We can never, ever despair.

My dad was this forever optimistic and courageous man. He had been arrested, as a political prisoner, by the Gestapo in France in 1943 for giving fake financial numbers to the Nazis, as he was heading a small national bank. He came back from an Austrian concentration camp, freed by the American Army. His view was that if you are courageous, courage is its own reward, it multiplies itself inside you.

Steady is such a lovely thing thank you to everyone here.

Expand full comment

If we are to reimagine a better country, we have to acknowledge the near-total collapse of many institutions. The reality is that John Robert's, Mich McConnell, and Donald Trump are all aspects of the same driving force...consolidation of power and wealth in the hands of a minority of white men, unregulated capitalism, destruction of the social safety net. Robert's hides behind robes and legalese, McConnell substitutes obstructionism for bullying, but their goals are identical to those of Trump. McConnell despises Trump because he's a truer reflection of McConnell than any mirror. A majority of the country want the same things, but unless they can form a coalition strong enough to defeat the Roberts/McConnell/Trump trifecta, it won't happen. Compromise and coordinated messaging are challenging, but essential.

Expand full comment

Dan, another great post. Thank you. I would like to share a bit of my thinking as well. While our Democratic Republic was founded upon some great ideas as well as the commitment to slavery, it was founded upon the idea that a well educated citizenry would debate the issues of the day, and unite around the consensus. We are now on the horns of several dilemmas. Our citizenry is no longer well educated. And our citizens are no longer willing to debate, then unite around a consensus. Our leaders no longer lead. They merely hold their offices as a means to enrich themselves, not to contribute to the better good of the citizens. What are those of us who truly believe in the American Experiment to do?

Expand full comment

Joining this Steady community is one of the best things I have done since the 6th of January, 2021. Desmond Tutu described himself as a prisoner of hope in the fight for justice, equality and freedom. I feel hopeful about the prospects of a truly united United States of America. Slow and steady will win the race. 🕊

Expand full comment

The news media needs to step up and tell the whole story and stop using dramatic words/voice tone/music when news is being reported

“Breaking news” every evening is redundant

For example Cruz was dramatized as going to impeach Biden

This is not news; it is drama

Expand full comment

In an era where we seem to minimize the wisdom of the oldest among us, Dan Rather's words need to be read. This weekend, so many Americans indeed came together to rightfully mourn the loss of the beloved Betty White. I wonder if tomorrow the same number of us will come together to mourn Officer Brian Sicknick, as well as the possible loss of our democracy.

Yet, Dan Rather wisely reminds us that "on a day when we commemorate the destructive surge of mob mentality, let us also marvel at the power and resilience that is possible when we come together." While so many of us are tired, defeated, ill, angry, let us use the images and words from the horrific act of destruction to steady us to rebuild this country as we were taught it should be.

Expand full comment
Jan 5, 2022Liked by Elliot Kirschner

Dan’s December “Steady” message has been ringing in my ears, both for me personally but also for our country. To Life! If you take the time to listen to the lyrics, you will find LIFE! In the midst of what was for the Russian Jews an end of their “nation”, the eviction from their homeland. Yet there is hope that gives the small band of people the strength to keep moving forward. I cling to that hope in our dire times. I hope you all do too!

Expand full comment

This, in boldface:

"I have also seen that the most successful engines for progress are built through the power of community more than the energy of any one leader, no matter how talented or charismatic."

Ultimately, the fate of democracy is in our hands. The ultimate irony would be for the Republicans to go through all the trouble to suppress the vote and allow for legislatures to overturn results they don't like only for these measures to be unnecessary . . . because those who love freedom and want to build a more inclusive society stayed home out of cynicism and fatalism.

I've written this here before. We -- progressives, independents appalled by Trumpism, moderate Republicans disgusted with Trump -- need to get active, and get involved:

* Register, educate, and inspire votes, and help them put together game plans for each election that works around the GOP lawmaker's cynical obstruction.

* Vote in EVERY election, including primaries that choose candidates. Be informed voters, who don't fall for spoiler candidates.

* Donate to and support campaigns. Especially local ones, like city councils and school boards. A little bit of name recognition can get a candidate election.

* Donate to and support groups fighting voter suppression laws, and those who will *litigate* attempts to overthrow elections.

And this:

"I have found that hope, no matter how tenuous, is more likely to flourish when we feel connected."

Amen! Join an Indivisible chapter (indivisible.org). Volunteer for your local Democratic party. (Or DSA, or heck even the Republican party if you are a disgusted conservative and think you can change things.) If you are most concerned about a particular issue, find (or FOUND) a local chapter.

* * *

The breadth of ignorance, cynicism, and dishonest arrayed against us is daunting, but we can't lose hope. As John Lewis put it:

"Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year. it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble."

And finally, something I came across the other day, a quote by Albert Camus:

"In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.

In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.

In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.

I realized, through it all, that…

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back."

Expand full comment

We MUST keep speaking out...the American habit of short-term attention to an issue that then is replaced by the next "breaking news" story works against addressing this major assault on our democracy, and holding those responsible accountable. We need the DOJ, and the Congress, and the WH to keep the results of investigations constantly updated in all the media...though the media also needs to be held accountable for its on-going role in giving the Republican insurrectionists a huge megaphone for their "Big Lie."

Expand full comment

Thank you once again, Dan, for your always thoughtful commentary and for giving us a place to express our impressions. I’m 72 and the current situation is something that I only imagined in a science fiction piece. Living through a worldwide pandemic in the midst of an internal threat to our democracy was not really conceivable to me even in the darkest days of Watergate. I hope that 2022 is a brighter year. Thanks again Dan and the Steady team.

Expand full comment

I love this community. I live in Atlanta, but am sometimes overwhelmed by the stupidity of the leaders of the state. I just read that Cobb county Republicans canceled a prayer vigil for the insurrectionists ( leading a state representative to label it an “ homage to treason”).

And of course the governor would rather sue to prevent masks and vaccines than to protect children and teachers.

But it was also on January 6, 2021 that we proudly elected senators warnock and ossoff.

Expand full comment

Thank you Mr. Rather.

I would like to see this date in infamy become a federal holiday to commemorate the patriotism and courage of those in Congress on 1/6 who did their duty and counted the electoral votes despite the insurrection. To commemorate the courageous Capiitol and D.C. police and members of the National Guard who protected the members of Congress, their families and staff and quelled the insurrection. And to celebrate our democracy while also serving as a reminder that we can't grow complacent and need to work hard to preserve it.

Expand full comment

I feel less alone in my views when I read Steady. Thank you for keeping us hopeful!

God bless!

Expand full comment

Thanks again for the helping me stay centered in a politically polarized world. My prayer is to hope people will begin to think for themselves and what feels aligned with their values, and stop thinking what a particular party tells you to think. I have watched friends and family members become obsessive with their far right opinions. It almost feels that they have been programmed, they no longer can keep their hatred of fellow Americans differences out of conversation. It is like a 60’s Sci-Fi mind control movie that came true. I pray for the luxury of respect for our differences and decent intelligent conversation again someday. I pray for more kindness than hatred in the world. I pray that we can all share the planet in peace and with a joyful existence. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Expand full comment

As I read your thoughts and opinions, it fills me with fear for our new generations. We are in our 70s and raising our 15yr old grandson. As we try to show him the direction our country is going towards, we try very hard not to impress upon him our beliefs, our fears and our hopes for the future. He does understand that his age group is going to greatly effect us. Being two of the very few Democrats that live in our Nevada farming community, we try not put ourselves out into our neighbors beliefs. We still have Trump signs in homes and businesses and Rebel flags on vehicles. It tends to remind us to speak last and with a lot of fore thought. We only hope that the younger generations will listen or learn and think before doing.

Expand full comment

Your words, as always, are spot on. I think many of us are asking what we can do. I am personally taking on a writing campaign to those who have the power right now to keep Trump from even coming near the White House in 2024. As a prior Independent, I can truthfully tell them if they do not DENOUNCE the Big Lie they will never receive my vote. Email the CEOs and Boards of Pfizer, Boeing, Fedex and and GM and tell them to discontinue their funding of the RNC until the lie is not just ignored, but DENOUNCED. Emails if you are interested are:



Albert.bourla@pfizer.com and


Please act.

Expand full comment