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Retired veteran journalist Dan Rather offered a rallying cry on Facebook this week for Americans to "stand up" and "stay vigilant" for "brewing dangers" that President-elect Donald Trump's administration could usher in.

Rather said he hopes Trump will rise above what he sees as dangerous rhetoric that could cause a "rip tide of regression" back to the days of the Red Scare and the internment of Japanese-Americans.

"If he does and speaks forcibly, and with action, we should be ready to welcome his voice. But of course I am deeply worried that his selections of advisors and cabinet posts suggests otherwise," Rather said.

The former CBS newsman said he became angry when Trump offered what he called a "boilerplate" response to neo-Nazi supporters at an "alt-right"  conference in the District of Columbia who read from Adolf Hitler-era German texts and saluted Trump in that manner.

"History will demand to know which side were you on. This is not a question of politics or party or even policy. This is a question about the very fundamentals of our beautiful experiment in a pluralistic democracy ruled by law," he said.

"We have survived through bloody spasms of a Civil War and a Civil Rights Movement to extend more of these rights to more of our citizens."

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