We spent our second consecutive July weekend at Loyd Park discussing the political news, walking our doggies, and enjoying grilled foods. Colleagues have asked how we can go camping in triple-digit temperatures, and the answer is simple: The temperatures are just as hot at home.
With the major parties’ political conventions now over, the contest we’ve been following for months is finally focused on two candidates. Throughout the weekend, we read with interest the fallout from Donald Trump’s latest fracas involving Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed by a suicide bomber a dozen years ago in Iraq. Mr. Khan spoke powerfully of his family’s loss at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, and challenged Mr. Trump’s characterization of Muslim-Americans as either having terrorist sympathies or remaining silent when they know ones who do. We were moved to tears by Mr. Khan’s tribute to his 27-year-old son, Humayun Khan, and were stunned at Mr. Trump’s ignorant and insensitive response to this Gold Star family. If his utter lack of empathy and complete inability to acknowledge and honor this family’s incalculable sacrifice aren’t enough to convince voters that he is unqualified to be president, we’re not sure that anything will.
We met a couple of folks at Loyd Park who hadn’t even heard about Mr. Khan’s reproach and Mr. Trump’s response, but it didn’t seem to matter to them as they were already opposed to Mr. Trump. In our minds, though, this isn’t about supporting or opposing Mr. Trump’s candidacy. It’s about denouncing someone whose only interests are derision, destruction, and division. The editorial board of the Houston Chronicle said his erratic temperament, dodgy business practices, overt racism, contempt for the rule of law and his utter ignorance make him “a danger to the Republic,” and we couldn’t agree more.
Unfortunately, this most recent firestorm was not the first,and it won’t be the last. We’ve still got 53 summer days ahead, and Mr. Trump will, undoubtedly, make each of them hotter with his incendiary rhetoric and flashpoint tweets. Although we try to avoid being publicly political, we feel the need to publicly condemn Donald Trump. And we know we won’t regret it.