Donald Trump’s decision to trash the Khan family is extremely telling about his sociopathic, narcisstic world view – as is the Republican red wall of silence following his comments.
But it’s also worth going back a bit to look at how Hillary Clinton has handled similar criticism.
Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, the information management officer with the United States Foreign Service who was killed in the Benghazi attack, has repeatedly been interviewed by the media and has attacked Clinton for her response to the event.
This isn’t even about the facts of the matter, to be honest.
But here’s how Clinton responded when she was asked about Smith’s comments during the March 9 debate on Univision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Hillary and Obama and Panetta and Biden and all of — and Susan Rice, all told me it was a video, when they knew it was not the video. And they said that they would call me and let me know what the outcome was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAMOS: Secretary Clinton, did you lie to them?
CLINTON: You know, look. I feel a great deal of sympathy for the families of the four brave Americans that we lost at Benghazi. And I certainly can’t even imagine the grief that she has for losing her son, but she’s wrong. She’s absolutely wrong.
I and everybody in the administration, all the people she named, the president, the vice president, Susan Rice, we were scrambling to get information that was changing, literally by the hour. And when we had information, we made it public. But then sometimes we had to go back and say we have new information that contradicts it.
Clinton disagrees with Smith about what happened, and her role in it. She disputes her account. But what she doesn’t do is denigrate Smith or her family or her son’s service to the government. In fact, her first line is about sympathy for her loss, acknowledgement of her grief.
Clinton was asked again about Smith’s remarks during an interview on Fox News Sunday on July 31, and she responded:
CLINTON: Chris, my heart goes out to both of them. Losing a child under any circumstances, especially in this case, two State Department employees, extraordinary men, both of them, two CIA contractors gave their lives protecting our country, our values. I understand the grief and the incredible sense of loss that can motivate that.
By contrast, Trump attacked the Khan family, made insinuations about their faith, and acted like the bully and moron we know he is.
A lot of people like to say that the left and the right are mirror images of each other, with a carefully balanced “both sides” approach to every topic.
But it isn’t true. There is something wrong with the right and the man who they have nominated for the most important leadership position in the world. And they are just fine with that.