As the United States swore in the 45th president on Jan. 20, 2017, many across the world watched in uncertainty of what the future would hold. In a post on Facebook, journalist Dan Rather expressed the sentiments of fear, anxiety and uncertainty felt by many while watching the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Noting first that none of the “nearly 20 inaugurations” Rather remembered ever felt similar to the one that was witnessed today. “What is truly unprecedented in my mind is the sheer magnitude of quickening heartbeats in millions of Americans, a majority of our country if the polls are to be believed, that face today buffeted within and without by the simmering ache of dread,” he wrote.
Pointing to the many things that overshadowed a peaceful transition — controversial cabinet picks, the possibility of foreign intervention in the 2016 election, the conflicts of interest — Rather wrote, “we are entering a chapter in our nation’s evolving story unlike one ever yet written.”
“There is usually much fanfare around inaugural addresses. They are also usually forgotten – with some notable exceptions,” he wrote, suggesting that today’s would be different. “I think today will be remembered, not so much for the rhetoric or the turns of phrase but for the man who delivered them and the era they usher us forth.”
The president, Rather writes, “painted a very dark picture of the current state of our nation, beset by gangs and drugs and violence, regardless of what the data shows. His words swelled with his economic populism and the nationalism of ‘America first.'”
Rather noted, however, that the approaching era will be faced with “debate and dissent — fierce, sustained, and unflinching when necessary. I sense that tide is rising amongst an opposition eager to toss aside passivity for action.”
“We now have a new and untested captain. His power is immense, but it is not bestowed from a divinity on high,” Rather argued, declaring that our new president works for all of us, “And if he forgets that, it will be our duty to remind him.”