Dan Rather – “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
by smaylone –
Khizr Khan speech at the Democratic Convention last night has resonated throughout our country. There are few times we are privileged enough to hear such poignant words spoken by an ordinary person sharing an extraordinary message. One of the best recaps I’ve read about Mr. Khans speech was written today by journalist, Dan Rather. It’s well worth the read.
“For all the artifice surrounding politics, for all the self-conscious messaging from politicians, it’s sometimes too easy to forget that this is the manner in which we as a people govern ourselves. But
every so often all of this stagecraft falls away and we are left with a pure and singular American moment. The speech last night by Khizr Khan, a Muslim-American whose son – Army Capt Humayun Khan – died serving in Iraq, was perhaps the most chilling of the Convention.
More immediately, this elegant act of patriotism struck a perfect note of defiance in the face of a swelling tide of bigotry and intolerance. It is the kind of unadulterated venerance for American exceptionalism and rule of law that you used to see at Republican conventions. And I understand that many conservative commentators found it a very effective attack on the GOP nominee. Mr. Khan pulling the Constitution out of his pocket, his wife standing beside him in her hijab, will be one of the images documentary filmmakers of the future might include in a montage of our times.
They should. For it wasn’t just the imagery but also Mr. Khan’s words. Looking into millions of American homes (and now countless millions more online and through social media) Mr. Khan delivered a devastating critique. “Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?,” he asked of Trump. “Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America.,” And then came the final line destined for the campaign ads and the history books. Speaking directly to Mr. Trump Mr. Khan concluded, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
Mr. Khan is not a politician, but a citizen of the United States thrust into the spotlight by tragedy. To me his words echoed another perilous era of divisiveness. In the tenor of his voice last night, as he spoke with a proud immigrant accent, I could almost hear the echoes of “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos