Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Dan Rather on America’s “Moment of Reckoning”

I am shaken, and I like to think I don’t shake easily.

I am moved to a deep and profound sadness, and I don’t like to think I am prone to melancholy.

But I am also emboldened and determined that what we saw today, the overwhelming evidence presented by the House Managers in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, shall not, must not, be a portent for where this country goes. Rather it must be a wake-up call to centuries of injustice and false grievances that a would-be despot, bolstered by no shortage of confederates, weaponized and catapulted into an assault on American democracy. As I write these words I still cannot quite believe what really happened. Nevertheless, there can be no denying the reality.

January 6 was a coordinated attack. It was built atop a foundation of lies doled out with precision over days and weeks. From a different perspective, you might say this was months, years, and even generations in the making. Will it be the last gasps of a discredited white supremacy and the other forces of intolerance that weaken our nation? Will we be able to successfully fight off the lies and propaganda? Or will this be part another major strike of the sledgehammer that’s fracturing our democratic experiment?

I firmly believe that the vast majority of American citizens will see this clearly for what it is. But our voices are on the sidelines for now, other than the pressure of conscience we can bring to bear on the 100 senators who will stand in judgement. That these same women and men were also in the crosshairs of the murderous mob and that the trial is taking place at the scene of the crime, makes the events transpiring today on Capitol Hill even more surreal.

. . . Some might argue that this is a rush to judgement, that the president’s counsel has a right to present their case. That is indeed true. But you would have to be willfully ignorant, or cynical to the point of malevolence, to not see and hear with clarity the evidence as it stands.

I have seen my country brought low before. I have reported on the injustices and inequalities that have weakened our national purpose since its inception. I witnessed cowardice and complicity. But never before have I seen all of these undercurrents so focused in a single event.

We have clarity. We have proof. We need accountability. And we need a justice that will ring forth for the generations that follow. We cannot speak of unifying this nation without reckoning with all that is tearing it apart.

Dan Rather
Excerpted from “A Moment of Reckoning
February 10, 2021

NEXT: David Remnick: Quote of the Day – 2/13/21

Related Off-site Links:
Trump Trial Video Shows Vast Scope and Danger of Capitol Riot – Lisa Mascaro, Eric Tucker, Mary Clare Jalonick and Jill Colvin (AP News, February 10, 2021).
Trump “Left Everyone in Capitol for Dead” – Trevor Potter (BBC News, February 10, 2021).
With New Video Footage, Managers Show How Close Rioters Got to Pence and Lawmakers – Barbara Sprunt and Ryan Lucas (NPR News, February 10, 2021).
When No Line is Too Far to Cross – John Pavlovitz (, February 10, 2021).
Trump Campaign Paid Millions to Organizers of Rally That Led to Capitol Rampage – Sharon Zhang (TruthOut, February 10, 2021).
Dramatic Video of Capitol Attack and Trump’s Incitement Kicks Off Impeachment Trial in SenateDemocracy Now! (February 10, 2021).
“This Cannot Be the Future of America”: Rep. Jamie Raskin Gives Moving Account of Capitol AttackDemocracy Now! (February 10, 2021).
There is No Defense, Only Complicity – David Frum (The Atlantic, February 10, 2021).
The People Who Are Really on Trial Are the 50 Republican Senators Judging Trump’s Guilt – Heather Cox Richardson (, February 10, 2021).
What Does a “Good” Republican Look Like? – Jonathan V. Last (The Bulwark, February 10, 2021).
Republicans Unswayed by Evidence Trump “Incited” Mob Against U.S. Capitol – Igor Bobic and Matt Fuller (Yahoo! News, February 10, 2021).
Why Republicans Won’t Convict Trump – David Faris (The Week, February 9, 2021).
Trump’s Lawyers Throw Trump’s Supporters Under the Bus – Heather Cox Richardson (, February 9, 2021).
“Show the Video to Someone You Know”: Watch Democrats’ Must-See Exhibit A at Trump TrialCommon Dreams (February 9, 2021).
Impeachment Trial Must Result in Trump Lifetime Ban to Protect Our Democracy – Trevor Potter (Common Dreams, February 9, 2021).

UPDATE: The Department of Justice Has Released Its Clearest Evidence Yet Tying Jan. 6 Militants to Trump – Sharon Zhang (TruthOut, February 11, 2021).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Republican Party in a Nutshell
Quote of the Day – January 7, 2021
Insurrection at the United States Capitol
Donald Trump’s Open and Shameless Criminality
Trump’s Legacy
Who Half of Us Are
About Those Militias
Heather Cox Richardson on the Unravelling of President Trump
Rep. Ilhan Omar Responds to President Trump’s Authoritarian Threats
Marianne Williamson on America’s “Cults of Madness”
“The Republican Party Has Now Made It Official: They Are a Cult”
“We Have an Emergency On Our Hands”: Marianne Williamson On the “Freefall” of American Democracy
“Fascism Is Upon Us”
President Trump, “We Hold You Responsible”
In Charlottesville, the Face of Terrorism In the U.S.
Trump’s America: Normalized White Supremacy and a Rising Tide of Racist Violence
On International Human Rights Day, Saying “No” to Donald Trump and His Fascist Agenda
Progressive Perspectives on the Election of Donald Trump as President
Progressive Perspectives on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Trump’s Playbook
Progressive Perspectives on the Rise of Donald Trump

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