I have been transfixed and inspired by the Khan family’s message during and following the Democratic National Convention. ICYMI, before you read on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzkkk-oJ6bo
Since then, of course, Donald Trump has made it his week’s mission to disparage both Khans. We’ve seen a lot of backlash and back and forth over the weekend. It’s been everywhere. Critics’ main argument is that it is ‘shameful’ of the Khan family to use their son’s death as a ‘political prop’.
I understand people’s cynicism in the face of politics. I do. Yes, a political candidate and party needs to pander to and exploit groups of people to ensure their vote. I get it: the establishment, bla bla bla, yadi yada yada… but I see it somewhat differently.
There are many individuals in this country who have had something significant happen in their lives. They have experienced something. Or they are something. And it is this something that makes them care about our presidential election (and other down-ticket elections) enough to have the COURAGE to get out there — on stage, on TV, in the spotlight, vulnerable to all the pundits and opponents and trolls and Twitter eggs — in the face of critiques, attacks and downright abuse.
A political prop? Have some respect for the people who have a story to tell, and who have been given the choice and a voice to express what they care about. Even if they are using the platform of a candidate or party. Isn’t that what politics in a democratic society is meant to be about? Giving the people a voice?
I have had a good life and have nothing really to complain about in the grand scheme of things. Having people like the Khans get up on the national stage and raise awareness for their own personal plight is not only inspiring, it makes us all empathize and realize that we are not only fighting (and voting) for our own voice, but for the millions of others who are also fighting among us.