Sunday, July 31, 2016

Paul Ryan should un-endorse Trump -- even if doing so doesn’t help his party

It should be national interests over party interests, and Paul Ryan has an opportunity to show that now more than ever

Donald Trump had a lot to say about a Muslim family whose son died while serving in the war in Iraq.

Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala Khan both appeared at the Democratic National Convention last week to urge people to vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, citing Trump’s ignorant views on the Muslim community as frightening and dangerous.

Khizr Khan spoke while his wife stood by his side, asking of Trump, “Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities.”

He added, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

This led to Trump defending himself on ABC with host George Stephanopoulos. When pressed to explain if he had ever made sacrifices, Trump said he had by creating “tens of thousands of jobs.”

How that is a sacrifice, one has to wonder. But he also directed criticism towards the Khan family, specifically toward Ghazala Khan, asking why she didn’t speak at the convention and implying her Islamic faith prevented her from doing so.

“She was standing there,” Trump said. “She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me”

Ghazala Khan wrote in an op-ed this weekend that she didn’t speak because the grief of losing a child still overwhelms her.
I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun. For all these years, I haven’t been able to clean the closet where his things are -- I had to ask my daughter-in-law to do it. Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?
It is no wonder that several Republican leaders are doing their best to distance themselves from Trump’s comments. Among them is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who in a written statement said:
America’s greatness is built on the principles of liberty and preserved by the men and women who wear the uniform to defend it. As I have said on numerous occasions, a religious test for entering our country is not reflective of these fundamental values. I reject it. Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice. Captain Khan was one such brave example. His sacrifice -- and that of Khizr and Ghazala Khan -- should always be honored. Period.
That is clearly a dig at Trump, but it doesn’t specifically mention him by name. It’s time that Ryan stop with the subtleties and call Trump out -- by name -- and denounce him as a candidate for president, renouncing the endorsement he made in June.

Yes, Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president, and yes Paul Ryan is the highest-ranking Republican in our nation’s government. The two share a party, but that doesn’t mean they need to back each other up. Our nation’s best interests should come before our personal politics, and Ryan should stand up to his party’s nominee, officially calling him out by name instead of crafting these cryptic press releases.

Earlier this year I noted that Gov. Scott Walker had missed his “profile in courage” moment -- his chance to do the right thing, and to withdraw his support of Donald Trump. I wrote then that, “when faced with a choice, of supporting a worthwhile cause versus backing down in the face of political pressure, we should honor those that choose the former, that choose to take the right course of action no matter what the outcome may be for themselves personally.”

I added:
It may not a rewarding position to take politically, but Scott Walker and other Republicans ought to show true leadership and say unequivocally that they will not support Trump as their party’s nominee, opting instead to support a different candidate, or to not support one at all, if necessary.
Now it is Paul Ryan’s chance. Clearly, Trump has irked him and his party on several occasions, and it’s clear that he’d make a lousy president. Ryan needs to do the right thing -- disavow Trump as his preference, and state unequivocally that he should not be elected to serve as president of the United States.

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