Dan Rather Defends Kneeling for the National Anthem: ‘Dissent’ Is ‘as American as Apple Pie’

‘What unites us is remembering the values that have held us together all these times’


RATHER: "That’s one of the things I wanted to discuss in what unites us. What is patriotism in the second decade of the 21st century? As far as the anthem is concerned. I stand for the national anthem. I put my hand to the heart without apology. It usually leaves me without word. That’s what is inside me. That’s what I feel. However, dissent is as American as a revolutionary war. Or as cliché goes, it's as American as apple pie. I think it’s very important we listen to one another when it’s peaceful dissent . While it’s not my way of kneeling, some stand, some kneel, but it's having respect for those who kneel. But even though you say yourself as I say to myself, 'It’s not what I would do,' I want to listen to what they have to say. Because as I understand what they’re saying, it’s not disrespect for the country. It’s not disrespect certainly for the military. It’s about calling attention to injustice." 

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