Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What constitutes a “real” American? That’s the question we must answer

Does this bobblehead have more sense?
The latest controversy absorbing the attention of the Donald Trump campaign doesn’t surprise me in the least – the fact that he would rudely attack a Muslim couple and downplay the sacrifice their son made while serving in the U.S. military is way too predictable.

The fact that some Republican political officials are now feeling inclined to bad-mouth Trump and claim he ought to be apologetic is not only going to fail to warrant an apology, it is likely to offend the mentality of Trump backers.

IT MAY WIND up being used as further evidence by those people of how the Republican Party is out of touch with what they feel about this country.

And I don’t doubt that Trump himself is garnering some form of emotional strength from being criticized publicly on this issue. It may well be the perfect example of how differently from the masses the Trump-types are in viewing the world.

At stake is the activity of the past few days centering around Khizr Khan and his wife, whose son Humayun, was killed in action while serving in the Army.

The couple was used by Democrats during last week’s presidential nominating convention to show an example of an Islamic family making the same ultimate sacrifice of losing a family member to military service as many other families in this country have done.
How many bothered by front page photo?
IT WAS SUPPOSED to be an example of how nonsensical so much of Trump’s anti-Islamic rhetoric during his presidential campaign has been.

Trump, if he had any political sense, or compassion of any kind, would have let it go. The Khans would have had their convention moment on national television, and most likely would already have been forgotten.

But Trump is Trump. He felt compelled to respond with ridicule of the couple, which caused Khizr Khan to retort with comments about how lacking in humanity or a soul Trump truly is.

It seems that Khan has captured the sentiment of many people – as there are many Republican operatives who wish Trump would just shut up. After all, GOP candidates don’t usually go about criticizing military personnel or their families.

THIS IS EVEN an issue that has brought together Illinois’ two candidates for a U.S. Senate seat – both Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth made a point on Monday of seeing who could come out and publicly bash Trump the hardest.

The long-time Naval Reserve officer in Kirk and one-time Army helicopter pilot in Duckworth both wanted it known they thought Trump would make a completely unfit Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military if he actually won the presidential election.
Did Mark Kirk repudiate Trump thoroughly,...

And not just because of the draft deferments he got some five decades ago that kept him from ever having to serve in the military during the Vietnam War – I’ll give Trump the benefit of the doubt and accept that he really had bone spurs in his heels that would have made him physically unfit for military service, even though he also has boasted that the Philadelphia Phillies expressed some interest in him playing baseball professionally when he was a teenager.

But I don’t think Trump will be swayed by any of this. Maybe not even the fact that his vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence, says he wishes Trump had kept quiet about this. Because I’m sure there are people who perceive individuals like the Khans as somehow not deserving of the ability to think of themselves as being part of this nation.
... or did Tammy Duckworth top him?

THEY PROBABLY VIEW the sacrifice of Humayun Khan as being less than significant. In fact, much of the “meat” of their political philosophy is a serious debate over who deserves to be able to think of themselves as belonging in this country to begin with! What with all their rhetoric about deportation and exclusion of certain individuals who aren't Anglo enough for their tastes!

It wouldn’t surprise me if they see that Chicago Tribune front page on Tuesday with a full-color photograph of Khan’s headstone, and are offended that a military headstone would bear the star and crescent symbol of Islam where they think the Christian cross ought to be.

A lot of things that reflect the reality of modern-day society offend them, and they perceive this presidential campaign as a conflict to restore the old order of things. That is something that the bulk of us ought to keep in mind when we ponder our own thoughts about whether we should have Hillary or Donald in the Oval Office.

Do we really “make America great” by returning to many of the nonsensical hang-ups we had in the 19th Century; or come full around and accept the realities of where we are in the 21st?


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