A smarter politician than Donald Trump would have realized the windfall Khizr Khan had granted him, one with which he could have pulled off a miraculous triangulation of his own. To do this Trump could have done the following:
- Welcomed Khizr Khan’s remarks, acknowledged his family’s sacrifice, and then said, “This is the kind of Muslim we want living in this country. This is the kind of Muslim we need; we want them to be patriots, loyal Americans, to show themselves to be the kind of people who are willing to put their lives on the line for the United States, who are willing to die for the United States, standing shoulder to shoulder with other Americans. I welcome Mr. Khan, and all other Muslims like him, who have shown by their actions and their deeds, that they are loyal Americans, committed to the principles and morals of this country and its peoples. They have shown the radical Islamists that their first commitment and their primary loyalty is to America, not to their hateful ideology. They are not going to curse America or hate it; they are going to fight for it! These kinds of Americans, they don’t ask for handouts or favors, they just get to work, they stand on their own two feet!”
- Having said this, Trump could have then returned to one of his primary talking points, the mistaken vote that Hillary Clinton cast for the Iraq war. He could have gone on to say “I want to make sure that we as a nation do not continue to fight the wars that took the lives of American soldiers like Mr. Khan. I want to bring jobs back to this nation, so that young men and women can find meaningful employment here, and not go off to foreign lands, fighting a bunch of wars for ungrateful spongers and hangers-on. We are going to make them pay their due; to put their own men and women on the line! Americans are not going to die for foreigners any more!”
As I said, a smarter politician than Trump.