Monday, April 4, 2016

Money and Half-Truths

Probably the most famous linguistic redundancy is the oath taken by witnesses before they take the stand in court: “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” Wouldn’t one “truth” be sufficient? Not according to the jurisprudential smartypants who came up with that oath. Nothing like a legal mind to feel it necessary to dot every I and cross every T three times over.

However, an oath of that kind should be given to political candidates the moment they declare their candidacy. Half-truths abound in their pronouncements. For this diatribe, forget about outright lies and wild distortions. Those are usually exposed in the course of a campaign. It’s the half-truths that may not be brought to light and sully political discourse, even in the best candidates.

Take the claims by those politically polar opposites, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Bernie repeatedly boasts that he has no super PAC funding his campaign, that it is financed solely through average donations of $27. That may be true, but when he chastises Hillary Clinton for taking money from the fossil fuel industry, shouldn’t he also admit that individuals from that industry have contributed to his campaign? And Donald Trump keeps telling us that no one but he is financing his campaign. I have read that he has actually lent his campaign a huge sum and that he expects to be reimbursed — if not for all of it, at least a big chunk. And he is also receiving donations from individuals with Trumpian venom.

But money aside, my main concern is that Bernie and Hillary not damage each other so with half-truths and innuendos that they endanger whichever one wins the Democratic nomination. Instead of ramping up assaults on each other — which they are doing — they should continue to promote their programs as being better for our country, and ramp up their assaults on the dangerous crew under the banner of the GOP (Gangsters On Parade).

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