Gold Star father Khizr Khan said during a campaign stop for Hillary Clinton yesterday that he would stand up to Donald Trump “again and again and again…up until hatred and political bigotry is wiped out of this United States, we will continue to speak.”
Khan and his wife Ghazala, the parents of fallen Army Captain Humayun Khan, have emerged as some of the pivotal figures from the 2016 Presidential election, following Mr. Khan’s impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention this past summer.
“You have sacrificed nothing and no one,” Mr. Khan told Trump. The image of Mr. Khan holding up his pocket-sized Constitution is perhaps one of the most enduring images during the past year.
An infuriated Trump launched into days of grotesque attacks against the family, saying that “if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say…Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”
Several Republicans leaders issued statements condemning Trump’s attack, but none actually led and rescinded their support for the candidate.
Mrs. Khan responded to Trump in a powerful op-ed, saying that she did not speak about her son onstage at because she remained too overwhelmed by grief. “I am a Gold Star mother,” she wrote. “Whoever saw me felt me in their heart.”
Khan told the Washington Post the he has been overwhelmed by the “love and affection from all corners of this country” since the speech.
“Mr. Khan has become a prominent messenger for that cause because many voters view him as being above politics,” notes the New York Times.
“Khan’s message is also largely nonpolitical in the sense that he is not attacking Trump over partisan issues,” said Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “Rather, he’s attacking Trump over matters of decency.”
“The courage [to speak against Donald Trump] wasn’t ours,” Mr. Khan said. “The courage was given to us.”