KHIZR KHAN FOR PRESIDENT?
THE DAD WITH THE FUNNY MUSLIM NAME KNOWS MORE ABOUT THE U. S. CONSTITUTION THAN THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.
What the fuck? I’m watching the Democratic Convention’s unchallenged superstar – no, not Hillary Clinton but Khizr Khan, father of U.S. Army Captain hero Humayun Khan who was killed protecting his troops in Afghanistan – speak about Donald Trump’s responses to his heart rending and ultimately Trump spearing speech last Thursday that remains probably the finest 15 minutes of patriotism and exposition of American “values” that we have witnessed in years. Not only is Khizr Khan an articulate speaker and passionate defender of America, he’s your “Every-Dad,” defending his Muslim son, his Muslim wife, his Muslim family, all Muslim Americans against the forces of hate and bigotry Trump represents in a way that is simply so fundamentally “American,” so deeply patriotic and so brilliantly fatherly as to defy and demolish any and all attacks from any quarter lobbed against him. There is certainly no question about whom so starkly represents what it means to be an American than the contrast between Donald Trump and Khizr Khan.
Thankfully, and in an unusual bit of honest reportage in a sea of “fair and balanced, there are two sides to every issue” bullshit, the press seems to have understood the profound implications of Khan’s Democratic Convention Speech and are continuing to cover the fallout and the nearly universal condemnation of Republican Presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump for his downright stupid replies. Today Mr. Khan stated that he's received support from Republicans and conservatives along with a tide of general overwhelming support.
I’ve posted Khan’s speech for the benefit of my international readers just in case your press hasn’t covered what was the without a shadow of a doubt the finest 15 minutes of either convention.
By the way, Rush Limbaugh characterized the reaction to Khizr Khan’s speech as a “political talking point that Democrats are using to pander to Muslims” in a not so unusual reaction to Khan’s true patriotism rather than the cheap knock-off, jingoistic patriotism the right wing has championed for decades. The irony of a Muslim American actually living, breathing and extolling American patriotism is lost on none of us, whatever else Trump and Limbaugh might say about it.
Looking back on the past two weeks, it’s clear that the Republican and Democratic Conventions were speaking to two very different audiences, two starkly different Americas. They were, I think, fairly honest depictions of our “divisions” at least ideologically and thematically. For years now, the Republicans, conservatives and the right wing have decried the destruction of America at the hands of President Obama, Democrats and Liberals. For the most part, we Democrats and liberals have remained largely silent – with the complicit cooperation of our limp-dicked press - at the wholesale sliming of us. Until now. It was, in fact, the Trump candidacy that presented us with the stark reality of the two Americas we apparently live in: the dark, chaotic and violence filled one that Trump describes and the flawed, but fundamentally solid and good America described by Clinton. The pushback against Trump’s vile response to Khizr Khan is a part of the separating out and filling in of the reality, the truth, of these two world views.
If we can distinguish between those of us who are frustrated and discontented with the direction of America as illustrated by the 70% of Americans who think we are heading in the wrong direction, the reasons why, the causes of this angst, what motivates conservatives and Trump supporters versus what motivates progressives and Bernie Sanders’ supporters (the reasons and motivations are totally at odds with one another) then we will have won the battle that this year’s election seems to represent. It is a battle for the hearts and minds of the American public to determine if we believe that immigrants, Muslims and liberals are the reason for America’s “wrong direction” or that big business, inept government and conservative policies are the reasons. And in order for this nuanced analysis of the 70% Wrong Direction to be understood by the American voter, the press will have to play a vital role, one that they have not exercised either in this election cycle where “personalities” have prevailed and not all that much over the past three decades.
I am not necessarily encouraged by the post-convention attention to Khizr Khan they’ve exhibited marks any turning point in their lackluster, bullshit coverage. This “issue” is tailor made for the short-breaking-news-cycle journalism the media practices given the starkly relevant “issues” that Khan’s speech and his responses to Trump’s idiocy raises.
Still, I have yet to hear (or see) any in-depth analysis of the Wrong Direction poll results although you hear this fact cited every single day by nearly every single media outlet. I hear it on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program as well as on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, in the New York Times and in the Washington Post day after day after day. I have yet to hear what’s stoking this poll result and the stark differences between the two “camps” the 70% of Americans who believe that America is heading in the wrong direction actually represents. It would take a moment or two of "thinking" on the part of the press about this poll result, which is not the current "direction" of the media.
Maybe it won’t matter if the press doesn’t cover this. Maybe, as we so often hear, elections are about “personalities” – who is the most “likable” candidate – as opposed to underlying factors and motivations. Maybe the disgruntled American voter isn’t all that interested in how each candidate is proposing to ease their discontent, their suspicions and their pain. Maybe.
But I’m thinking that since the public is indeed profoundly upset and angry about the direction of the country, more so than in any recent election, and the two major parties are offering starkly polar sets of solutions as a cure for this angst, maybe this clear choice will cause folks to think about what it is that underlies the 70% Wrong Direction statistic rather than simply voting on the respective personalities of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Then again, if history is any indication, “maybe not” is the more likely outcome.
Have A Good Day Folks! There Is More Hope Today Then Yesterday!