Dan Rather, formerly of CBS Evening News and now host of The Big Interview on AXS TV, published a Facebook post Wednesday eviscerating Trump for his comments that “Second Amendment people” may be able to “do” something about Hillary Clinton.
Rather called Trump’s comments a “new low” and stated he had “crossed a line with dangerous potential”:
This is no longer about policy, civility, decency or even temperament. This is a direct threat of violence against a political rival. It is not just against the norms of American politics, it raises a serious question of whether it is against the law. If any other citizen had said this about a Presidential candidate, would the Secret Service be investigating?
Rather went on to anticipate an “explanation” from the Trump camp, but said “once the words are out there they cannot be taken back.” Rather went so far as to say Trump’s words were “what inciting violence means.”
Rather issued a severe warning to “anyone who still pretends this is a normal election” of Republican versus Democrat: “history is watching.”
This cannot be treated as just another outrageous moment in the campaign. We will see whether major newscasts explain how grave and unprecedented this is and whether the headlines in tomorrow’s newspapers do it justice. We will soon know whether anyone who has publicly supported Trump explains how they can continue to do.
He concluded his post with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, stating that the 16th President’s call for “cohesion and peace” during the eve of the Civil War was met with “horrific violence that almost left our precious Union asunder.” “We cannot let that happen again,” Rather warned.
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
As Rather predicted, Trump and his camp have already issued explanatory statements for the comment, claiming Trump was talking about harnessing the “political power” of the Second Amendment voting bloc.
Rather’s full statement can be viewed on Facebook, here.
Photo via Flickr/Charlie Llewellin