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DHUL QIDAH 1431 A.H.

(November 3, 2010)

 

 

Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):

 

I begin with an admission. I did NOT vote in yesterday's mid-term elections.

 

Despite receiving the invitation to make the pledge ("I PLEDGE TO VOTE IN THE 2010 ELECTIONS ON TUESDAY, NOVEMEBR 2, 2010") from United Voices For America; and despite receiving numerous other e-mails and text from politically involved Muslims making shrill appeals for Muslims to go to the polls and fulfill their civic duty, I elected NOT to vote.

 

I didn't take this position because I was lazy, or because I didn't think the elections were important or particularly relevant to my life. I decided not to vote to make a statement (out of principle). It was a conscious decision made with a lot of forethought. I wanted to make a personal statement, and then watch human/political nature take its course. And I must admit, the morning after, it was a sight to behold.

 

Early yesterday I was one of the guests for a live talk show over Pacific Radio's WPFW (in the DC area), "Voices With Vision."  The topic of the day was the mid-term elections. While I did not divulge my decision to boycott the elections, I did briefly express my disdain for what we as a people had on the table to choose from.

 

Now I can freely admit that I wanted the democrats to "lose control of the House." Why? Because following such a historic, breathtaking, once in a life-time MAJOR election (the presidential election of 2008)  - an election predicated around a collective hunger for "CHANGE" - the democratic party has been such a sorry and disappointing lot! That is why I wanted them to lose BIG!

 

I also hoped that a significant number of deeply entrenched incumbents (both democrats and republicans) would lose their seats. Two of the most corrupting elements in America's political system are money, and the attitude of entitlement.  Too often, men and women occupying high office feel entitled to remain in those offices for as long as they choose; and then to pass the baton off to a member of their family as if it were a personal inheritance. Much too often the idea of "public service" is nothing but a self-serving sham!

 

And let me make something clear before I go any further, I am not a card carrying member of any political party, I chose long ago to be a true "independent." I believe the late Alabama Governor George Wallace's assessment of the two major parties remains true to this day: "There's not a dime's bit of difference between a democrat and a republican!"  (The only difference is in style, the fundamental policies are basically the same.)

 

The two parties are like two wings of the same bird, flying this potentially great, but deeply disturbed nation called America in the same unsustainable direction.

 

It is sad to see how people who are supposed to be people of faith (including many Muslims) will so often gravitate in blind obeisance to whichever party appears to be the dominant factor in the political mainstream, when the Lord of All The Worlds, in the final revelation to all humanity (The Noble Qu'ran) clearly instructed: "Do not become an advocate for those who betray their trusts." This is a divinely-given mandate that we all should continually take to heart (before it's too late).

 

Now, to end on a more encouraging note, it appears that California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) defeated former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman (R) in the race to succeed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). If this prediction holds true, I welcome it as an encouraging sign; not because I'm a supporter of Jerry Brown, but because it obstructs one of the unquestioned political truths of America's  polluted political mainstream: that money in politics is everything!  (Whitman reportedly spent more than $140 million from her own personal fortune in the campaign).

 

While America arguably has the best "democracy" money can buy, nationwide results from the morning after U.S. mid-term elections suggest that American hearts and minds are not always for sale....and this gives us reason for hope.

 

El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan

 

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