Presidential Primaries, 2016: Bernie’s Booboo
Let me start out by saying that Islam is elections and elections are Islam. And where there are no elections – honest and free elections – there also is no Islam, no matter how many mosques such a place may have per square mile.
And the United States of America being on top of the world by most counts, and also being deeply embedded in the lives and fortunes of Muslims around the world, there is no Islamic issue more important than American presidential elections.
Getting these elections right and using one’s vote rightly and responsibly is one of the highest forms of “worship” in Islam: Ibaadah!
Those, in America and around the world, who cannot vote, must still use their faculties of thought and speech with the fullest sense of accountability before God to speak the truth and support truth and justice in whatever way they can.
This is an Islamic requirement.
This may surprise many people, but that is how it is.
Having said that about Islam and elections, let me say something about the way the present primary election cycle is unfolding.
In this presidential primary season, 2016, Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is making a booboo.
But the mistake he is making is not a silly or small one but a dangerous, deadly and gigantic one. He is throwing away the election by choosing not to attack Hillary and Bill Clinton using all the ammunition that is available to him as a matter of public record.
And he is fully within his right – morally, legally as well as politically – to make use of that public record.
Sanders should fully understand that he is in a vicious dogfight with the most formidable Clinton Machine. His decision not to go after the Clintons – both Hillary and Bill at the same time, for, both of them are in the fray against him – with full vigor and gusto is neither high-minded nor noble.
It is simply election suicide.
It is more serious than that. By refusing to fight the Clinton fire with fire, he is betraying the massive trust the American people have poured into his campaign and his potential leadership thus far.
In the ultimate analysis, it is a leadership question. It is a question of judgement.
I think Bernie should read what The Washington Post wrote recently about Hillary Clinton's distortions of his record:
"But it's striking that, as Clinton has doubled down on the attacks, she has with some regularity played pretty fast and loose with the facts.
"She'll take a vote Sanders has made during his 25 years in Congress and gloss over most, if not all, of the details about it. The result is a carefully worded insinuation or even outright accusation that Sanders has voted against his base on everything from immigration to the auto bailout to fossil fuels."
And after reading this summary analysis of Hillary’s deceptive, devious and dishonorable practices, if Sanders still wants to treat her and her husband with kid gloves, it is perhaps the worst political decision he would have made in his life.
It would be tantamount to a betrayal of the American people, in their greatest hour of need.
Both Hillary and Bill offer a target-rich campaign environment.
- For starters, Hillary/Bill’s Corporate-Crafted Trade Deals decimated the manufacturing industry and the middle-class job market in America.
- Bill/Hillary’s Crime Bill filled American jails with African-American youth.
- Hillary-supported Iraq so-called “War” has thrown not only the so-called Middle East, but also Europe into fits of destabilization and political turmoil. And that is when you are not counting all the dead, theirs and ours, and all that treasure that could have gone into giving America a brand new infra-structure and American people 10 million new and well-paying jobs.
- Hillary’s personal military adventure in Libya turned out to be a catastrophe in every respect, even though Hillary had landed in Libya soon after Qaddafi’s public lynching to sing: We Came, We Saw and He Died!
- It was a cheap and miserable take on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar proclaiming: “Veni, Vidi, Vici!”
Meaning: “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
Hillary Clinton could not say a la Caesar: I came, I saw and I conquered. Instead, they coached her to say: I came, I saw and he died.
- And when she is asked to release her Wall Street Transcripts, she says with a straight face: Sure! As soon as every Republican candidate has done it!
These, as I said, are just for starters. But Sanders should be able to make use of them effectively. He should not only counter-punch, he should try and land some knockout blows.
Make no mistake. Bernie Sanders is a feisty fighter. His spirit is toughened by over a half-century of fighting every political battle he could find. It is his flawed sense of morality and fairness that is going to be his undoing.
While the Hillary/Bill Team is going to be ruthless and vicious in its attacks on Bernie, even though John Podesta, Hillary Campaign manager, is a very nice and principled man, Bernie may be hamstrung by a Shakespearean Hamlet-like weakness and indecisiveness:
“To Be or Not To Be, That Is the Question!”
To attack or not to attack Hillary? And how far to go in the attacks on Hillary? And what about Bill?
You don’t win political fights by letting those questions overpower you. You win political fights by overpowering the other side by your attacks. Especially, when the other side attacks you first.
And if Bill Clinton is going to campaign for his wife Hillary, then he is fair game for Sanders by all canons of political morality. Bill Clinton should have mapped out his own vulnerabilities and open flanks before he came out swinging for his wife and against Sanders.
So, God help Bernie if he still tries to trot out all kinds of lame excuses for not attacking Hillary and Bill outright and all barrels blazing.
But Islam is very clear on that subject:
God only helps those who try to help themselves!