April 9, 2011
Who is Herman Cain and Why Should Americans Care?By Daryl Mahan
In the coming weeks and months the American public will hear more and more mention of the name Herman Cain as he embarks on a most important journey. The country he was born and raised in is in turmoil, facing crises of potentially insurmountable proportions on several levels. Our overall economy is in shambles with the nation's debt level higher than any other nation in recorded history.
Born in Tennessee in 1945, many of Herman Cain's most formative years were during a time when American society viewed and treated its members quite differently based on their outward appearance. At the age of six, Herman Cain and his younger brother secretly challenged this societal segregation by quite literally testing the waters. Watching out for the other as he took his turn, they each sampled the water from two public drinking fountains, each specified only for use by one of the two dominant races of American citizens at the time. Herman Cain and his brother learned in that moment that the separation of the races was baseless. The water from each fountain was exactly the same; each no different from the other. The burning question was planted in their young minds: ''What's the big deal?''
By the close of the first decade of this current millennium, American society, seemingly evolved beyond the ignorance that fomented such outward discrimination, elected Barack Obama, born of a Caucasian American mother and a Black African father, to the office of President on the United States. Obama's ascendancy to that most coveted and most powerful position in the land, upon reflection and rational analysis, was the result of American society's collective guilt and remorse for the decades of disrespect, disgraceful and tortuous treatment of those members reflecting Obama's father's physical attributes. His ascendancy could not have been based on professional qualifications and grand achievements of his life's work, for while a rational, honest examination of Obama's past reveals abundant charisma, charm, and eloquence of speech, there is certainly no history of accomplishment that would warrant such empowerment.
This is not an examination of Obama or American societal shortcomings. The aforestated reflection is necessary only to caution that in the upcoming Presidential election of 2012, it is certain that the powers that capitalized on the societal guilt and remorse of the American collective in 2008 will absolutely foment that emotion again should there be a strong challenger to the ideology and re-election of Barack Obama. As distasteful as it may be, it is a reality that any such challenger, regardless of their personal achievements and political acumen, will have to battle to a certain degree those who view America's exceptionalism and individual freedom and liberties as a threat to the vision of global governance and to the nations of the world dominated by socialist, totalitarian ideologies and dictatorial regimes; the puppet-masters of America's left-wing progressivism and "Race-Bait, Incorporated" segregationists.
But what if an individual who can neutralize that ignorance, and who does have professional qualifications and considerable life achievements to warrant the responsibilities of the office of President of the United States, steps forward? Someone who is willing to undergo the scrutiny and make the commitments necessary to earn that ascendancy and redirect this great nation back toward a course of prosperity. Shouldn't that individual be seriously considered? That individual is Herman Cain.
Herman Cain earned a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College in 1967, and while working full time as a mathematician for the Department of the Navy, earned a Master's Degree in Computer Science from Purdue University in 1971. He has been a successful business executive and CEO in American industry and has served on the boards of directors of numerous corporations. After college and six years with the Dept of Navy, Mr. Cain joined the Coca-Cola Company. He next moved on to the Pillsbury Company and achieved the distinction of becoming their youngest Vice President after just three years.
Yearning for further challenge, Herman Cain moved to Pillsbury's restaurant division, and after completing a nine-month management training program where he donned a nametag, cleaned bathrooms, and flipped burgers, was assigned the task of leading a region of 450 low-performing Burger King outlets. He transformed that regional operation into the company's best performing region in the course of three years.
Longing for yet more professional challenges, Herman Cain moved on to the ailing Godfather's Pizza chain as President and CEO where he redirected the chain, preventing their financial demise. As a result of his leadership, the Godfather's Pizza chain is enjoying continued success with hundreds of restaurants still in operation today. In these two instances, Herman Cain has been responsible for preventing the job loss of thousands of American workers. Mr. Cain was invited to join the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association and in 1994 was elected their Chairman. Subsequent to that term of service, the National Restaurant Association in 1996 retained Mr. Cain as fulltime President and CEO, where his professional skills and talents benefited thousands of small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.
As a result of his executive position with the Nation Restaurant Association in 1994, during a nationally televised town hall meeting with then-President Bill Clinton promoting his proposed health care overhaul, Mr. Cain had the opportunity to challenge the President as to the resultant impact on businesses if such an overhaul were passed. The President's response to Mr. Cain was an attempt to reassure those present and the millions in the television audience that the proposal was sound and would not bring harm to American businesses or their employees. Undeterred in the face of immense political power and before the millions of viewers, Herman Cain stood his ground with the rebuttal, "Quite honestly Mr. President, your calculations are incorrect. In the competitive marketplace, it simply doesn't work that way." Herman Cain came to the attention of millions, and subsequently accepted a position on the board of directors and was ultimately elected the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Herman Cain has also been in direct contact with his local community as a radio talk show host in Atlanta, GA and nationally as a regular contributor on various broadcast networks and as a keynote speaker around the nation. In 2004, he ran for the seat in the US Senate vacated at the retirement of Democrat Zell Miller.
While Cain professes adherence to true conservative values, there are points of apparent derivation. He supports the return to the gold standard as the basis of the dollar but does not feel there is a need for an audit of the Federal Reserve. He is a staunch opponent of abortion procedures and any move to implement any degree of Sharia Law into our society. A critic of president Obama's spending program and the overall uncontrolled spending in Washington, Mr. Cain advocates for more direct economic stimulus, and during a March 14, 2011 interview with David Webb on The Wilkow Majority, a show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, defined a two phase plan for growth and reform.
Phase one of his plan would be implemented immediately and consists of five steps:
1: Lower the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%.
2: Instead of temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts, make them permanent.
3: Reduce the capital gains tax rate to zero.
4: Suspend tax on repatriated corporate profits so companies bring those profits back home.
5: Implement a full payroll tax holiday giving every worker a 6.2% raise and every employer a 6.2% reduction in payroll costs.
Phase two would be a complete overhaul of the entire tax code, replacing it with a national retail sales tax. Mr. Cain acknowledges that it would take some time to educate the populace on the benefits of the national sales tax, or Fair Tax, however during this period of education, implementation of the steps outlined in phase one would result in immediate benefit and significant economic growth.
Herman Cain's approach to foreign policy is, "We will be friends with our friends and evaluate who our enemies are and watch our enemies." Regarding foreign aid, "I don't believe in providing financial support to those who really are not our friends." In dealing with myriad conflicts around the world Cain stated he would use the approach that he has in business, "Listen to the experts. That's what leaders do, they know how to listen to the experts and then make an informed decision about critical issues." He indicated he would, "Talk to the people who know the most about the subject: the military generals, the field generals, the joint chiefs of staff." Referring to the war in Afghanistan for example, he said he would first define what winning is, then determine if winning was possible, then based upon that input, strategize as to what the United States should do.
When challenged by a caller during the interview regarding the supposition that it will be impossible for a black man to gain the support necessary to obtain the nomination in the Republican Party, Cain retorted, "the race card is used to try to keep us in pre-racial time in this country, rather than get over it, get past it and focus on performance, focus on the problems, focus on the priorities and focus on character and content, not color."
Herman Cain comes to us from humble beginnings. His parents, Luther Cain, Jr. and Lenora Davis Cain, worked hard throughout their lives to ensure their sons would have a better start in life then they had had. Their work ethic and solid foundational rearing set both Herman and his brother upon a path toward achievement of their individual dreams. In an October, 1995 Parade Magazine interview with Wallace Terry, Cain said of his parents,
Herman Cain is the most viable candidate to defeat the machine that pushed Barack Obama into office. Look at the man. Listen to his ideas for reforming and repairing our nation. Consider the alternatives and the disastrous outcome of allowing the current president with his ideology and history of deceptions and secrecy to remain at the helm for another term. Educate yourself about Herman Cain and what he has to offer each of us as individual Americans. Vote responsibly, not emotionally.