Young adults must learn that access to the vote is their ticket to building the country THEY want to live and raise their families in. We cannot carry them on our backs forever. While parents try to vote for the best interests of themselves and their children, at some point those interests may diverge, and there will be issues that we must support to ensure our future does not include being a burden to our kids while they are raising their own.

I have met many enthusiastic young people eager to have their voices heard through their votes, and they must learn that recent setbacks means they need to shout even louder, not retreat.

The question I often ask at voter registration events is "Do you want your grandparents to decide your future?" Then I show them an aerial view of Congress with all of those silver, gray & white heads, and share the percentage of members who are more than twice the median age of their constituents.

We do not currently have a representative government. AOC & David Hogg cannot fix that alone.

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Democrats need to run hard. A lot is on the line in this election as noted by Steady. Also, the GOP does not have any solutions to inflation and the Dems should call them out on it.

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One must only look to history to know what is in our future if we let the far right take hold and change our nation.

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I both want to cheer out loud and cry when I read these essays. How is it so many supposedly good and decent people can be blind to the outrageous and dangerous power-mongering of far too many Republicans with Mitch McConnell at the lead -NOT Donald Trump. Trump was in it for MONEY and ATTENTION, but Mitch was pulling the strings and it was only to trap votes, he didn't care about ideologies or anything but power and staying on top. I am on the knife edge between despair/disgust and hope. Knowing how many fellow citizens tuned in for Jan 6 committee trials is great. But the economic system we have nurtured has created a feudal reality with far too many struggling and those on top doing anything they can to keep the lid on. It will take dismantling the unjust inequities to free our democracy.

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I'm so glad I found Steady. As with this article, you've been able to beautifully and intelligently write what lives in my heart and mind but jumbled by frustration, disgust, anger and hopelessness. I was born in 1968 in TX and unfortunately have lived here my entire life. I've lived most of my life loving my state and country. Now, I no longer recognize any of it and I find it all appalling and embarassing (especially TX). My husband and I discuss where we could move and take our children before they settle in and we retire. What country would give us the life we once had here? As many have posted in these comments, the problems in the U.S. seem insurmountable and our democratic party and rule are being overthrown by maniacs. Elections, policies and laws are now driven by greed, privilege, elitism, narcissism and self-righteousness. We aren't far from a new world and civil war.

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Part of the problem is life has gotten easier for the "voting class." Mettle has yet to be tested for too many. Tales of tanks rolling down the street seem apocryphal, unreal. Many can't imagine or commiserate w/Hungary of 1956 or Czechoslavakia 1968. Too horrible to imagine, so they don't go there. "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis should be mandatory 6th or 7th grade reading. Maybe a program of class-visiting mentors who've experienced the moment of authoritarian takeover in person in real time, powerpoints of survivors, simulators with interactive video games forcing players to "survive", or "show & tell" of before/after.....? Consequences of turning away from politics because many politicians are do narcissistic & repulsive is too high. HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE NEEDS TO BE TRAINED. Empathy comes after understanding. Hypervigilance teaches survival. The "side" w/the most hypervigilance has the clear advantage. W/o causing trauma, we need to convey that laziness, denial, & apathy lead to catstrophes/disasters of fascism/authoritarian dictatorship. "Disastrophes"- well, it should be a word... Crisis has to feel real & imminent to more people so they recognize this moment for the threat it is. Also, there are those who take advantage of moments such as these- like a corrupt, dishonest, career "moderate" R easily swayed by a much younger secret girlfriend...who self-deals bills for his girlfriend & her family....a guy like this can be worse than an open trumper.

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Guns are a problem, and have been for a long time. So is the cost of healthcare, intransigence on climate change, Pharma pricing, military spending, and a collection of issues that are failing the American people. Congress is corrupt to the core. There is not a government for the people. When special interests can buy congress there is no hope for change.

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You are spot on gentlemen. Unfortunately, I have lost my faith in the abilities of those who vote unwavering in the red column to open their eyes to what is going on within "their " party. We are sliding backwards. Back down that slope to totalitarian rule and reduced freedom of choice.

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The most horrible situation this great country is experiencing for the past many years and getting worse lately is that Republicans, especially the politicians, refuse to acknowledge and accept that EVOLUTION exist. They love the status quo because they can gain from it, politically and monetarily. Also, they do not support to fund education, electing to make their constituents illiterate, so they can control them at every turn.

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I sure hope so.

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I agree with you wholeheartedly Mr Dan Rather-we are all sounding the bell-as a retired teacher I feel rather neutered but as baby boomers our resolve is the same vote Democrat write letters like hell-keep voting for your life depends on it-Thank you for being a hero Dan. Thea

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Another day, another shooting that couldn’t happen without a gun.

You say, society is sick. We say, universal healthcare.

You say, NO, prevent mental illness. We say, universal healthcare.

You say, NO, what about bullies? We say, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

You say NO but just a random nut case. We say, red flag laws, waiting period, background checks.

You say, NO but single parent households. We say living wages, affordable housing, before and after school programs, jobs programs for teens.

You say NO, but not all guns. We say, ban military weapons, large capacity rounds.

You say NO, I might need a gun in a hurry. We say, close gun sales loopholes.

You say NO, but target practice. We say, then store your gun at the gun range.

You say NO, but hunting. We say, you don’t need an AR-15 to take out Bambi.

Besides we know you buy beef at Walmart. You’re too lazy to hunt Bambi.

You say, NO, but arm teachers. We say, keep the guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.

You say, NO, secure buildings. We say, stop making our children prisoners just because you want a gun.

You say, NO, increase security. We say, kids with PTSD from crawling out from under their classmate’s body.

You say, NO, my 2A rights. We say, my right to my life, my children’s lives, my neighbor’s life, my pewmate’s life.

You say, NO, “shall not be infringed”. We say, stop infringing on our right to life.

You say, NO, you need a gun for protection. We say, more guns equal more gun violence.

You say, NO, we must have guns at the ready. We say, at least secure them from the kids.

You say, NO, thoughts and prayers. We say, stuff it where the sun don’t shine.

You say NO, but I'll dance with my gun on the graves of your loved ones.

We say, until it happens to you, you won’t get it.

You say, NO but what a horrible tragedy. We say, what are you going to do about it?

You say, NOTHING. We say, REPEAL 2A. We are done with you.

You say, CONSTITUTION. We say, REPEAL 2A. We are done with you.

You say, BUT MY RIGHTS. We say, with rights come responsibility. REPEAL 2A. We are done with you.

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Thank you Mr. Rather. You clarify the many dynamics that impact elections. In regards to your question of whether the electorate will react to the exposure of the acts and persons responsible for the coup, I don't think it will matter. Supporter of TFG are locked in on how the will vote. Their knowledge of what the gop did on Jan 6 will probably make them more "proud" of the actors. Then there's a significant portion of the electorate who don't consider what was done (and still being done) that big a deal. I am pessimistic the the gop will be punished. A symptom of a weakening Democracy. Too much effort in weakening our democracy ( the nurturing of white greivance ) than there is in nurturing our Democracy.

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We have to. We can’t sit this one out. We’ve got to get Democrats to the polls. All of us have to work for this!

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I just loved this line "For a long time, most Democratic campaign strategists viewed wading into these topics with about as much enthusiasm as running naked through a patch of poison ivy." Gets the attention of the regular people, haven't we all has a tussle with Poison Ivey? Love the way you speak to us Dan, like a real person.

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Are Republicans allowed to participate or is this a Liberal Democrat only conversation?

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