Have you ever read a social media post and legitimately been saddened by the words, their meaning, etc.? Like, sad to the point of tearing up and feeling a sickness or gut-wrenching pain in your stomach? If not, then today may be the day.
Widely respected media icon Dan Rather poured his heart into a reflective facebook status about FBI Director James Comey’s findings regarding Donald Trump’s wiretapping claims. In true Dan Rather fashion, the thoughtful and fact-based post doesn’t editorialize or take cheap shots, but does make historical connections and show the wisdom and experience of a man who has covered some of the most egregious political scandals, crimes, cover-ups, and controversies of the last 60 plus years.
Rather’s post reads:
While the entire reflection is powerful, it’s perhaps Rather’s call for prayer that serves as a brutal reminder of the dangers and long-term ramifications of Donald Trump’s actions. The mere fact that Donald Trump could accuse former President Obama of such a heinous crime, without evidence, and receive so much support and validation, is “jaw dropping.”
The notion of a sitting FBI Director so publicly speaking out against a such a polarizing and controversial commander-in-chief, is scary in many ways.
Moreover, Rather is right:
‘We cannot afford to back off on investigating, fully, completely, and openly, allegations that are anathema to the spirit of our republic. We want answers. We want to know more.’
And while his reminder that “patience” will be required, is absolutely true, Americans who have been patient through the hurt, division, and hate perpetuated by the Trump administration and its supporters, and throughout history, are tired of being patient. From a social justice standpoint, people with brown skin are disproportionately accused and convicted of crimes they didn’t commit.
To see a man as distinguished, educated, and diplomatic as President Obama accused and convicted in many courts of public opinion is hurtful to many. It says that you can be elected to the highest position in America and still be subjected to the treatment that America is supposed to stand against.
To know that Donald Trump’s white privilege allowed him to so brazenly levy such a serious allegation against a former President, with no regard for the elite fraternity to which President Obama belongs and Trump will eventually belong (no matter how much that makes some people’s stomachs turn), is an excruciating reminder about the status of relations between whites and their non-white counterparts in America.
Rather’s post is deep. If you are old enough to have lived through the Nixon or Cold War eras, then you know the significance of Rather’s allusion to both moments in American history. You know that Trump has opened a Pandora’s box that even time may not be able to heal.
This is all pretty heavy. However, if you’re sick of Donald Trump and the thought of him being in the position he’s in, there is one aspect of Rather’s post that may make you giggle a bit. Rather, who is known for his eloquence seems quite intentional in the word choice of his post. With that attention to detail in mind, note how he references Trump, (“Mr. Trump), then notice the respect given to President Obama (“President”).
To that end, it’s in tumultuous political times like these that we must find something to help us laugh to keep from crying. With that in mind, love President Obama’s politics or hate them, there is something to be said for acknowledging that the title of President isn’t one that should be given to just anyone. For the Americans who voted for Trump and enabled his Electoral College win, that’s the lesson.
Featured Image via Getty/Saul Loeb/Staff