ON Friday, Donald Trump had to be rescued by the Colorado Springs Fire Department when an elevator at a resort there stalled between the first and second floors, trapping ten people inside. Officers lowered a ladder down to the passengers from the hatch in the roof. There was no word on how Trump reacted to this emergency, but it was reported that earlier that day he had criticized the Colorado Springs Fire Marshall for limiting the number of people allowed into one of his rallies.
Most of the News yesterday focused on Trump’s splenetic response to the father of Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim Army captain who was killed in action in Iraq. Khizr Khan’s speech last Thursday at the Democratic Convention called Trump out for having sacrificed nothing and for being ignorant of the contents of the U.S. Constitution. Trump tweeted that the elder Khan was wrong to stand up in front of millions of people and criticize him. In a later interview, he intimated that Khizr Khan’s wife Ghazala, who stood silently by him on stage at the convention, didn’t speak because she may have been prohibited from doing so by Muslim mores. Ghazala replied to this insult in an editorial in the Washington Post, saying that she did not speak because she could not talk about her dead son without being overcome with emotion. A number of Republican leaders reacted negatively to Trump’s attacks on the Khans yesterday.
Today, John McCain released a carefully worded statement about the incident, rebuking Trump. “While our party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us.”
Like Trump’s claim earlier that a federal judge from a military family could not be fair in his handling of a suit involving Trump because of his Mexican heritage, the Khan Affair may be a turning point in the discourse of the campaign. When the rhetoric of right-wing talk radio and reality TV comes up against the rhetoric of mainstream media, the former doubles back on itself, retweeting into solipsism, and, in this case, exposing the lengths to which Trump’s naturalized prejudice against people of Mexican descent and Muslims causes him to make other bad choices.
David Levi Strauss
Monday, August 1, 2016, 3:00 pm EDT
[Photography: Jon Winet. July 21, 2016. Convention Hall. Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland, Ohio. Click on image to see an enlargement.]
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