Shining city on a hill? No. That’s just another cartoon. America is a real place, a real nation, full of a diverse peoples, contrasting ideas, and no single concept of “the American dream.”
But there are also real heroes—real people whose stories so rise above the noise that they can’t help but speak to all those people.
Thursday night, a couple stood on stage at the Democratic National Convention to tell the story of their son, of their family, and of their deep commitment to America. It was one of the most moving moments, not just of this convention, but in the history of public speech in America. This was a defining speech for an America that’s not a one-size-fits-all cartoon, but can still light up the world.
And when Khizr Khan brought out his pocket version of the Constitution, you knew it wasn’t just something he carries as a shibboleth of patriotism. It’s a well worn, well read, well loved document.
Khizr Khan’s speech didn’t go unnoticed, especially by those who until that moment had been sitting on the sidelines, maybe feeling that they weren’t part of the story. Because along with the tears and pride, here’s what else happened with Khizr Khan told his story.