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Rather writes: "For those who know me well, this word 'steady' has been a mantra by which I have tried to live my life. And as the events of the last few days have unfolded, I find myself repeating "steady", in my mind, and to all who will listen."

Dan Rather. (photo: USA Today)
Dan Rather. (photo: USA Today)


Steady

By Dan Rather, Dan Rather's Facebook Page

03 December 17

 

TEADY

For those who know me well, this word "steady" has been a mantra by which I have tried to live my life. And as the events of the last few days have unfolded, I find myself repeating "steady", in my mind, and to all who will listen.

STEADY

No doubt, the ideal of steadiness today feels under intense strain. That's why we need to rally to not let the forces of chaos swallow this nation. The sheer audacity of the rushed and cynical tax bill which shatters so much of our legislative norms feels like an assault on the workings of our republic. The brazen hypocrisy of all those Republicans in Congress who used to sanctimoniously lecture the nation on the danger of deficits is enough to fuel a slide into despair. The lies, after lies, after lies, coming out of the White House - and normalized by Congressional allies - gives our age a feeling of being adrift from truth. And as the Mueller investigation grows ever closer to the President and his family, one wonders whether our Constitutional framework will hold. And then there's Roy Moore, and health care, and climate change, and science, and education, and, and, and, and...

STEADY

I reach once more for the word. I guess the perspective of my long life allows me to reflect on the dark days of the past, where the world felt very unsteady. I remember Edward R. Murrow's dispatches from London during the Blitz of Nazi warplanes. I remember the assassinations of President Kennedy and his brother Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. I remember that terror of teenage Americans on patrol in the jungle hell of Vietnam. I remember the Red Scare, and Watergate, and 9/11.

STEADY

I have been pleased to hear that the chapter "Steady" is a favorite of many readers of my book WHAT UNITES US. In it I write:

"When a nation sits atop the world order — and no nation in modern history has grown to become as powerful as the United States — that position comes with great responsibility. Yet danger lies where, as with Watergate, there is a reckless and impetuous hand at the helm. While we have a reputation as a young and sometimes brash republic, our greatest leaders have been men and women of prudence, wisdom, and composure. They have not been afraid to act boldly, but in most cases they have done so with discipline. They have been able to absorb shock and disappointment with resolution, steadfastness, and endurance. Our United States would never have survived against the incredible odds facing its birth and maturation without this sense of equilibrium, this steadiness.

As schoolchildren we learn of how George Washington held together his ragged army in the cold and forbidding Valley Forge on the road to independence. The grace and poise with which he established the precedents of the American presidency are equally remarkable. Without the brilliant determination of Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, which cost hundreds of thousands of lives, could have ended the American experiment forever. And while Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is often remembered for his passion and the soaring rhetoric of his speeches, in covering him I was always struck by his calm and strategic mind as he carefully planned out his campaign for justice."

STEADY

I firmly believe that the majority of Americans seek steadiness. And the example of Dr. King is a reminder that, especially when our elected leadership fails, we need new leaders to rise up among the citizenry. That is the power of a democracy. We as Americans are not quitters. We get hit, but we get back up. i for one will not let this nation I love roil and toss without doing whatever I can to help return it to a steady path.

On my book tour, I am meeting so many of you. I feel your energy and your determination to fight for the country as you love it. Do not give up. Please keep your thoughts and comments coming.

Remember STEADY can and should be a part of #WhatUnitesUs


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Comments   

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It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

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+6 # librarian1984 2017-12-03 16:17
Why not add up and down votes to articles?

Maybe rsn can get some feedback on what material readers (don't) like, which might lead to easier fundraisers.
 
 
-60 # babaregi 2017-12-03 21:52
Quoting librarian1984:
Why not add up and down votes to articles?

Maybe rsn can get some feedback on what material readers (don't) like, which might lead to easier fundraisers.


Good idea, Librarian1984 but good ideas get short shrift with this crowd that claim the mantle of 'Liberal'.

It doesn't have much to do with the older definition of the term which has to do with Liberty and Responsibility, not blind ideology and virtue signaling wrapped in Leftist Fundamentalism.

This 'tribe' only wants to hear what supports its prior viewpoint. In short, it's an echo chamber. The articles are framed and cherry-picked in such a way that weaknesses of the Leftist view are not addressed adequately.

For example, Socialism, if not outright Communism is celebrated here without the slightest concern of what has happened historically. Everyone here is just sure that Capitalism must be replaced at all costs. Maybe so, but you guys are not the reasoned custodians of Freedom that you fancy yourselves to be.

You guys scare me as much as the right-wingers with your self-righteous mob mentality. You made Trump the necessary choice of millions by your lack of wisdom and careful reasoning.

This is why I come here, in this Den of Radicals' to oppose you fanatics because you are dangerous when given too much power.

----

“It is easy to be conspicuously 'compassionate' if others are being forced to pay the cost.”

― Murray N. Rothbard
 
 
+44 # tedrey 2017-12-03 23:04
Hi, Bararegi,

There is a distinction between liberalism (as presently practiced by the Democratic Party) and progressive policies (best typified by Bernie Sanders). Both of these are well typified in the readers of Reader Supported News. You seem unaware of the difference.

We also have true conservatives here, to whom we pay respectful attention, and Republican Party conservatives, i.e., fascists.

And there are a sprinkling of unassorted individualists, who can be irritating, amusing, and insightful by turns, of whom I count you as one.

Of course I don't speak for everybody, but that's how I myself view our readership.

Your right to disagree is sacrosanct.
 
 
-10 # babaregi 2017-12-04 01:15
Quoting tedrey:
Hi, Bararegi,

There is a distinction between liberalism (as presently practiced by the Democratic Party) and progressive policies (best typified by Bernie Sanders). Both of these are well typified in the readers of Reader Supported News. You seem unaware of the difference.

We also have true conservatives here, to whom we pay respectful attention,


I don't like what the corrupt Democratic 'Liberalism' Party promotes to get votes nor do I care for Sanders (who has almost no private sector job/business experience). Although I did vote for him in the Primary instead of Hillary. He is an idealist community organizer that Obama (the Peace Prize Nobel Laureate) only pretended to be.

The term 'Progressive' implies forward growth which no sane person can argue with but has little to do with the actual results and costs of these 'feel good' policies.

Very few dissenting voices are heard on this board (especially since the change in posting where the moderator delays postings and apparently censors posts).

There is not enough time to adequately argue before the thread disappears except in sound bites. This, IMO, makes the comment section less vibrant and people with a contrary opinion tune out, as well as those who enjoy a good intellectual argument.

I've been posting for years here. IMO, I know the viewpoints pretty well, as well as the Conservative and Libertarian views that I carefully listen to elsewhere.
 
 
+9 # librarian1984 2017-12-04 13:14
Sanders didn't run a business? Our history is filled with unexpected leaders, from all walks of life. It's no better to elevate commerce than any other facet of human existence. The healthiest systems are diverse, one of our greatest strengths, one we don't take advantage of.

I'd love to debate real liberalism vs true conservatism. I never thought I'd long for those simpler days! But it seems moot when corporations are people and money is language, when people are frantic, our economy is truly f'd up and people like us can barely look each other in the eye.

We ALL have good ideas, talent and worth. We ALL have bad ideas, flaws and problems -- and NONE of us deserve hostile governance.

IF we were to have a truly substantive policy debate we might address our country's path forward but right now we face American citizens who will die or lose their home because of the actions of their own government.

And how do we debate substance when the PROCESS was so utterly corrupt? No one who loves America can defend how the parties are operating.

I love that you voted for Bernie. (Take THAT, ericlipps!) If you look at his plans you'll find he's not profligrate but he does take more from the rich -- and that's why the establishment hates him.

If you/I/we are interested in genuine progress we COULD find common ground -- if we could get the damn pols out of the way!

I agree wholeheartedly about the comment section and value your input.
 
 
+3 # tedrey 2017-12-04 14:50
Well, in this case I give you an sincere upvote, (with a caveat about Sanders, but nobody's perfect.) (;-)}
 
 
-2 # vicnada 2017-12-05 09:50
"...(especially since the change in posting where the moderator delays postings and apparently censors posts)..."

Might this have a bit to do with Ash's being understaffed and under budget constraints that require precious time to be spend singing for his supper instead of getting postings up immediately?

Were the Koch brothers financing RSN, I'm sure we would have immediate postings and only dissenting voices. Those voices would be ours wishing for the "good old days" when RSN was still an honest enterprise.
 
 
-2 # skylinefirepest 2017-12-04 08:56
Tedrey, you wouldn't throw out such casual comments as "to whom we pay respectful attention" if you were to recall some of the hateful comments that have been made about me, an arch Conservative, over the years.
 
 
-1 # tedrey 2017-12-04 14:44
I sympathize with you, skylinefirepest . I've been labeled everything from "an anarchist communist"(!) to "an agent of the CIA". (For those curious, I am neither.) I grin and bear it. I have gotten over 50 down-votes here on one post, winced painfully and carried on. (I've also gotten over 150 up-votes on one occasion and had to take a cold shower.) But I try to avoid hateful comments. If I ever made such a comment as you did lower down on this page, calling Dan Rather "a one sided liberal willing to break the law to get his point across" then I deeply apologize.
 
 
-1 # skylinefirepest 2017-12-06 16:47
If you will do a quick check on what I said you will find that he did exactly that...what part would you mistakenly disagree with??
 
 
+7 # librarian1984 2017-12-04 12:32
babaregi, let's be honest. You think liberals are flawed hypocrites but conservatives are angelic do-gooders?

You'll have a hard time getting me to defend much about current 'liberalism', but neither do I believe they're alone in their arrogance and greed. And liberals have their problems but at least they know how to govern.

I agree with you today's liberals are anemic, that they pay lip service to helping workers and families -- but can you admit the GOP has big problems too? We are far away from classic conservatism, too, wouldn't you say? Can we agree both parties have given over to corporatism?

WE ALL need to unite and fight the class warfare that harms you and me and people like us every single day. Look at that quote by Chuck Grassley I posted a couple of articles up. He's not just talking about me. He's talking about you too.

I appreciate your making the distinction between old school liberalism and what we're seeing now; if you admire classic liberalism, look to Bernie Sanders, where I suppose your main beef is fiscal rather than motivational?

Where did we get the idea that this wealthy country cannot, and should not, 'waste' resources on the citizenry, that the only worthy Americans are rich?

They're ALL in an echo chamber, listening only to donors, and ANYONE is dangerous when given power without regulation -- yet it's conservatives who don't believe in oversight or aid, not until THEY face adversity.

Regards.
 
 
-1 # babaregi 2017-12-04 17:55
Quoting librarian1984:
babaregi, let's be honest. You think liberals are flawed hypocrites but conservatives are angelic do-gooders?


No!

I SAID: "You guys scare me as much as the right-wingers with your self-righteous mob mentality", Does that sound like a free pass for current Conservatives to you?

Both of your 'tribes' only hear what you want to hear and defend your own position.

I wrote a a post about this but it wasn't posted; frustrating.

Noam Chomsky says to first mind what YOU are doing instead of trying to control the other guys because you have control over your own mind and actions, much less theirs.

Fanatics are outward facing and re-actively deny any contribution to the problems they find themselves immersed in.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-12-04 18:55
Then I agree with you. Sorry.
 
 
+1 # tedrey 2017-12-03 22:26
I'd add an upvote to Librarian's post but, ironically, the up and down buttons are missing.
 
 
+1 # ddd-rrr 2017-12-04 07:03
Responding to, "Why not add up and down votes to articles?" --

If this were done, and if the results of such poling were followed, the result would likely be
either a narrowing of the range of discussion and points of view, or a redirection of these
depending on what group of readers holds the current sway over the choices -- or both!
Neither would be useful, since it would narrow further the breadth of the discussion!
While RSN is in general a "liberal-leanin g" site, it does encourage a range
of presentations of points of view within that category -- but doing
what you suggest would quickly narrow and redirect it.
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2017-12-04 13:25
I see your point but always think more information is better. The editors needn't react to it with rigidity, as you acknowledge when you say 'if the results .. were followed'.

I think there are some articles and authors that are a waste of time, and some authors, once here frequently, are now neglected.

I'd like to find a way for readers and editors to communicate better. Perhaps the range of articles would become more wide-ranging. Isn't THAT possible? There have been days when a quarter of the articles are about Russia, for example.

Perhaps if readers had more input it would help with fundraising. What are your ideas?
 
 
+22 # tedrey 2017-12-04 00:40
It is indeed proper and desirable that we should remember and wish to imitate the wise and brave and steady actions and actors of our nation's history.

But this is only half of that history. To act well in future we should also listen to the citizens of other nations. Other nations have memories; other nations have reason for pride.

Russia remembers the US continuation of the cold war after the fall of the USSR. Iran remembers who overthrew her first democracy and later supported Iraq's war against her. Cuba is proud of her survival through decades of attempts to bring her under the American yoke; the rest of Latin America remembers, oh, so many assassinations, regime changes, and economic strangulations for US benefit. The list goes ever on.

And all these things went on under the direction of the very "men and women of prudence, wisdom, and composure" that we as Americans venerate.

If remembering only half our own history leads to justifiable pride in our nation, remembering the other half might lead to a desirable humility.. . and better behavior in the future.

Which is not to forget to recognize the good that America has achieved. It is to refuse to forget the evil that (as with all nations) has accompanied it.
 
 
+4 # librarian1984 2017-12-04 13:27
I wish I could give you a thousand up-votes.
 
 
+3 # tedrey 2017-12-04 14:46
And I give you a virtual hug.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-12-05 06:23
And I DON'tT go after you for virtual harassment ;-)
 
 
0 # Caliban 2017-12-05 02:34
Very thoughtful comment, #tedrey. Thanks.
 
 
+3 # Littlebird 2017-12-04 01:30
Thank you, Dan Rather, for your words of wisdom. I look forward to reading your book, WHAT UNITES US. Your comments bring to mind the very things that I and many Americans are wondering; how is our country to survive the assault against our very foundation and freedoms that we take for granted? It seems that we are unraveling little by little. Perhaps it will take this "unraveling" for Americans to see that we need a different and strong binding to rebuild what we have lost.
 
 
0 # Solomon Davidson 2017-12-04 06:34
Dan Rather represents a grand American conundrum. An astute observer, yes, an iconic journalist, of course, a visionary poet of democracy - certainly not. "Steady" - a worthy theme for a time of chaos, but what lies behind the horizon of the clash of civilizations that is taking place within our nation? Revolutionary certitude, civil resolve to end slavery, the social challenges of the Great Depression, the shock of the loss of JFK, the determination to apply justice wherever it is needed of Watergate, the horror of 9/11 that still divides our nation into isolationist and inclusionist camps?
 
 
+6 # ddd-rrr 2017-12-04 07:13
Thanks, Dan Rather and RSN, for publishing this very useful and timely article.
Its advice and wisdom is much needed at this point in time and in our history.
 
 
+2 # vicnada 2017-12-04 08:39
The title "Steady" appears ironic as we lunge immediately into "up-and-down" commentary...ma king Tedrey's button dilemma the more amusing.
 
 
-13 # skylinefirepest 2017-12-04 09:01
Dan, we all pretty much thought you were actually "steady" until you turned to the dark side and became "liar" because you didn't like Bush. Sorry, dude, but your credibility went way south after that because we realized that you were not simply a good journalist showing both sides of an issue but a one sided liberal willing to break the law to get your point across.
 
 
-4 # skylinefirepest 2017-12-04 21:24
Let me expand on that last...Dan, you were once a good journalist...no t any more. Your credibility is shot. This site has had many comments on the russians trying to affect our election but you did the same exact thing by making up fake evidence that came back to bite you in the hiney!! So how are you any better than the supposed collaborators and why should the liberals on here support you after you tried to do the same damn thing that they think trump did???
 

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