Hillary’s Tortuous Math:
How Many Issues Does It Take To Make One Issue?
Truth Telling in Politics – and Elsewhere
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says Bernie Sanders is a one-issue candidate. Is he really? Is Hillary really telling the truth? Let us count. Let us see how many individual issues it takes to make the one single issue that she is talking about.
But before we do that, let us talk morality, political and otherwise. And here is how it works. When you don’t have morality or character, it does not matter what you say or do not say. In your eyes, lies acquire the same legitimacy and sanctity as truth. You rationalize your lies by arguing: Ends Justify the Means!
Everybody Is Doing It
Or you simply say: Everybody Is Doing It!
Next time, try telling that to the cop who stops you for speeding on the freeway.
That is why the Qur’an repeatedly makes a case for character building – along with education. The Qur’an calls it Tazkiyah: purity and perfection of character.
But Bernie Sanders does not appear to be one of those politicians dealing in falsehood. He does not seem to peddle lies to push his arguments. In fact, he proudly points out that he never ran a single negative ad in his entire political career.
And Bernie Sanders is going on 75.
Truth Is What the World Needs
If elections are democracy and democracy is Islam, there can neither be free and fair elections nor true democracy without a total and uncompromising commitment to truth, and nothing but truth, on the part of all.
What the world doesn’t know, and what Muslims will not tell the world, is this: The Qur’an came into this world to create a revolution – An Education Revolution.
Everything else, if you follow Qur’an’s logic, seems to be secondary to that goal.
And it makes perfect sense.
For, education empowers and equips human beings to make all the necessary decisions that they should make in this world. And that includes the most important decision of whether or not to say “Yes” to God – whether or not to be a Believer.
But education all by itself cannot accomplish this goal. To do its job well and effectively, education must be coupled with character training.
Character Makes the Difference
And that basically means training every male and female to tell the truth; to recognize the truth; to support the truth; to stand up for the truth; and, if necessary, to undergo suffering and hardship for the truth.
That is why the man who was selected by God to bring the Qur’an into the world was elevated to the level of being the Most Truthful Man in Both Speech and Conduct: As-Saadiq, Al-Ameen.
The reference obviously is to Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
So, in the revolution that Qur’an came into this world to produce, education and character, scholarship and truth-telling, knowledge and personal and professional integrity, are part of the same coin.
That is why you will see education coupled with character building in the Qur’an: Ta’leem coupled with Tazkiyah.
Truth Telling in Politics
And nowhere, perhaps, is one’s capacity to tell the truth more seriously challenged than in politics, especially during elections.
And that too during presidential elections – in particular – where the stakes are so high: for America and for the entire world.
And, over countless presidential election cycles, I have not seen one in which truth was more severely tested than the present presidential primaries of 2016.
Candidates and their campaigns lie through their teeth – and the American People seem to know it.
Donald Trump may brand Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” but the American People seem to hear and read it as a more general brand name: “Lyin’ Politicians.”
Truth Component in the Clinton Campaign
Among those who play fast and loose with truth in this election cycle is the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The Clinton Campaign obviously has a problem with truth telling.
Clinton blatantly accuses her opponent Bernie Sanders of being, among other things, a One-Issue Candidate.
Now, those who know elections understand that what the candidates say in their stump speeches is fed to them by their hired-gun campaign operatives, consultants and pollsters.
But that is where the candidate’s own character comes in. For, when all is said and done, it is the candidate that not only sets the tone for the campaign, but is also ultimately responsible for all that the campaign says and does.
American People Can See and Hear the Truth
Those with conscience and character will – they must – filter out the lies, no matter which campaign is promoting them, and stick to truth as much as they can.
The American People will know the truth and truth shall set them free. Right now, truth seems to be coming mostly from Bernie Sanders, and, believe it or not, in small bits and pieces also from Donald Trump.
And that seems to be empowering the American People.
That is what accounts in large part for the seeming revolt of the masses, as symbolized by the so-called Sanders and Trump Revolutions that are sweeping America this election cycle.
The American People smell a whiff of truth wafting over the hills and dales of America and they have found their freedom and they have found their power.
Regardless of where this new-found freedom and power take them, for the time being at least the American People feel free and they feel the power.
One of the major lies – one of many desperate ones peddled by the Clinton Campaign – is that Bernie’s is a One-Issue Candidacy. It sounds good as a slogan, and it sounds true on the face of it, because Sanders talks about the economy all the time.
But it is a blatant falsehood – and a bald-faced lie – to call Bernie Sanders a One-Issue Candidate.
The truth is there is not one single major issue important to the American people that Bernie Sanders does not address in his speeches to the mammoth crowds he attracts or in his interviews with the press. Among other things, Sanders talks about the following issues:
- A rigged economy.
- Our crumbling infrastructure and the pressing need to rebuild it.
- Tuition-free education in public colleges and universities for all.
- The disastrous and duplicitous Iraq war and its terrible aftermath.
- The compelling scientific weight behind climate change argument.
- Equal-pay for women.
- Paid maternity leave for women like the rest of the civilized world.
- High cost of education, healthcare and pharmaceutical products.
- A living wage for all – by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- Immigration reform.
- Fixing a broken justice system.
- Reforming law enforcement.
- Removing marijuana as #1 in Federal Schedule, same as heroin.
- Treatment and education for addicts instead of jail and incarceration.
- How jails are filled with our young people.
- Real unemployment in America for blacks as well as for whites.
- Make the police force look more like the communities they serve.
- Demilitarizing the police.
- Rebuilding our schools.
- Universal healthcare as a right for all and not as a privilege for the few.
- Overturning the disastrous Supreme Court decision Citizens United.
- Wall Street reform.
- Campaign finance reform.
- Making the media realize that presidential elections are not fun and sports but serious life-and-death matters for the American People, for our society and for the entire world.
- And practically everything else.
What Else Does Sanders Talk about?
These are some of the issues that Bernie Sanders talks about on a daily basis. But what Sanders does, in addition to all this, is to point out – repeatedly and most effectively – that our entire Political Establishment is beholden to and in the pocket of Big Money.
So, nothing can be accomplished in real life until such time as we are able to set the politicians free from the grip of big financiers and prevent billionaires from buying our elections.
And the American People get it.
I Am Not the Only One
Clearly, a truth as manifest as this one cannot be hidden from Hillary or her campaign. They are all very smart people. But it is not truth they are after, but victory, no matter how many lies they have to tell for achieving it.
For them, it is, as in the case of practically all other politicians, with what seems to be the sole exception of Bernie Sanders: Victory by Any Means Necessary!
As a result, I am not the only one who sees this and talks about this. There are all kinds of others who seem to know it too.
A Summary of the Sanders Issues by a Writer
And here is just one summary of the Bernie issues that I took from a writer:
- “This is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. We need to invest in our children. Get our priorities right. We are not going to be shutting down schools while Wall Street makes huge profits. . . . No more water systems that poison children.”
- “This should be a country with the highest voter turnout, not one of the lowest.”
- “Together we are going to repair a broken criminal justice system. . . . We need to demilitarize the police.”
- “Substance abuse is a health issue, not a criminal issue. We need to rethink the so-called war on drugs.”
- “There are 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. living in fear: We need comprehensive immigration reform.”
- “The way we have treated Native Americans for centuries is an absolute disgrace.”
- “Barack Obama’s father was born in Kenya. My father was born in Poland, but no one is asking me for my birth certificate. Maybe it has something to do with the color of my skin.”
- “I’m opposed to death penalty. In a world where there is so much violence, the state should not be a part of that.”
Where Does Islam Fit into This?
But to me this is not just politics – in the usual sense of that expression. It is Islam.
It is to fix problems like this that Islam came into the world. And that is precisely the reason the Qur’an launched a twin-revolution in this world – 1400 years ago.
- One revolution on the education front: Education for All.
- Another revolution on the character front: Character Training for All.
That is because Islam made it perfectly clear that education without character is empty, blind and meaningless, if not outright dangerous and disastrous.
And we see this all the time in politics, in media and in business.
And our everyday experience proves it too.
Now go and read the Aayat Karimah:
Huwalladhee Ba’atha Fil Ummiyyeena Rasulan Minhum,
Yatoloo Alaihim Aayaatihi,
Wa Yu’allimuhumul Kitaaba wal Hikmah!
“God is the one,
Who appointed among an uneducated people,
An uneducated leader,
Whose job it was to read out to them
The miraculous passages from God’s Book,
And to form and shape and build their character,
And purify and perfect it in every way,
And then set about imparting to them,
All the theoretical and practical education
That was needed for success in this worldly life,
As well as for success in the next life after death!”
Sanders and Islam
For all practical purposes, Bernie Sanders is an atheist, even though he confesses to some kind of personal spirituality, which to him seems to come down to an uncompromising commitment to universal justice.
Which, by the way, is also core Islam, in a very practical sense.
- For, Islam came to establish justice in this world as the third revolution: Justice for All.
So, Bernie Sanders is not likely to drag his 74-year-old frame on to the Islam bandwagon any time soon. Besides, for a man of the world, Muslims are such bad risk, regardless of how noble the teachings of Islam in the Qur’an may appear.
Yet, in spite of all this, just ask yourself this question: What a different world this would have been if only Muslims had concertedly and single-mindedly presented to the world this message of Islam, and this most amazing model of the triple revolutions, that Islam offers:
Justice for Al Revolution!