At heart, veteran news anchor and journalist Dan Rather has always operated from a strong moral core that, despite whatever mistakes he made in life or temptations that came with success, always helped him get back on course.
"No man who is corrupt, no man who condones corruption in others, can possibly do his duty by the community." – Theodore Roosevelt. https://t.co/5ELc2Ezb5I
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 11, 2018
In his new essay, “We are seeing but the tip of the corruption iceberg,” Rather sounds like he is fed up with what he sees happening since Donald Trump was elected president and believes the time has come for America to make a course correction.
“I am stunned by what is taking place today,” begins Rather, who has covered politics and government since he was a young reporter sending heart-wrenching dispatches for CBS News from the scene of President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination in Dallas.
“Over the course of my life, I have never seen a level of corruption in the United States equal to that emanating from the Trump Administration. It is the ultimate threat to effective governance. It is morally repugnant and a repudiation of the very ideals of our democracy. It is the rot of power for sale.”
Rather worries that the corruption coming out of Trumpworld is so constant that it will be seen as business as usual, although he believes it is very unusual by the standards of past American presidents and governments.
“One thing that has marked this country from others is that, especially at the highest levels of government, our corruption (and our tolerance for it) has been comparatively very low,” says Rather contrasting it with Russia, China, and other countries, before truly tearing into Trump’s last few days:
“The corruption that has already been proven is staggering. But with the latest revelations around slush funds, the money passing through Trump properties, this bizarre story of a “dirty ops” campaign against Obama Administration officials, the daily Pruitt perfidy (and so, so, so much more) one has a sense that we are seeing but the tip of the corruption iceberg.”
Rather is especially disgusted by the “rank hypocrisy” of Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp,” and says it is time to drop that phrase from the conversation.
“It is too cute, too passive, and too esoteric for what is going on. This is about hardworking, law-abiding Americans being played for suckers. This is about the very idea of honest government becoming just another partisan divide. There are already many worrisome signs that this mindset is seeping into the candidacies of those seeking lower office.”
For all of his depression about what is happening, Rather still has an all-American belief that the system can and will self-correct.
“In the end, I trust the American people will not sit idly by and allow the fleecing of their country to take place without a reckoning at the ballot box, and likely in the halls of justice.”
As long as there are Americans like Dan Rather who stand tall even when the winds are howling and the sky is dark, there is hope that a brighter day will come when the Oval Office will be inhabited by a person deserving of respect.