Where to begin? Last week I mentioned that in my opinion, Donald Trump is heading for a complete meltdown of epic proportions. This week’s news (note that as I write this, it is only Monday!) would seem to support that theory. What should have been a non-issue is spiraling out of control and appears to be headed into uncharted territory that even I cannot imagine. I refer, of course, to Donald Trump vs. Khizr Khan. I think a time-line of events is in order.
It all started last week, when the father of an American-Muslim soldier killed in Iraq gave a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). It was a short speech, completely extemporaneous, using neither teleprompter nor notes:
“Tonight we are honoured to stand here as parents of Captain Humayun Khan and as patriotic American Muslims – with undivided loyalty to our country.
Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy; that with hard work and goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We are blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.
Our son, Humayun, had dreams too, of being a military lawyer, but he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. 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’re asking Americans to trust you with their future.
Let me ask you: have you even read the United States constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. [he pulls it out] 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 brave patriots who died defending the United States of America.
You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
We cannot solve our problems by building walls, sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our President.
In conclusion, I ask every patriot American, all Muslim immigrants, and all immigrants to not take this election lightly.
This is a historic election, and I request to honour the sacrifice of my son – and on election day, take the time to get out and vote.
And vote for the healer. vote for the strongest, most qualified candidate, Hillary Clinton, not the divider. God bless you, thank you.”
Now, a smart man would have left it alone, but as I may have mentioned more than once, Trump is not necessarily a smart man. So, in an interview the next day, he said “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. I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve done, I’ve had tremendous success.” Here we have a grieving immigrant father whose son, a U.S. Army Captain, was killed in Iraq while heroically protecting his men from an attack on their compound, calling Trump out for proposing a ban on Muslims entering the country. Trump’s response was to make a snarky remark and then to claim, incredibly, that having a ‘successful’ business career was somewhat an equivalent sacrifice to having a son die in combat. A train wreck just looking for a place to happen ….
Khizr Khan’s wife, Ghazala, responded to Trump’s remarks with a letter to the editor of The Washington Post, which reads, in part:
“Donald Trump has asked why I did not speak at the Democratic convention. He said he would like to hear from me. Here is my answer to Donald Trump: Because without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. 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. Donald Trump said he has made a lot of sacrifices. He doesn’t know what the word sacrifice means.”
During the course of the weekend, Trump & Co. gave several interviews, some attempting to clean up the disastrous mess Trump made, others continuing to escalate the attack against the Khans. Vice-presidential hopeful Mike Pence issued the following statement via Facebook:
STATEMENT FROM REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, GOVERNOR MIKE PENCE
Donald Trump and I believe that Captain Humayun Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American.
Captain Khan gave his life to defend our country in the global war on terror. Due to the disastrous decisions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a once stable Middle East has now been overrun by ISIS. This must not stand.
By suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS at its source and projecting strength on the global stage, we will reduce the likelihood that other American families will face the enduring heartbreak of the Khan family.
Donald Trump will support our military and their families and we will defeat the enemies of our freedom.
– Governor Mike Pence
It is worth noting that the Khan’s son was killed in Iraq in 2004 — 12 years ago, four years before Obama became president!
Trump uses his favourite means of communication to tweet: “While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things.” Excuse me, Mr. Trump, but if you read that Constitution that Mr. Khan offered to lend you, you will see that right there in the 1st Amendment it says that Mr. Khan, as well as all the rest of us, have the right to criticize you. By the way, you will also see that there are only seven Articles! This information may come in handy for you someday.
Well, needless to say there were more tweets ‘n twitters, but then came this:
Trump Veterans Adviser Attacks Khizr Khan As A ‘Muslim Brotherhood Agent’
Trump advisor and New Hampshire State Representative Al Baldasaro tweeted a link to an article from Shoebat.com, a fringe anti-Islam conspiracy website. The article suggests (without any evidence) that Khizr Khan’s son, Humayun Khan, who was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze, was a jihadist who joined the military to kill Americans. Then Roger Stone, whom you may remember from a previous Idiot of the Week post jumped on the train with his own tweet: “Mr. Khan more than an aggrieved father of a Muslim son- he’s Muslim Brotherhood agent helping Hillary.”
I believe the Trump Train has now crossed the line of slander, but they are not yet done … there’s still more. Next to board the train is none other than Trump’s former campaign manager, now a CNN political commentator, Corey Lewandowski, with this statement “We’ve had 7,000 soldiers who have died, $6 trillion wasted overseas that if Donald Trump was president, we would never have had, and Captain Khan would be alive today. If Donald Trump was the president, Captain Khan would be alive today, because he would’ve never engaged in a war that didn’t directly benefit this country. Captain Khan would be alive today, as would 7,000 other U.S. soldiers.” The problem with that statement is that just a year before Captain Khan was killed, Howard Stern asked Trump “Are you for invading Iraq?” To which Trump replied “Yeah, I guess so.” There is no evidence that Trump opposed the Iraq war prior to it beginning.
Democrats and Republicans alike are taking Mr. Trump to task for his and his minions’ callous and untrue remarks. I suspect that at this point, Mr. Trump needs to listen to his legal advisors who, I am certain, are telling him to stop talking! Since when have facts or lawsuits ever stood in the way of da trumpeter? I am left to wonder where this goes next and if it might be the beginning of the end for the Trump campaign, although to judge by the comments I received on Facebook today, his supporters are still adamant. What does it take for them to wake up and smell the diesel fuel burning?
“How many times can a man turn his head, and pretend that he just doesn’t see? How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.”
Partial lyrics from Blowing In The Wind – Bob Dylan