For many Times readers, a very moving moment of the Democratic National Convention was the appearance by Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a U.S. Muslim soldier who died in Iraq in 2004. Later, there was outrage over Donald Trump’s reaction to the couple.
Then, when a Times letter writer this week questioned the motives of those grieving parents, asking why the Khans were “not at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 conventions” and rebuking Hillary Clinton and the Democrats for “using his death … for political motives, ” the razor-sharp responses poured in.
By a ratio of 10 to 1, readers staunchly backed the Khan family and their sacrifice.
The letter writer evidently did not listen to Mr. Khan’s comments at the DNC.
He made it very clear why he was making this timely appearance: “Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country...”
Jacki West in Inglewood writes:
During those election years, no presidential candidate promised to build walls to keep out immigrants, insulted minorities, demonized a whole religious faith (Muslim), denigrated American armed forces, and (proposed to ban) Muslims from entering the United States.
I believe Mr. and Mrs. Khan have less than two degrees of separation from these disparaging positions and, therefore, felt the time to speak out was now.
Bob Cook in Encino says, simply:
Well, perhaps there were no candidates who denigrated immigrants and war heroes in those elections.
David B. Follett in Newport Beach offers this:
Felice Sussman in Los Alamitos agrees:
This question has an easy and obvious answer; the Republican nominees in those election years were decent human beings.
And just a side note: the Republican nominees in ’04, ’08, and ’12 -- George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney -- all boycotted the Republican Convention this year. Is this a coincidence?
Representative of the fewer responders who took the other side, Don Dennison in Fountain Valley writes:
All 120 million plus voters of this country should condemn Hilary Clinton for inducing an obviously vulnerable Khan family into politicizing the death of Capt. Humayun Khan. Khizr Khan either doesn’t see, or doesn’t care, that Clinton is using him to link Trump to the death of his son … to distract from her negligence … in Benghazi.