It happens rarely. But it happens sometimes.
Sometimes there’s spontaneous combustion – the man meets the moment and a leader is born.
So it was, last week, with Khizr Khan, who, along with his wife Ghazala, addressed the Democratic Convention to speak of their fallen soldier son – and to take on Donald Trump.
Mr. Khan was able to do what no one else has been able to do. To draw blood, to wound Mr. Trump, who previously had been impervious to political harm. Khan changed the nature of the conversation, made it all but impossible for even the silent majority to remain silent. But, as important, after years in which outsiders have longed for a moderate leader from within the Muslim community, to no avail, one has now emerged. Mr. Khan, it would appear, is not going anywhere. In other words, American Muslims, Muslims the world over, now have a leader who speaks in measured tones and who can, therefore, be a bridge. A bridge between individuals and groups that have trouble communicating, connecting, and collaborating.