Dan Rather, the legendary former CBS News anchor and astute political observer, has just weighed in on the events of the past week with a Facebook post commenting on the unexpected rise and unprecedented success of the teenage activist-survivors of the Parkland, Florida school massacre.
Rather begins his comments with a warning about the obstacles the NRA and others who make a handsome profit from their jobs as merchants of death will place in the way of the #NeverAgain teens’ path to achieving their goals.
“Those who seek to subvert the will of the majority will work very hard to make it seem like your voices will never be heard. They will make it seem like your votes don’t count, like your values are outside of the norm of true American patriotism, that you must show respect to those who show you only disdain. Don’t believe it. Cynicism and intimidation are often the refuges of the weak in an effort to make themselves seem strong.”
After delivering his description of the ways their opponents will try to prevent their political movement from spreading, Rather hammers home a point that may have been lost in the year since a President was placed in office in defiance of the will of the majority of voters in this country.
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“But as we see voters rise up in elections across the nation, as we see a new generation of candidates for office claim that now is their time, as we see even the mighty NRA under siege with former corporate allies scurrying for the exits, it is a timely reminder: NO president…NO interest group… NO political party is bigger than the nation at large.”
Rather’s call for the opinions of the majority of Americans to overrule those of special interest groups and self-interested politicians is not a novel concept. In fact, it is an idea firmly rooted in our Constitution, but one that has been undermined by a political party system so horrendously addicted to corporate campaign donations that only special interests see their agendas advanced.
The veteran newsman then looks at the history of popular political movements and their effectiveness.
I have seen, time and time again, in the United States and around the globe, movements rooted in only a minority of the population change the course of history. This is especially true when those seeking change are on the side of justice.
Then he points out why the unprecedented response to the Parkland teens is different this time.
I do not see these protests as the marginalized fighting for fairness in an unjust system. I see it as a majority of Americans who believe in the rule of law, common sense gun regulations, honesty and integrity. They are rising up and realizing that when they speak they are joining a chorus of the majority.
With a majority of the country sensibly desirous of stronger controls on weapons of mass murder, Rather is literally preaching to the converted, but his words of assurance and his urging of steadfastness in the face of opposition from a nasty and aggressive minority is a welcome message nonetheless.