Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Captain Khan Controversy Should Help Third Party Candidates, Not the One That Helped Get Him Killed

Source: Vocativ.com

Trump's rude remarks about Khizr Khan remain in the news cycle yesterday as they have ever since the weekend. You'll recall that Khan's son was a Muslim US soldier who died in the Iraq War, and his father gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention to condemn Donald Trump's various appalling proposals about Muslims.

President Obama spoke out against Trump's criticism yesterday, noting that "no one has given more for our freedom and our security than our Gold Star families," referring to families that have lost loved ones in the armed forces. Republican Senator John McCain took a similar tack to condemning Trump. However, given that Trump's success was not at all imperiled when he deliberately mocked McCain for being a Prisoner-of-War--which would seem to be at least as taboo as the present situation--it's not clear that McCain's comments will have much impact.

The context that remains missing in all of this, however, is that Khizr Khan's son Humayun did not die for the "freedom" and "security". He died in an aggressive, senseless war that should have never been fought--which McCain and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton both voted in favor of. Meanwhile, Obama has resuscitated the same war, and carried out other harmful interventions in Libya and Syria.

Bottom line, this episode ought to be the clearest possible illustration that both major party presidential candidates are awful. Trump implicitly accuses a grieving father of oppressing his wife (amongst other things), and Hillary Clinton helped cause the father's grief in the first place. It remains unclear which of those is worse, but it is clear that the prominent third party candidates, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, did no such thing. That should count for something.

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