It’s quite ironic that, in what has already been a roller coaster presidential election, arguably its craziest week happened while I wasn’t even in the country.
I got home from work last Wednesday just in time to see Barack Obama deliver one of the greatest political speeches I have seen in my lifetime, and then I packed my bags and went off to Montreal for five days. More on that tomorrow.
Interestingly, Obama did say something that stuck with me during his exceptional speech. He said: “People outside of the United States do not understand what’s going on in this election.”
And I think that is something many Americans have failed to appreciate. That citizens of other countries do not take Donald Trump seriously. They are befuddled as to why Americans are supporting him.
I can’t say I talk to many foreigners. But when I do, I can’t help but ask what they think of Donald Trump. From my small sample size, I have yet to meet a non-American that hopes he wins.
And when this topic came up among a group of Canadians a few days ago, I was was told by one of them that Americans need to vote for Hillary Clinton simply to avoid a Trump presidency. I told him I couldn’t agree more.
Having traveled north of the border last Thursday morning, I missed Day 4 of the Democratic National Convention, which was pretty much the impetus to what became the craziest week possibly in modern political history.
I admittedly still haven’t watched Hillary’s full speech yet, though from what I’ve heard, it appears she avoided the soaring rhetoric and cliches one typically sees during such speeches, and instead focused on showcasing her deep understanding and appreciation for policy — obviously in an effort to highlight the stark contrast between her and her opponent.
But what stole the show was a Muslim family of a slain Iraqi war hero. I’ve watched the video clip of the key moment of Khizr Khan’s speech about a half dozen times now, and it has yet to fail to give me goosebumps.
“Donald Drump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future,” said Khan, a Harvard educated lawyer. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words “liberty” and “equal protection of law.”
Obviously it was a brilliant move by the DNC to let this family speak. But this was a trap that Donald Trump created for himself. By using such harsh and denigrating rhetoric towards Muslims, he left the door wide open for one extraordinary family to make him look like a fool.
And that family is the Khans.
Unbelievably, Trump, rather than honoring the memory of Humayun Khan, a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, entered into a feud with the family. This caused prominent Republican leaders to denounce Trump’s actions — but not enough to rescind their endorsement.
And since then, Trump has proceeded to kick a baby out of one of his rallies; brag about being gifted a Purple Heart despite never sniffing combat or even military service; and failed to endorse his party’s top official and second most recent presidential nominee before him — Paul Ryan and John McCain — in their upcoming elections.
This craziness has led to Republicans actually considering the next steps if Donald Trump was forced to exit the presidential race, as well as a public denunciation from President Obama, declaring Trump “unfit” to be president. Oh, and Hillary is soaring in the polls.
All this in less than a week. I have to admit — it’s impressive.
Who knows what will happen over the next 97 days until the election. But if this really is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump, then we can point to the Khans — a proud, honorable Muslim family — for starting it all.
It really is a beautiful plot twist that would humor even the most creative of fiction writers.
Thank you, Khan family, for doing what needed to be done.