People who know they’re in their last days on earth often try to deal with unfinished business. Priorities, it is said, become clearer. The dying try to make sure important things get communicated to the people they care most about.
In one such case, former Utah Senator Bob Bennett, a Republican, decided that what he needed to communicate was his sorrow over Donald Trump’s proposal on Muslim immigrants from high-risk countries.
After battling cancer and suffering a stroke, Bennett, who died earlier this month, turned to his son in the hospital and asked if there were any Muslims there.
“I said, ‘Yes, dad, I’m sure there are,'” Jim Bennett told NBC News, recalling the conversation. “And he was very emotional and said, ‘I want to go up to every single one of them and apologize, I want to go up to every single one of them and tell them how grateful I am that they are in this country and apologize on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump.'”
As it turns out, the late Senator Bennett hadn’t left all of this business to the very end of his life:
Jim Bennett said that when he later spoke to his mother, Joyce Bennett, about the conversation, she told him that expressing a sense of inclusion for ostracized populations, especially Muslims, had become “something that he was doing quite a lot of in the last months of his life.”
Joyce told her son that his father had approached people wearing hijabs in an airport to “let them know that he was grateful they were in the country and the country was better for them being here.”
Bennett, the son of Utah Senator Wallace Bennett, was elected in 1992 to replace the retiring Jake Garn. He garnered a lifetime ACU rating of 90%, but was primaried in 2010 by Tea Party groups, who succeeded in denying him the GOP nomination and got Republican Mike Lee elected instead.
A poll in March 2016 revealed that a majority of Americans agreed with Trump’s proposed suspension of visas for Muslims from the countries that produce most international terrorists.