Legendary journalist Dan Rather took to Facebook today to share his thoughts on twilight of this interminable election season, and he has a critically important message for the nation.
While the campaigns may soon be done, the signs will be taken down, we can finally enjoy a football game without having to see Trump ads disgustingly looping footage of a burning Benghazi consulate every five minutes, we cannot forget what has happened in this election.
A shameful campaign winds up with a shameful final chapter. How fitting. How disappointing. And how rallying it must be for us to strive for a far different national narrative going forward. After bombshell headlines by FBI Director James Comey – it’s, oh nevermind. But we should mind – very much. And we shouldn’t forget.
I suspect we shall hear a lot of, “oh nevermind” after November 8.
From GOP supporters of Donald Trump who backed him for a cynical political calculus – they may want to say nevermind. But we should mind – and not forget.
From far too many of the press who gave Trump an open mic and treated his many serious transgressions with indifference and false equivalence – they may want to say nevermind. But we should mind – and not forget.
From those who whipped up xenophobia and misogyny in the name of rallying the base – they may want to say nevermind. But we should mind – and not forget.
From those who suppressed the vote and were called out on it – they may say nevermind. But we should mind – and not forget.
From those who fanned the flames of lies and persecuted the truth – they may want to say nevermind. But we should mind – and not forget.
I suspect historians will find fault with many and virtue with few when they look back at this election. But let us not descend into cynicism. The future of this country is indeed at stake. But even with the vote on November 8, the chapters of our American story will be written in ink not yet dry. Our destiny will depend on how we act going forward. Will we buy into the “nevermind” crowd, or will we resolve, together, to demand better of our elected officials, our press, and ourselves?
After the trauma of this election, many will throw up their hands and declare their desire to never talk about politics again. But we can’t forget what’s happened over the past year and a half.
The establishment of the Republican Party has revealed itself to be corrupted to the core, entirely consumed with greed and ambition, willing to dance with any devil and burn every bridge, to spit in the face of the values they profess to hold dear and discard every shred of dignity, to fiddle away while the Republic burns around them.
Once Trump lies defeated, we cannot allow the Republican Party to pretend like this never happened. The hatred and the bigotry that animates conservative America cannot be allowed to return to beneath the surface to fester and grow, and those that cultivated those dark energies and attempted to manipulate them for their own selfish purposes cannot be allowed to return to business-as-usual. They have shown they have no inclination to govern or no regard for their constituents, and we cannot continue to treat them as a serious political force in our country.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.