Dear fellow MoveOn member,
I’m a United States veteran. Proud of my Navy service. Proud to be the first Muslim American selected for the U.S. Navy Presidential Honor Guard.
And proud to have traveled to Washington, D.C. on Thursday with MoveOn and Common Defense PAC, a newly formed group of veterans like me who are dedicated to stopping Donald Trump. We were on the Hill to deliver over 100,000 signatures asking my senator and fellow veteran, John McCain, and other GOP leaders to withdraw their endorsement of Donald Trump. We made headlines across America—from USA Today to NBC News to The Arizona Republic to the Military Times.1, 2, 3, 4
Here’s what I learned: As a veteran, I have a huge role to play in making sure Donald Trump never gets near the White House. And the same is true for military and Gold Star families. Veterans, our families, and people currently serving in the military make up the second-largest voting bloc in the nation.5
That’s why I’m writing you with an important question: Are you a veteran or a member of a military family, and are you willing to speak out against Donald Trump—to make sure he never becomes president of the United States? (Speaking out can be as easy as writing a couple of sentences about why Trump must never become president.)
It was such an honor to deliver the signatures of MoveOn members like you. Here's a photo that ran in The New York Times of me and my fellow veterans walking to Senator McCain's office.6
I’m speaking out now because Donald Trump's attack on the Gold Star family of the late Captain Humayun Khan, a fellow Muslim, who died saving the lives of his troops in Iraq, shows us exactly who Trump is.7
Trump’s bigotry and hate speech know no bounds. He holds no American ideals—such as sacrifice and service to one's country—as sacred. He desecrates the very values of liberty and equality, which I—like everyone who joins our nation’s armed services—am sworn to protect.
As The New York Times reported yesterday morning, "military communities dismayed by [Trump’s] crude and at times offensive comments about the armed services" are now being called a "pivotal constituency"— especially in the "swing states that will decide the presidential election."8
Now’s the time to turn up the volume on our work by keeping up the pressure on GOP leaders like Sen. McCain in their home districts—and by speaking out publicly via social media, op eds, signature ads, and more.
This isn’t the would-be commander in chief’s first offense when it comes to veterans and their service. Early on in his campaign, responding to criticism from Sen. McCain—a former prisoner of war in Vietnam—Trump said that he liked "people who weren’t captured."9 And it's not the first time he's made baseless claims against Muslims like me and my family—including his hateful proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country.
I agree with Humayun's father: Donald Trump is completely "void of any decency."10 Unable to respect a mother still grieving the death of her son. Unable to show a Gold Star family the deference it deserves.
That’s why MoveOn members who are veterans and members of military families are joining with veterans from allied organizations like my organization, Common Defense, to denounce Trump and mobilize against his hate—because this man can't be allowed anywhere near the White House. He must never become commander in chief of our armed services. He must never become our president.
Thanks for all you do.
U.S. Navy Intel (IS) and AZ Air Guard AIC, E-3/Seaman/Airman 1st Class (Arizona)
P.S. Here’s a short video with highlights from Thursday’s action in Washington, D.C.
1. "Veterans call on McCain to dump Trump," USA Today, August 5, 2016
2. "U.S. Veterans Call On McCain To Rescind Trump Endorsement," NBC News, August 4, 2016
3. "Veterans call on Sen. John McCain to dump Donald Trump," The Arizona Republic, August 4, 2016
4. "Veterans activists to McCain: Stand up to Trump," Military Times, August 4, 2016
5. "Khans Jeopardize Trump Strategy Banking on Veterans’ Votes," Bloomberg, August 4, 2016
6. "U.S. Presidential Race, Rio Olympics, London: Your Thursday Evening Briefing," The New York Times, August 4, 2016
7. "Donald Trump Criticizes Muslim Family of Slain U.S. Soldier, Drawing Ire," The New York Times, July 30, 2016
8. "Donald Trump Risks Alienating Military Communities in Swing States," The New York Times, August 4, 2016
9. "Donald Trump Criticizes Muslim Family of Slain U.S. Soldier, Drawing Ire," The New York Times, July 30, 2016
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