Monday, August 01, 2016

Trump vs. The Family Of Hamayun Khan

Trump may have finally gone too far with this one.
   Jeez what a psycho.
   I have to say that I'm, yet again, not 100% on the anti-Trump side here. His assholery is off the charts, so I don't see much reason to nitpick. But of course I don't want to set up a situation in which a family gets to speak with authority on just any issue because they have lost a child in war. But the Khan's loss is obviously relevant, and directly so.  It's not proof that Trump's ban on Muslim immigration is stupid, but it's a kind of poignant illustration of something rotten and anti-American at the heart of it. It's a pointing to a case, it's not a general argument. But good general arguments exist too. I don't exactly see how Captain Khan's example can make the case against Trump's proposed ban; I think that case has been made on other grounds. And my thinking about the role of such examples is pretty scattered...  So I'm really not sure what to think about this one. 
   I mean...a father whose son had been killed by an illegal immigrant spoke at the RNC...but no Dems seemed to think that that proved anything at all. There are cases and cases obviously, but I don't see how we can count one of these cases as weightless and the other as dispositive. Perhaps they both just kick the question back to the general arguments, where we'll find that, overall, first-generation illegal aliens commit less crime--and I don't know what the numbers with respect to terrorism by Muslim immigrants look like if the 9/11 terrorists count.  (Though perhaps we should also consider second-generation illegal immigrants as well?) Though perhaps the point is that the numbers are irrelevant? Which seems like the natural view, so long as we don't have to consider sci-fi cases in which we're thinking about some kind of racial or religious group with an appreciably high percentage of criminals or terrorists... I dunno.
   I will say that the circus atmosphere of such rallies is something that automatically sends me to red alert. And, like Trump, I wondered whether the Democrats had written Mr. Khan's words for him, but it turns out that they were his own. And so that concern can be tossed out.
   I guess that what's become the major point is that Trump is incapable of disagreeing with his opponents in a rational, reasonable way. He doesn't raise questions so much as hurl accusations. And they're often tinged with bigotry, as was his suggestion that Mrs. Khan had not spoken because she was forbidden to by her religion.
   There may be some overplaying of the compassion angle on this one--something the Dems have turned into an art form--but, again, that's bending over backwards to be more even-handed than I think we've got an obligation to be in this case.
   I'll honestly be surprised if Trumpo can survive this one...but then I'm one of the many who would have bet that he had no chance at all of making it this far. So consider the source.


Blogger Aa said...

I think Drum got it right:

"This is shockingly callous, but there's a sense in which you can sympathize with Trump. Khan isn't just some guy. He was speaking at a party convention on prime time national television. And he went after Trump in a very deliberate way. Surely Trump should be allowed to respond?

Maybe. But sometimes life just isn't fair, and you have to suck it up. Republicans have used 9/11 survivors and Benghazi moms at their conventions, and there's really nothing you can do about it except let them take their shots. That's life."

My understanding is the Dems simply let the speaker at the RNC slide, there was nothing they could do about it so stayed pretty silent. Trump is just incapable of doing that.

9:19 AM  

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