If Trump can’t even comfort the parents of a war hero, how will he manage a nation?

Published: August 3, 2016
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Hate the Clintons or not, you have to admit that they have one heck of a smart team.  Donald Trump who feeds on people’s fears, irrationality and bigotry to get votes just got played. And how!

One of the key points in Trump’s campaign is his stance against Muslims in general. Known to all by now, he plans to bar Muslims from entering his country if he is elected president. Of course, he also plans to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it, but let’s just put that rant aside for now.

One of the supposedly most low-key expected speeches at the Democratic National convention turned out to be the strongest and most popular too. Pakistani heritage lawyer Khizr Khan, with his wife firmly by his side, recounted the story of his Muslim American war hero son, Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004 while serving in Iraq.

A car had blown up taking his life after he instructed his troops to stay back while he opted to inspect the vehicle on his own. He saved many lives of the soldiers he supervised that day. He was only 27 and was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his bravery posthumously.

His Gold Star parent shamed Trump for being intolerant and for not sacrificing anything or anyone like he had. Khizr Khan made it clear that had things been Trump’s way, his family (unconstitutionally) would not even have been able to come to the US. He even offered to give his copy of the constitution to Trump to read up on!

Trump is known to speak before thinking, to hit below the belt without any filters, and to attack rather than save face. Hillary Clinton and her team definitely knew this and no doubt, expected such a reply from him when they presented Humayun Khan’s story; Trump delivered!

Instead of appreciating his sacrifice as an American soldier, he instead defended his own “sacrifices” and then verbally attacked the mother, Ghazala Khan, insinuating that she had been forcibly silenced because of her Muslim faith. The perfect response to this as seen on Facebook was:

https://www.facebook.com/GavinNewsom/photos/a.75229533116.73338.10128918116/10154474664248117/?type=3&theater

First of all, what sacrifice is he talking about? Just taking some of his father’s money as opposed to all? That kind of sacrifice? Or that he has decided to stick to wife number three for now? Or the sacrifice that he stays quiet sometimes while his own sons go around hunting endangered animals for fun?

Donald Jr. is seen with the tail of an elephant he killed during the 2011 hunting trip.
Photo: HuntingLegends.com/Hunting Legends

Brothers Donald Trump, Jr. (left) and Eric Trump (right) are pictured with a leopard that they killed on their trip to Zimbabwe.
Photo: HuntingLegends.com/Hunting Legends

As for Ghazala Khan standing beside her husband; if listening to him talk is being forcibly silenced, then what is Mrs Trump doing here? His words were,

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. Maybe she wasn’t allowed to. You tell me.”

I think we need to ask him the same question now.

As for Ghazala Khan standing beside her husband; if listening to him talk is being forcibly silenced, then what is Mrs Trump doing here?
Photo: Facebook

Of course when she does speak, it is usually a plagiarised speech! But again, that’s another matter altogether.

Ghazala Khan, on the other hand, gave a very apt response in an op-ed on Washington Post clearing her up side.

There is not enough damage control that could fix this. There are many republicans who chose Trump and put him right there on his seat, now rushing to make sympathetic remarks to the Khan family and apologising. Trump played right into Clinton’s hands and quite literally has hit himself on his own head.

And as the days go by, his comments regarding this whole matter, the constant attacks against the American war hero and his gold star family have started to create doubt in the minds of his supporters and has had many turn away from him. But can you really blame them? If he could not even bring himself to comfort the family of heroes, how is he to, as the US president, comfort an entire nation?

To him I say, Trump, bigotry will only get you so far!

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Shamila Ghyas

Shamila Ghyas

The writer is the author of the Aoife and Demon series. She also writes for Khabaristan Times, The Nation, Express Tribune, Dawn and other publications. She can be reached at @ShamilaGhyas (twitter.com/ShamilaGhyas) and www.facebook.com/shamilaghyas

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.