And it was fantastic, maybe even historic. [Link]
It started with Khizr Khan, an immigrant from Pakistan, standing at the podium at the Democratic National Convention 2016, his wife at his side and his hand across his heart. Khan’s speech was slow, deliberate, clear and to the point – it lasted a whopping seven minutes and change. At times he waved his copy of the US Constitution, presumably the one naturalized American citizens get. Watch the speech in it’s entirety below.
By the time he was done, Khizr Khan had thoroughly eviscerated Trump. Most of America, at least the sane part, was taken aback by this deliberate dismantling of Trump. But people from the Indian subcontinent are not entirely unfamiliar with this type of speech. What Trump received was a scolding from a desi uncle. This is the type of scolding/lecturing normally witnessed at coffee houses in Calcutta or maybe a colony/society (think HOA) general body meeting in Mumbai – where one thoughtful eloquent older gentleman calmly and rationally states his argument over the shouting masses.
What stood to me about the speech was it was exactly what Trump professes to do (but doesn’t) – speak the truth. It was also entirely unique to modern political discourse and speeches because there were no personal insults, no name calling, only direct words addressed to the audience and Trump. Khan did not use a speech writer or teleprompter and the words were entirely his.
Whether Trump gets elected in 100 days remains to be seen and if he doesn’t Mr Khan’s speech will probably go down in history as one of those unique moments in American democracy – desi ishtyle. Regardless, this kind of clear-headed, eloquent, political discourse is exactly what we need in these troubled times.
Additional side stories:
Fox News cut off the speech [Link]
Khzir Khan followed up with his DNC speech with a (most likely falling on deaf ears) plea to Congressional GOP leaders [Link]