Five Lessons for Republican Candidates Courtesy of Herman Cain
Last Sunday, Washington Post columnist George Will appeared on ABC News' This Week with Christiane Amanpour to discuss the GOP primary. During the discussion, Will opined on Herman Cain’s “entrepreneurial-charlatan” status:
WILL: …now and 2016, both parties have to do some serious thought as to whether they can develop some filter to prevent this process, particularly with made proliferation of debates from being hijacked by charlatans, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial charlatans.
AMANPOUR: Who would you label as one of those?
WILL: Well, the one who dropped out, Mr. Cain, who used this as a book tour in a fundamentally disrespectful approach to the selection of presidents. Now, we have a December 27th debate proposed that would be moderated by Donald Trump. Surely it is time for these candidates to do something presidential, stand up and say we're not going to be hijacked and participate in this.
I could not help but wonder where in the world Will kept all this unique insight and professional candor in 2008, when a “community organizing” charlatan and Chicago-machine-made thugocrat received permission from establishment commentators to pose unchallenged as the consummate Anointed One for whom the U.S. presidency had waited so long.
Is it possible that Will has forgotten the presidential election of 2008, when he and every other enabling media elitist, along with the Democratic Party, allowed the presidency of the United States of America to become a garish, iconographic, messianic, banana-republic ego trip for a single individual with no qualifications but a teleprompter and a real-world resume fit for the back of a postage stamp?
Our media elites seem to harbor an adolescent streak of magical thinking as they attempt to put this charlatan-genie back in its bottle, hoping to return to an equally magically-imagined state of American politics where no one save the most able, most noble, most amply experienced citizens would dare to run. There has indeed never been such a state. And as long as America remains a constitutional republic of the people, there won’t.
Herman Cain had every right to run for president, just as every other American citizen who meets the very basic qualifications outlined by Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. Cain made a good run of it, as was his right. Millions of Americans appreciated his plain speaking, ardent patriotism, and willingness to face off with smooth talking heads, most of whom have never had a real job in their lives.
Nevertheless, there are some valuable lessons from the Cain implosion, which could serve current and would-be Republican candidates very well indeed. Here are my top five lessons, courtesy of Herman Cain.
Due to the unequal playing field we now experience in American politics, every conservative must be mindful of the following when deciding to toss his hat and hide into the electoral ring.
We are in an era where Democrats to varying degrees represent the Marxist mindset, and Republicans -- also to varying degrees --symbolize the American mindset. As the dominant culture -- media, education, Hollywood, etc. -- is controlled by the Marxists, every Republican candidate must be well able to run this treacherous, slanted-rules gauntlet -- or he does all of us a favor by staying out of the race.
5. Dark skin color and female gender work opposite for Republicans as they do Democrats.
Now, all sentient citizens know this. If we didn’t know it for certain prior to 2008, we certainly do now. Both Herman Cain and Sarah Palin may have harbored at least a scant hope that their race and gender might receive some of the extra protection given to Democrat candidates.
Was Palin thinking -- even in the furthest recesses of her mind -- that she might be treated with the same all-hail-the-little-woman kid gloves worn for Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton? Palin salvaged her reputation as a prominent conservative female only because she had the wisdom to withdraw from elected office to fight the rhetorical battles of consequence.
Was Cain thinking that because Obama received the pinnacle of affirmative action for just being a piddling half-black, that Cain himself would feel greater protection?
Democrat blacks, women, and gay people will have the media winds perpetually at their backs with permanent cover for gaffes, immoral allegations, and public policy voids. Any Republican candidate -- especially those of minority status or women -- must accept that their route will actually be harder than any old white man’s could ever be. Modern Marxist power in America is heavily vested in solidarity among minorities, single women, and gay-rights activists.
There’s no getting around this. It is what it is.
To the Doubting Thomases I ask: do you remember Larry Sinclair?
Sinclair was an Obama accuser, similar in many respects to Cain's. He possessed a very ignoble background, in some ways much like the Cain women. Sinclair accused then-state-Senator Obama of smoking crack cocaine and homosexual trysts in the back of his limousine. Sinclair also went public with his accusations during Obama’s presidential candidacy. There was much to discount in both Sinclair’s stories and in his personal background. There was no Gloria Allred and in short order Sinclair ceased to exist in the public mind. Sensible folk wrote him off as a mentally unbalanced accuser of no worth whatsoever.
But due to Sinclair’s ignominious push from public grace on Obama’s behalf, Cain may have thought that he would receive a comparable level of benefit of the doubt.
No Republican candidate of the future must ever harbor these rose-colored delusions. Ever. Where Republican women and black candidates are concerned, race and gender are no-holds-barred targets for media scrutiny. These candidates so threaten the Marxist-solidarity of single women and blacks that they will not be tolerated by the media. Period. Paragraph.
4. Democrats can win on charisma alone; Republicans can’t.
Personal charisma can be a powerful political asset, but it only gets a Republican lots of book sales and a horrible hangover once the dust settles.
Cain has more charisma in his little finger than Obama's whole cadre of teleprompters. But Cain’s charisma was fighting the uphill battle of what he rightly called a “brainwashed” electorate.
The reason Democrats can actually win elections with nothing more than a sprinkling of charisma is that every Democrat candidate is given a nod-and-wink on matters of substance the minute he puts his foot into the electoral ring. Democrats carry the dominant Marxist culture’s brainwashed-benefit of supposed higher intelligence and experience that really counts in the public perception.
Why, Democrat candidates are even given extra credit for their pants creases, for crying out loud.
Democrats are nearly ubiquitously perceived -- key word, “perceived” -- as anti-racist, loving, un-selfish, generous, peace-making, and unfailingly tolerant of all religions and all cultures. It doesn’t matter that all these perceptions are simply the poppycock of a Marxist propaganda machine. They exist.
And no Republican candidate can wish them away with super-sized charisma.
Cain mistook his popular following from years in business, radio, and public speaking for the surefire electoral bonus that a Democrat of similar accomplishment would receive. He made a naïve mistake. And millions of Americans now wish he had given more credence to his own understanding of our current “brainwashed” state before entering the slanted ring.
3. Republican candidates must over-prepare on every issue or prepare to perish ignominiously.
Without the press actively covering for their every misstep, Republican candidates must prepare for a public disemboweling.
The politics of personal destruction? It’s far more than that for a Republican candidate for the presidency.
Obama can get away with saying America has 57 states and not even have to show his college transcripts as proof he’s more than a bumbling idiot. Obama can meander down fantasy-foreign-policy lane, claiming that Iran is just a “tiny” country that poses no real danger to the United States and it won’t even show up as a joke on Saturday Night Live. Obama can carry on about his American grandfather freeing the poor souls at Auschwitz and get a “move along, nothing to see here” from the media. Obama can call American heartland voters “bitter clingers” and spin tall tales about never hearing Jeremiah Wright’s “g-damning America” and call his own grandmother a “typical white person.” And he’ll be rewarded with “tingles” up the legs of media elites.
But let a Sarah Palin fail to explain the “Bush doctrine” to a pedantically preening Charlie Gibson and it’s all over for her.
Let a Herman Cain stumble to explain the Palestinians’ demand for a “right of return,” and one can go ahead and write the electoral obituary.
Yes, the playing field is slanted so severely that only the most over-prepared, eager for drawing-and-quartering Republican should dare try. But this is now well known and any Republican who does not heed this reality should reconsider his own fitness before winning the support of millions of voters.
2. Republican candidates must acknowledge prior to running that even conservative commentators will ruthlessly attack them.
If doubt remained prior to 2008 that so-called liberal “journalists” are united in their revolutionary fervor, then the Journo-list revelations following that election ought to disabuse every would-be Republican candidate of this delusional fairy-tale.
Not only will liberal-Marxist journalists collude to provide cover for their candidate, but conservative commentators will aid and abet this double standard by attacking their own candidates with fervor, all the while wearing kid gloves for the opposition.
Now, certainly this is not true of many conservative bloggers and pundits, but it is most definitely the rule for establishment columnists such as George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, and David Brooks. Part of the reason these columnists retain their lofty positions with "respectable" media is that they so eagerly assist in the character assassination of Republican candidates. This willingness to abet the other side maintains their place on newspaper pages and television networks and at inside-the-beltway cocktail affairs.
Krauthammer mocked Cain’s candidacy early on as pure “entertainment.” This is the same Krauthammer who wrote in late October of 2008 that Barack Obama possessed not only a “first class intellect,” but a “first class temperament.”
Noonan joined forces with liberal Cain gravediggers when she wrote a scathing critique of the candidate's “brain freeze” on the Libya question. There was certainly some merit to Noonan’s observations, but she leaped onto the other team’s side with this premature postmortem of Cain, writing, “To know little and to be proud of knowing little is disrespectful of the democratic process, and of the moment we're in.” To make the leap from a one-dimensional foreign policy void of 10 seconds duration, to Cain not only “knows little,” but is “proud of knowing little,” is not only extremely unfair, it assumes she can read Cain’s mind, a sort of godhood bestowed upon herself.
Now, we’ve come all the way to the actual Cain postmortem and Will wishes that he could wave a magic wand over the nominating process of a democratic republic and make it all “up” to his personal standards of respectability with a party/media designed “filter” in place. If only Will’s standards had been on guard against a “community organizing” charlatan in 2008, we might take his opinions more seriously in 2011. Republican candidates must acknowledge going in that open media access merely gives both the liberal-Marxist press and its willing establishment-conservative enablers more rope with which to hang them. Wariness of the press is essential to Republican candidates. One might even regard a tv roundtable appearance as walking into enemy territory. To go unarmed to the teeth is certain death.
- Every would-be Republican candidate must play harsh devil’s advocate with himself before announcing… or prepare to be unceremoniously roasted ‘til done.
Any Republican, even considering running for public office, must put himself/herself through the most arduous self-examination possible before taking on the mantle of “candidate.” And the reasons why this is so essential, so fundamental to our American cause, are the ones I’ve just elaborated upon above.
Yes, the field is slanted.
Yes, there are two rule books in use. One is for the dominant Marxists (the Democrat team); the other is for the underdog Americans (the Republican team).
For this reason, anyone wishing to carry the flag of American exceptionalism into the modern political ring of revolutionary battle for the soul of our republic must see himself first through the most critical prism imaginable before he helps the cause of the Marxists by flailing as a candidate in their harsh glare.
Cain could have saved himself, his family, and his millions of supporters so much heartache if only he had been brutally honest with himself before declaring his candidacy.
He knew of the settled sexual-harassment suits in his background. He knew, or should have known, that they would certainly be made public at the most damaging time possible. Cain knew he had given money to a financially struggling woman, unknown to his own wife, and that this might come out.
If Cain had simply played devil’s advocate with himself, he might never have decided to run. Or he would have at least over-prepared himself and his family for these revelations and gotten out in front of them with a united familial front.
Cain knew he had scant prior interest in foreign policy and that this was one huge area where he would be mercilessly pummeled and gleefully tripped. (Cain had Palin’s foreign-policy pillorying to guide him.) Only a year or so of arduous study with think-tank experts could have rectified this glaring void in Cain’s presidential repertoire.
So, in the end -- and I admit, this is so sad to say -- Herman Cain showed naivety and a lack of self-appraisal in his run for the presidency. Millions of Americans are truly disheartened at his demise. And the Marxist cause has been undoubtedly helped, at least in small measure by the fall of an iconic black Republican candidate.
But valuable lessons have been learned. And, hopefully, they will be well internalized by all would-be Republican candidates of the future.