Dan Rather, one-time CBS News anchor and now guest talking head on various news programs, weighed in on Donald Trump’s comments regarding Second Amendment solutions recently—either regarding get-out-the-vote efforts or justices that Clinton would nominate to the Supreme Court, depending on how we read the Republican candidate’s words. Rather posted an essay on his Facebook page, citing Lincoln and the nature of a democratic republic in a call for all of us to recognize the grave nature of this year’s election.
Rather’s argument is that Trump’s call for violence against political opponents crosses a line that we haven’t approached since the Civil War. Regarding the gravity of our electoral circumstances this year, I’ve already expressed my concerns about Trump, and I don’t disagree with Rather. But the question that he leaves unanswered is what we should do about this, beyond challenging Trump’s lies and irresponsibility.
Challenging the wild claims that Trump makes daily is an essential duty of journalism and of voters. But challenging the lies, evasions, and double meanings of Clinton is equally necessary. Sadly, too many in this country seem motivated only by partisanship, attacking their opponents for the slightest faux pas, while tolerating gross abuses by their candidates of choice. For too long, we’ve accepted the concept of the lesser of two evils. And the contest between Clinton and Trump is the result.
For the immediate future, we do have the option of third-party candidates. But this is only a partial solution. The term, third party, has long meant a choice that is only viable in a theoretical sense, while having no practical application. Tell someone that you’re thinking of voting for a candidate who isn’t a Republican or a Democrat, and you’ll likely be told that you’re throwing away your vote.
How my vote is thrown away when it’s for someone I support is never explained, but sheep will follow their shepherds wherever they’re led, even if it’s to the slaughterhouse. And when the major party candidates are as bad as this year’s options, voting for them only makes sense if you’re someone who has good reason to expect pork or graft.
But the larger question that we have to ask is why we allowed ourselves to get to this disaster. Given the economic realities today, a lot of us have more than one job, and checking the claims of fact and logic made by people running for office take time to verify. And the intricacies of geopolitics, banking law, and many other topics are not something that can be covered in a sound bite. With the environment, the economy, and many basic rights at stake, however, we no longer have the luxury to be uninformed.
Rather warns us that we can’t allow a new civil war. We don’t need to get to that. If we all remind politicians that they serve at our pleasure and that we permit them to have a defined measure of power for a set period for the purpose of doing good for us. If we forget that, we get the government we deserve as punishment.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.