Donald Trump has given me yet another reason not to vote for him.
His disrespect towards Khizr & Ghazala Khan, the parents of Captain Humayun Khan, the U.S. Army Captain killed in Iraq in 2004. Khan posthumously earned the Bronze Star after saving the lives of troops under his command when he was killed by an IED.
Trump set his sights on the Khans after Khizr Khan’s eloquent speech at the Democratic National Convention. Although just over six minutes in length, it was a speech for the ages:
Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son “the best of America.”
If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.
Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words “liberty” and “equal protection of law.”
Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
Khan’s speech were all the more dramatic when he removed a copy of the U.S. Constitution from his jacket and offered to lend it to Trump.
Donald Trump could have responded that he appreciated their son’s sacrifice, but that he respectfully disagreed with Mr. Khan’s remarks. But that isn’t the Donald Trump we have come to know. Since Trump couldn’t rebuke Mr. Khan for what he said, he instead chose to rebuke Mrs. Khan for not having spoken. Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos:
His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me? But plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet and it looked like she had nothing to say.
Well, as it turns out, Mrs. Khan is plenty capable of speaking for herself as she demonstrated in a guest op-ed for The Washington Post:
I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun. For all these years, I haven’t been able to clean the closet where his things are — I had to ask my daughter-in-law to do it. Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?
Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not. My religion teaches me that all human beings are equal in God’s eyes. Husband and wife are part of each other; you should love and respect each other so you can take care of the family.
Can we now expect Trump to send out a tweet demeaning Mrs. Khan’s physical appearance or attire?
But by all means keep insulting the Khans. With every word Trump directs against them his shortcomings are out on full display for the world to see. Consider Trump’s response to Stephanopoulos when he asked him about Khan’s assertion that he had sacrificed nothing:
I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard, created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs.
At this point, Stephanopoulos interjects and asks, “Those are sacrifices?” Whereupon Trump grabs a shovel and digs deeper:
Oh sure, I think they’re sacrifices. When I can employ thousands and thousands of people, take care of their education and take care of so many things. Even with the military I was very responsible along with a group of other people in getting the Vietnam Memorial built in downtown Manhattan which people to this day thank me for. I’ve raised and I have raised millions of dollars for the vets. I’m helping the vets a lot. I think my popularity with the vets is through the roof.
Employing people is what businessmen do, it is not a sacrifice. Building a Vietnam War Memorial and raising money for veterans is an act of charity, not an act of sacrifice. When Trump speaks of employing people, says how much people thank him for building the Vietnam War Memorial in New York City and how much veterans love him, he demonstrates he has no concept of what sacrifice truly is and thereby proves Mr. Khan’s point. A man of Trump’s vanity will never understand the meaning of sacrifice. It is understandable that Mr. Khan views Trump as a man with a black soul and without empathy.
If Trump had understood the meaning of sacrifice, he would not have tweeted, “I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!”
Of course, Trump can respond, the question is how. Just because he can doesn’t mean he should. Where it concerns the Khans, Trump has shown that he does not choose his battles wisely let alone his words.
While I don’t share the Khans’ support for Hillary Clinton, their support of her is understandable given that she has said that their son’s sacrifice represents the best of America. In which case, Donald Trump’s response to the Khans represents the worst of America.