This is what political courage looks like: U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, a Republican from New York, told Syracuse.com Tuesday that he would not vote for Donald Trump for president. He will vote for Hillary Clinton.
Trump, he said, is a “national embarrassment.”
Take note, Paul Ryan.
Trump has said many things during his 14-month campaign. He has called women “dogs” and “pigs.” He has mocked a disabled reporter. He has shown only the slightest interest in learning the issues — his apparent surprise at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this week is only the latest example of vacuousness.
But Trump’s denigration of the parents of a Muslim soldier who died trying to save his fellow troops was indeed a “national embarrassment.”
And it ought to be the last straw for the Speaker of the House. Khizr Khan, speaking with his wife Ghazala at his side during the Democratic National Convention last week, explained how his son, Humayun, died in a car bombing in Iraq in 2004; Humayun Khan ran toward the oncoming vehicle while ordering his men to flee. Khizr Khan castigated Trump for his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country and asked the billionaire if he had ever bothered to read the Constitution, pulling a copy from his pocket and offering to loan it to him.
“You have sacrificed nothing and no one,” he said.
Trump was quick to retaliate. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Trump said he had “made a lot of sacrifices,” noting that his business had created jobs, and he questioned why Ghazala Khan stood by silently (she later said she still finds it painful to talk about her son’s death).
“Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say, you tell me,” Trump said. In a statement, Trump said Khizr Khan had “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.”
In fact, Khizr Khan had every right. And Khizr Khan was right about Trump.
Donald Trump was staked to his business by his wealthy father and has sacrificed very little for his country. During the Vietnam War, Trump, 69, received five deferments, four because he was in college and a fifth for bone spurs in his heels, The New York Times reported Tuesday. And yet he has the gall to treat a family that has given so much to its adopted nation in this manner? Ryan again condemned the idea of a religious test for entry into the country and he praised Humayun Khan.
“Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military and made the ultimate sacrifice. Capt. Khan was one such brave example. His sacrifice — and that of Khizr and Ghazala Khan — should always be honored. Period.”
But Ryan still believes he can have it both ways with Trump — that he can support Trump and still manage the billionaire’s frequent eruptions of ignorance. He cannot. His principles and Donald Trump’s candidacy are simply not compatible.
What will it take, Speaker Ryan? If not small-minded contempt for a Gold Star family, then what? How far must Trump go? Stand on principle. Disavow Donald Trump.
—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Aug. 2, 2016