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JUST LIKE IT IS: They will slay Cain


Peter Simmons

JUST LIKE IT IS: They will slay Cain

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With the election of the United States president just over a year away, the political scene is heating up with the main focus on the Republican Party’s choice of a candidate to fight incumbent Democrat, Barack Obama.
Leading the field in reputable opinion polls is Herman Cain. He, like Obama, is an Afro-American. He, however, has no legislative experience, unlike the other six candidates who have been members of Congress or state governors. He served on the Federal Reserve and was a top lobbyist for the restaurant group.
After 40 years in business culminating as a successful, respected proprietor of Godfather Pizza, he pulled himself up by the bootstraps from the dire poverty in which he was born and spent his early years. In addition to clawing his way out of poverty,
he also fought and beat acute colon cancer after being given a 30 per cent chance of survival.
Without any demonstrable proclivity for policy development, lacking familiarity with foreign affairs issues and overarching major global issues, and specializing in slogans in the belief that “simplicity is genius”, the major movers and shakers in the Republican Party who pleaded with bruising New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to throw his hat in the ring, will never support Cain.
Despite major entrepreneurial gains and the fact that an Afro-American is president, Cain remains the ultimate Republican outsider. Saying too many use racism as an excuse for not achieving and the Obama presidency suggests the United States has become post-racial, it is supremely naive to believe that with Afro-Americans (traditional Democrats) less than 15 per cent of the population, the election choice will be between two black men.
Personable and charismatic, his is the sort of Alger Hiss story on which the “American Dream” is built and inspires national acclamation. He has emerged as the latest and, one would have thought, least likely favourite of the ultra right-wing Tea Party.
In just weeks, with a poorly organized engine room without serious intellectual thinkers, he wrestled polls leadership from Mitt Romney, the multi-millionaire former governor of Massachusetts, and the bellicose Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, during whose regime 236 persons have been put to death and who said he never lost sleep over the fact that any of them was innocent or mentally unfit.
He burst onto the national scene with a stellar reputation for being tough on crime in the toughest state with the largest prison population. Under his watch, Texas has the impressive record of incarcerating more people per capita than Iran or China, despite his plethora of transparent talk about upholding liberty and freedom.
The Republican candidates have been given almost weekly spots on major network TV exposing their fundamental strengths and weaknesses. With the leaders in the polls caught in the cross-hairs of the others, the rise of Cain is as spectacular as the loss of altitude of Perry. The former will now be subjected to immense scrutiny by fellow candidates and the media.     
Watching TV caucuses and interviews with a broad range of major political correspondents, I see Perry as a poor debater lacking the facility to think quickly on his feet. Romney seems more thoughtful and controlled and is popular in the north-east corridor. However, being a Mormon is held against him by some Republicans and others.  
It is obvious that Cain does not see himself as a flash in the pan but as a credible and creditable candidate for president of the world’s most powerful democracy, where he can translate his business acumen and success into turning around its rapidly falling fortunes. Bizarrely, to control illegal migration, he would erect a 20-foot-high electrified fence along the Mexican border with a moat with alligators inside. That beggars belief.
In politics, like in so much else, money makes the mare fly. President Obama’s war chest has already garnered more than $70 million, with Romney and Perry attracting almost $20 million each. Cain has about $1 million so far.
But perhaps Cain’s two most damaging shortcomings are his clear lack of familiarity with foreign affairs and the world outside US borders, and his rather facile “9-9-9 plan”. This economic plan conceptualized to overhaul the tax system, is a poorly thought out, catchy slogan which will in fact impose a sales tax in some states where none currently exists. Latest independent, in-depth investigations report 84 per cent of all households will be worse off.
I will continue following the Republicans as they select a candidate. From what I have seen, heard and read and know of the sociology and politics of the US, Cain will not be their choice.
The Bible says Abel was slain by another Cain.
The Republicans are sharpening their swords to slay Herman Cain.

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