIED TO THE NATION ABOUT A PANDEMIC. YOU’VE GOT TO BE DEMENTED TO THINK HE’S THE ANSWER.”

    THIS SHOULD BE MUSIC TO DEMOCRATIC EARS. A huge majority of African-Americas will vote for Mr Biden, and they will do so for the main reason Democratic strategists have been inviting them to. They want the election to be a referendum on an unpopular president, not a choice between two old white men, and most of them made that determination long ago.

    “You could put up a flowerpot against Trump and we’d vote for the flowerpot,” said Betsy Wallace in rural Williamston, 30 miles to the north-east. Yet notwithstanding black voters’ overriding support for Mr Biden, they have recently emerged as one of his campaign’s biggest worries.

    POLLS POINT TO A MARGINAL SOFTNESS IN THEIR SUPPORT FOR MR BIDEN RELATIVE TO THAT ENJOYED BY HILLARY CLINTON.

    Where she won 88% of African-Americans, YouGov polling suggests 83% are committed to voting for Mr Biden. He will probably bridge the gap. Only 8% of black voters say they will vote for Mr Trump; many of the rest are undecided and most likely to plump for Mr Biden.

    Yet his advisers had been counting on Mr Biden to do better with black voters than Mrs Clinton. To win back the mid-western states she lost, let alone North Carolina, a state where a quarter of voters are black, he may need to do much better. And the polls are NOT the only things fuelling Democratic anxiety on this score.

    ANOTHER IS THE FLIP-SIDE OF MR TRUMP’S NEGATIVE APPEAL. The president’s offensiveness to black voters, combined with Mr Biden’s own limitations as a campaigner, have made it hard for the challenger to make a positive case for himself. “He’s got a good heart, he’s one of us,” was the most the voters in and around Greenville said of Mr Biden.

    This might suggest his support among African-Americans is wider than it is deep. Which in turn could suggest it will not take much to stop them turning out in the numbers he needs. AND COVID-19 IS A LOT.

    Alongside their loathing for the president, almost all the North Carolinians appeared terrified of the virus, which has hit black America disproportionately hard. Most spoke to the canvassers from behind a screen or a front door held slightly ajar. “I’m sorry, baby,” said Ms Ellis, of Greenville Heights, to explain why she would not step outside. “We’re scared.”

    These are valid concerns, which will not be fully allayed until the returns are in. Representative G.K. Butterfield, whose congressional district includes Greenville, said his biggest fear was of a COVID-19 surge a week before the election.

    YET LEXINGTON’S DAY ON THE TRAIL SUGGESTED THE DEMOCRATS MAY BE WORRYING A BIT TOO MUCH.

    VOTING FOR THE LEAST BAD OPTION IS NOT A NOVELTY TO BLACK VOTERS. The exuberance of their support for Barack Obama – “The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” recalled Ms Perkins – was an anomaly.

    They generally take a starkly pragmatic view of politics. For many black voters, elections represent more a source of protection than a promise of future perfection. Their dogged support for the often-disappointing Democrats illustrates that. Republicans tend to ascribe it to leftist identity politics; it is more a defensive measure against a majority-white party that has often sought to repress their voting rights.

    Mr Trump, who this week randomly accused his opponents of wanting to build “projects” in the leafy suburbs, has hardened that suspicion, and thereby drawn a predictable African-American response. Asked what would get her neighbours to the polls in numbers, Ms Perkins replied:

    “FEAR. FEAR of COVID. FEAR of losing your job and house. FEAR of being shot while watching TV in your house.” AS AN INDICATOR OF LIKELY BLACK TURNOUT, ENTHUSIASM FOR THE CANDIDATE MAY BE OVERRATED.

    THE AUDACITY OF FEAR

    Without underestimating the COVID-related uncertainties, there are also indicators that the virus could have LESS of a dampening effect than nervous Democrats FEAR.

    Projections from the latest survey data suggest black turnout is on course to be nine points higher than it was in 2016. All the voters canvassed insisted they would not allow the virus to stop them voting. Most said it had made them more determined to vote, and that they had already made plans to protect themselves, by voting early by mail or in person.

    POLLS SUGGESTED BLACK VOTERS ARE 25% MORE LIKELY TO VOTE EARLY THAN THEY WERE IN 2016. That could make it harder to suppress their votes. “I’m voting,” said Ethel Peele, on her doorstep in Williamston. “Even if I have to get me a cab, I’m voting.”

    African-American voters are facing even more formidable obstacles than usual this year. Yet they are formidable voters. MOST OF THE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS MR BIDEN CAN COUNT ON THEM. ■

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 26, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    F-E-A-R the ultimate motivator!

    • kamtanblog  On September 26, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      Fear of idiot in chief winning …
      Or
      Fear of what happens if he looses ?

      Not sure 🤔

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 26, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    “Donald Trump has himself defined the stakes of the election. This is a battle for American democracy as we’ve known it. We are well past warning shots. Allies across the political spectrum are ringing alarm bells.”

    Funny you should mention “battle”, Mister Rather. Let’s touch on armaments in another context:

    China Now Has The World’s Largest Naval Fleet, Alarming Its Pacific Rival

    America’s defence secretary announces a high-tech plan to secure parity

    The Economist

    A sleek grey trimaran that cuts through the water at 27 knots, the SEA HUNTER is capable of sailing from San Diego to Tokyo, and back again, on a single tank of diesel — all by itself. The ship is an “autonomous unmanned surface vehicle” — a fancy name for a sailing drone — operated by America’s navy.

    In the past, America’s shipbuilding targets have featured only traditional warships — complete with sailors. U.S. Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper’s goal includes unmanned vessels like the Sea Hunter.

    THE OTHER PROBLEM IS MONEY. In his prepared remarks, Mr Esper said that the shipbuilding budget would have to grow from 11% of the navy’s spending to 13% …..

    America now has 296 naval vessels. Mr Esper promised to expand the fleet to more than 355 – five more than China’s current tally.

    The new plans would therefore require raiding other bits of the navy’s budget, at a time when crewing ships is already hard.

    “If this administration survives,” tweets Bryan McGrath, a naval expert, “THERE WILL BE NO MONEY TO OPERATE THIS FANTASY FLEET.” ■

    • kamtanblog  On September 26, 2020 at 1:06 pm

      USA uk France are biggest arms dealers
      Q
      Will China or BRICS replace or compliment
      them ? As long as USD$ remains world reserve currency cannot see that situ changing.

      Market leaders are not so easily removed.
      We can but speculate over “market forces”

      Trust devil you know !

      My take

      Kamtan

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 27, 2020 at 1:01 am

    CHECKS and BALANCE

    The Best of Our Coverage of American Politics, Every Friday to Your Inbox

    John Prideaux — US Editor | The Economist

    EACH PRESIDENTIAL-ELECTION YEAR THE CONTEST OVER CONGRESS GETS A LITTLE BIT FORGOTTEN.

    THAT IS TRUER THAN EVER IN 2020, BECAUSE DONALD TRUMP IS ONCE AGAIN ON THE BALLOT. YET CONTROL OF CONGRESS REALLY MATTERS.

    The House and, to a greater degree, the Senate can thwart a president on domestic policy if they are minded to do so, blocking legislation, cabinet appointments and judicial nominations.

    WITH A SENATE MAJORITY A PRESIDENT CAN RESHAPE THE SUPREME COURT FOR A GENERATION, AS MR TRUMP HAS DONE. WITHOUT ONE, A PRESIDENT IS NEUTERED.

    Because control of the Senate is so important, we have built a model to try and predict what is likely to happen. The result it has spat out — DEMOCRATS HAVE A TWO-IN-THREE CHANCE OF WINNING THE UPPER CHAMBER — SEEMED ON THE HIGH SIDE TO ME WHEN I FIRST SAW IT.

    THE REASON THEIR ODDS ARE SO GOOD — EXPLAINS DAN ROSENHECK, OUR DATA EDITOR, WHO BUILT THE MODEL — IS THAT DEMOCRATS REQUIRE THREE OR FOUR EXTRA SEATS (depending on whether you assume there is a Democratic vice-president to break a 50-50 tie).

    They look likely to gain seats in Arizona, Colorado and Maine and are sure to lose one in Alabama. Yet the party’s candidates are also competitive in places like Iowa, Montana, Georgia, South Carolina and even Texas.

    DEMOCRATS CAN AFFORD TO LOSE MOST OF THESE TRICKIER RACES AND STILL GAIN A MAJORITY; REPUBLICANS HAVE TO WIN THEM ALL. Hence the model favours the party of Joe Biden.

    If Democrats do win a narrow majority in the upper chamber, what would they be able to do with it? NOT MUCH if the filibuster, the convention that prevents legislation from passing unless one party can muster 60 votes, remains a feature of the Senate.

    This obstacle can be circumvented for spending bills, when the House and Senate versions are “reconciled”. But most Senate nerds think that what you can pass through reconciliation is rather limited. Universal health care and a transformative plan to decarbonise America’s economy would be out.

    UNLESS, THAT IS, THE PARTY WITH A MAJORITY IN THE SENATE GETS RID OF THE FILIBUSTER (which is an odd parliamentary tactic that emerged a couple of decades before the civil war).

    THE ARGUMENT FOR KEEPING IT IS THAT IT PREVENTS THE MAJORITY FROM TRAMPLING OVER THE MINORITY.

    Yet by virtue of giving California (population: circa 40m) the same voting weight as Wyoming (less than 600,000) the Senate already has a powerful check on majoritarianism.

    To then say that the majority also has to muster 60 votes is, in an era this polarised, tantamount to saying that big federal reforms are no longer possible.

    IF YOU BELIEVED THAT ALL WAS WELL IN AMERICA, THAT NOTHING REALLY NEEDED TO CHANGE, THIS ARRANGEMENT WOULD SUIT YOU WELL.

    But in all the time I have been reporting on the country I have seldom come across that kind of complacency. REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS BOTH WANT CHANGE RATHER THAN STASIS. America’s federal institutions ought to be capable of delivering some once in a while.

    This newsletter is, in general, a fan of checks and balance. But the filibuster strikes me as one too many. As ever, you can reach me at jprideaux@economist.com.

    • wally n  On September 27, 2020 at 11:08 am

      HEY HEY LOOK ……..A PIG FLYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • guyaneseonline  On September 27, 2020 at 10:28 am

    From BROTHER MAN 9.24am – 27 Sep 2020

    The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) could result in the end of the ACA (Obamacare), leaving millions without healthcare insurance, the deportation of the “dreamers” (those who came to America illegally as children), Rov v. Wade (abortion rights), and the erosion of other civil rights.

    The Republicans play by their own set of rules and the Dems are powerless to stop them. In 2016, Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, was denied a vote in the Senate by Mitch McConnell some nine months before the election. The Republicans reasoned then that there shouldn’t be a nominee in an election year. Now, they have reversed their position.

    Six weeks after the death of Justice RBG, they are rushing to fill the vacancy — the epitome of hypocrisy. Should Trump lose the election, he could challenge the results on baseless allegations of voter fraud and the matter could end up in the High Court which could rule in his favour. Stunning.

    This is chilling. The United States is going to the dogs. More precisely, towards dictatorship.

    Brother Man.

    • kamtanblog  On September 27, 2020 at 11:00 am

      Indeed !
      Demise of democracy seems inevitable !
      Some saying autocracy few predicting dictatorship many accepting whatever.
      Win win situation for HRH Godzilla !

      Not long now
      All is revealed

  • wally n  On September 28, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    HEY HEY final nail in you guy’s coffin has arrived, His income tax has landed, go nuts
    haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • wally n  On September 28, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Forgive me I was laughing so hard I forgot this lil gem…
    The breaking news from the NYT today is that Trump has some of the best accountants and tax lawyers in the world working for him. Shocking stuff.

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