Like most of you, up until very recently I hadn’t a clue as to what a Herman Cain was. And like many of you who have since been made aware of his presidential candidacy, I already miss those days of ignorance. While he can go on about being a different kind of political candidate, Mr. Cain’s behavior suggests he’s nothing more than the latest incarnation of an ever-lingering and consistently annoying cliché of American politics.
That being the antagonizing black conservative who bemoans racial politics yet conveniently and hypocritically finds ways to keep dabbling in it.
To Cain’s credit, there are some positive attributes to him. As the son of a chauffeur to a former Coca-Cola executive who was tipped in socks, it’s worth recognizing that Herman Cain is a self-made millionaire who at one time was the chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza. Such a story embodies the American dream and is understandably alluring to some Americans in need of such symbolism.
WATCH ‘RACHEL MADDOW’ COVERAGE OF HERMAN CAIN’S CAMPAIGN:
Be that as it may, the last thing America needs is anyone with a platform being predictably disingenuous about issues pertaining to race. In a recent interview, the former businessman turned radio host turned wannabe president claimed, “the race card is going to be short-lived if Herman Cain gets the nomination.”
Cain is to honesty what Lil’ Kim is to natural beauty. Throughout his entire short-lived presidential bid he has played the race card as if he keeps a fresh deck of them in his back pocket. Last month at the first Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, Cain quipped, “people who oppose Obama are said to be racists – so I guess I’m a racist.”
Cain may not be a racist, but he’s arguably a patronizing black politician trying to suppress suspicions of racism in order to appeal to select conservative white voters.
To wit, in his Washington Post profile Cain touched on his neighbor’s refusal to lend her political support to his campaign due to his Tea Party affiliation. On her decision, Cain said it was common about black voters who “are shocked that I have become a tea party guy because they have drunk the Kool-Aid on this racist thing.” Cain dismissed racism in the Tea Party movement as “bull feathers.”
No, the Tea Party collectively may not be racist but all of those racist signs spotted at multiple Tea Party rallies were not figments of our imaginations.
The 65-year-old candidate seems to fancy himself as the guy who wants to move beyond black and white. If he wanted to make that fairytale resemble anything close to the truth he’s going about it all wrong. Look no further than his popular campaign music video in which he boasts, “I left the Democratic plantation a long time ago, and I ain’t going back!”
The country singer crooning throughout the Cain ad kicks off his performance with the declaration that his candidate is a “true son of the South.” Not long after comes Cain wearing a cowboy hat and a Kool-Aid smile reminding viewers that, “My great, great grandparents were slaves. And now I’m running for president of the United States of America. Is this a great country or what?”
Yeah, none of that sounds the least bit racial.
While the Republican establishment isn’t paying Cain any real attention, some warn that they should. They cite recent polls for their reasoning, namely the latest Public Policy Polling survey that has Herman Cain tied with former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin for second place in Iowa. Both net 15 percent of the vote, while former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney takes the lead with 21 percent.
Cain’s charm, his knack for telling the far right what they want to hear, along with the fact that not many people are paying attention to the 2012 presidential race thus far have no doubt helped his campaign gain a surprising bit of traction. Nevertheless, the ghost of Mufusa from The Lion King has a better chance at becoming president than Herman Cain does.
However, there’s an increasing chance that Cain will play some role in 2012.
On his fellow Republican candidates’ criticism of President Obama, Cain told the Washington Examiner, ”…they are being coached to not say it a certain way, that you’re going to be labeled a racist and the liberal media is going to try to bring you down, because they still want to protect their precious Obama.”
One guess on who might volunteer to say whatever might be “too racial” for them.