Donald Trump may, with his typical swagger, boast about being a superhero who has created thousands of jobs and ‘built massive structures’ in America, but all it took to expose this demi-god’s feet of clay was a short speech from the father of an actual hero, Captain Humayun Khan, who fell victim to a suicide attack in Iraq in 2004.
At the Democratic National Convention last week, Khizr Khan’s words touched the hearts of millions, not only in America, but across the world as he challenged Trump, who has been threatening to ban Muslims from entering the US if he is elected president.
Khan, with his emotionally overwhelmed wife Ghazala Khan standing beside him, denounced the demagoguery of Trump saying the billionaire with the jet-set lifestyle had no idea what sacrifice for the country meant. It was heroes like his son, and their families, who were willing to pay the ultimate price patriotism demands – giving up your life for your country – who made America the great nation it was.
Donald Trump’s vitriolic attacks are a common occurrence ever since he announced his candidacy. He has called Mexicans ‘rapists and criminals’, dismissed women as ‘pigs’, and he even sank to the lowest level of mimicking the gait of a disabled reporter. His response to criticism is typical of a bully – he defends his attack, whines about being ‘treated unfairly’ and lashes back, often resorting to hitting below the belt.
Instead of addressing the issue about banning Muslims, Trump took to criticizing Ghazala Khan for not speaking, but standing in silence beside her husband, at one point even saying “perhaps she was not allowed to speak”.
In response, Mrs. Khan wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, wondering at the man’s insensitivity to a parent’s grief, in spite of being a parent himself.
Trump’s callous and brash behavior has drawn howls not only from political opponents, but also from stalwarts within the Republican party who feel that ‘pushing back against families of the fallen’ is absolutely unacceptable, and that this time, Trump has gone too far.
Ohio governor John Kasich put Trump in his place by remarking succinctly that ‘with honor and respect’ was the only way to talk about Gold Star parents; if a potential President of the United States can’t understand something as simple as that, he’s not fit to lead the country.