A recent column in the New Jersey Star-Ledger by the S-L editorial board’s Tom Moran covered a speech by the father of an American soldier killed in Iraq in 2004. Titled Muslim Father Schools Trump on American Values, Moran writes:
Once in a while, you can tell that a political moment will be burned into your memory forever, etched there like a stone engraving until the day you die.
For me, one of them came Thursday night when Khizr Khan reached into his blazer on the stage at the Democratic convention and pulled out his frayed copy of the United States Constitution.
"Donald Trump, you're asking Americans to trust you with their future," he said. "Let me ask you: Have you ever read the United States Constitution?"
Notice that Moran recognized Khan’s speech as “a political moment”; i.e., as political. Keep that in mind, as it is relevant to what comes next. Moran goes on to blast Trump, Republicans, and even NJ Governor Chris Christie over an issue related to NJ, not the national presidential campaign:
Khan spoke with the solemn conviction of a man who sacrificed his son for a cause that he considers sacred, the defense of America.
The Khan family is now part of a noble brotherhood, one that is about patriotism and sacrifice and community.
What it is not about is religion. The Khans are Muslim, which makes absolutely zero difference.
Read the Constitution, he demanded of Trump. You'll see that it is about common people joining together to establish what the preamble describes as "a more perfect union."
It is not about chopping America into pieces, about setting one group against another by stirring fears, by blowing on coals to inflame bigotry, by inciting violence as a means of political expression.
“In Philadelphia last week [at the Democratic Convention],” Moran continues, “Trump took a series of body blows that were well-deserved. But Khan may have landed the hardest blow of all: ‘You have sacrificed nothing, and no one.’”
Moran didn’t keep his focus just on Khan. Instead, he used Khan’s remarks to tear into Trump. Moran demeaned Trumps business achievement and questioned his patriotism. Moran accused Trump of trying to “win this election by setting Americans against one another.” Trump has “shown there is a market for demagoguery,” Moran asserts.
Perhaps Trump deserved it. I point this out to show the political twist of the column that starts out lauding a man who lost his son in battle. Moran clearly exploited Khan’s convention speech and personal heartache to aid the Clinton campaign.
There’s more. For good measure, Moran even attacked Governor Christie, apparently because Christie was an early Trump backer:
Gov. Chris Christie sees it. He's running around New Jersey suburbs now peddling his plan to take billions of dollars from school systems in poor cities and shift it to the suburbs. It's a poisonous plan that would cut spending in Newark and Camden by more than half, and Christie so far has refused to even hold a public hearing in a city.
But in the suburbs, he's telling voters they are "getting shafted every year, over and over again."
He didn't talk like that before Trump arrived. But to Christie, as with Trump, it's all about winning.
And if tearing the fabric of this state does the job, so be it.
So Christie is guilty by association. Does it matter that Christie’s “plan to take billions of dollars from school systems in poor cities and shift it to the suburbs” is an outright lie, as I made clear in my comments shown below? Moran refers to a state school aid program funded by the state income tax—in reality, a municipal wealth redistribution scheme—which Christie wants to revise so the aid is less skewed against suburban schools. And Moran accuses Christie of mimicking Trump’s demagoguery—a tactic long mastered by Democrats! Anyway, what does NJ’s school funding and Christie’s efforts to revise it have to do with Khan’s speech? Nothing except a chance to bash Trump via Christie, a nice two-for.
I left these comments:
I wonder if Mr. Khan actually read the U.S. Constitution. More importantly, I wonder if he read the Declaration of Independence, the philosophic blueprint for the Constitution. The Declaration lays out the Founding principles of this nation; unalienable individual rights possessed equally by everyone and protected equally by a government limited for the purpose “to secure these rights.” If Mr.Khan actually read and understood these documents, the last place he’d be making his speech is to the Democratic National Convention.
I write this as a strong opponent of Trump, including his . I resent having, in essence, a choice between two Democrats—one wearing the Democrat label and one dressed up as a Republican. Virtually every criticism leveled at Trump fits the Democrat Party—a party that long has emasculated the constitution as a “living constitution”; i.e., a hollow document, devoid of principles, that can be re-interpreted according to the whims of statists.
It is the Democrat Party that embraces collectivism, “chopping America into pieces [and] setting one group against another,” of “blowing on coals to inflame bigotry” by framing everything in terms of racial or economic “gaps,” as if one individual’s earned success is another’s loss. [Donald Trump’s “ban all Muslims” policy echoes FDR’s policy toward Japanese-Americans.] The Democrats see everything in terms of tribes: The principle of unalienable individual rights as understood by the Founding Fathers—rights as guarantees to freedom of action to pursue personal happiness, not an automatic claim on material goods that others must be forced to provide—are nowhere to be found in the Democrats’ worldview. The Democrats certainly have no problem with sacrifice—the sacrifice of the earned wealth of productive, self-responsible individual citizens to any pressure group claiming an unfilled need.
The slap at Christie’s school funding proposal makes the point. Christie is not “peddling his plan to take billions of dollars from school systems in poor cities and shift it to the suburbs.” Residents of so-called “poor cities” have in fact long been the takers, receiving money the state confiscates from people living in suburbs. New Jersey’s existing funding plan is a redistribution scheme from “rich” districts to “poor” districts. The Declaration calls only for “just powers” for government. There is nothing just about a power to forcibly redistribute wealth from those who earned it to those who didn’t—and nowhere did the Founders or the voters ratify a constitutional provision to grant government the unjust power to forcibly redistribute wealth. That’s a concoction of the “Living Constitution” regressives.
With due respect to Mr. Khan and his family, I wonder what “cause” he has in mind when he refers to “the defense of America.” The cause that America was Founded on is virtually absent from his Party’s platform. Democrats see a nation united by chains, not pro-individual liberty ideals. [While I don’t question Mr. Khan’s sincerity,] I can’t imagine anyone who fully understands the American cause—and its values—giving a speech about the United States Constitution to the Democrat National Convention. [The Democrat Left, the self-described “progressives,” have been systematically undermining the constitution’s relevance for a century in order to establish a vast regulatory welfare state, as witness FDR’s attempt to pack the Supreme Court]. Mr. Khan would have been better served if he gave his speech at the Republican Convention, [where there is still some respect for the constitution,] as many Republicans seem also to have lost their way on the Constitution—as evidenced by their nomination of Donald Trump.
For some reason, my comment was deleted within a half-hour by the Star-Ledger. I’ll have a few things to say about that tomorrow.
On This Constitution Day, Remember the Declaration of Independence