Why America Needs Herman Cain
Niccolò Machiavelli once said that "the man who adapts his course of action to the nature of the times will succeed, and likewise, the man who sets his course of action out of tune with the times will come to grief."
What I'd like to argue in this essay is that based on the current "nature of the times" in America, Herman Cain must be the GOP nominee for president. In fact, Cain's nomination represents what could be the last and best opportunity Americans have to pry our battered country out from the clutches of the increasingly strident, divisive, and Marxist pro-Obama Democrat left.
Conversely, if the nomination goes to Rick Perry or Mitt Romney, it will simply confirm my suspicion that the GOP base is absolutely clueless when it comes to appreciating the unique contours of the American left's long-term strategy to undermine our nation's constitutional heritage and disposition.
The left has successfully poisoned any possibility for a white conservative to attract enough minority voters on a platform based on America's colorblind founding principles. Even a Romney or Perry victory, in other words, will leave America as viciously divided as ever and will merely set the stage for more Republican compromise with political opponents who rarely if ever compromise.
Martin Luther King, in his 1963 "Letter from a Birmingham City Jail," said that when the "disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for the best in the American dream and the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage." In addition, said King, "[black people] were carrying our whole nation back to those great walls of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence."
King's early Tea Party proclivities don't seem to garner much attention these days.
Indeed, soon after King issued those inspiring remarks, the anti-American left began a long-term and sinister project to wed Marxist ideology to racial politics in order to frighten white conservatives into questioning the very basis of their country's constitutional identity. The left's goal back then was, according to philosopher Eric Hoffer, to "soften up the white majority and beat it into a pulp."
The left's long-term objective was to both define a new standard of civic righteousness and increase the power of the state by championing the cause of America's minority populations against what the left considered the "oppressive" merit-based ethos of "reactionary" white America. Epithets such as "Oreo" and "sellout" and "acting white," for example, were fashioned by leftists in order to intimidate both whites and minorities into questioning the commonsense beliefs about personal initiative and self-reliance built into the European Enlightenment tradition. Duke professor Stanley Fish, for example, captured the essence of this racial strategy a couple of decades later in a defense of affirmative action that he wrote for the Atlantic back in 1993:
Individualism, fairness, merit -- these three words are continually in the mouths of our up to date, newly respectable bigots who have learned that they need not put on a white hood or bar access to the ballot box in order to secure their ends.
And over the years, while a sincere but incredibly naïve GOP pinned its election fortunes on the "economy," thousands of teachers in thousands of classrooms across the country found more and more reasons not to present America's founding tradition in a positive light.
Indeed, in one of the most prophetic books written in the last few decades -- Beyond All Reason: The Radical Assault on Truth in American Law -- constitutional law professors Daniel Farber and Suzanna Sherry argued in 1997 that the quiet invasion of "radical multiculturalism" in American law schools has put professors "who cling to Enlightenment aspirations" at some risk "of being labeled racists or bigots." Radical multiculturalists were able to accomplish this amazing feat by relentlessly advancing the claim that "conceptions of merit are invented by the powerful to reinforce their dominant position in society."
The reason why Ronald Reagan's conservative "revolution" miscarried so quickly, in other words, is precisely the same reason why constitutional law "scholar" and class warfare socialist Barack Obama captured the most powerful office in the world so soon after Reagan left it: a perfect storm or "righteous wind" that combined weak-kneed "compassionate" white conservatives newly softened and distressed over the moral underpinnings of their own merit-based ideology with legions of self-righteous champions of "people of color" eager to unleash academia's long, simmering, and toxic blend of Marxism, social justice, and identity politics.
Mr. Obama stewed for years in this racially charged environment -- not only in college, but in the pews of his pastor Jeremiah Wright's black liberation "theology" church. The effects of Obama's one-sided and rather crude education slipped out occasionally on the campaign trail in 2008. At a Florida fundraiser, for example, Mr. Obama insinuated that Republicans would create a state of fear by using Obama's race as a means to harvest votes for John McCain:
We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid. They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?
The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto was one of the few observers at the time to expose Obama's pathetic attempt to malign an entire political party as racist:
Obama is baselessly accusing Republicans of racial prejudice, or at least of cynically pandering to racial prejudice. But by wording this 'accusation' as a prediction, Obama is able to cast aspersions without needing any evidence to back them up. He implicitly ascribes to the GOP the view that voters are prejudiced against blacks, then calls on voters to prove they are not by voting for Obama.
One has to add the word "white" to "Republican," however, for Taranto's claims about "racial prejudice" to make any sense.
Allan Bloom once said that "society's greatest madness may seem normal to itself." Indeed, an American candidate for president succeeded in getting himself elected even after implying that members of the opposition party in his own country are racists. However, according to Newton's Third Law, the left's carefully crafted attack on conservative white America was bound to give birth to its very nemesis: a highly driven, eloquent, and successful black political candidate who, unlike our current president, has nothing but effusive gratitude for the opportunities his country has given him.
Highly esteemed pundits including Daniel Henninger, Dorothy Rabinowitz, and Michael Barone are coming to recognize that Herman Cain's unique combination of business expertise, educational credentials, inspiring background, and love of country is striking a deep cord among American voters. But the most important factor may be, as Ms. Rabinowitz observed recently, "Mr. Cain's unfailing capacity to speak as though from a core of fire deep inside him."
The left has spent decades trying to smother that fire, and to some degree, most white political candidates for president are now damaged goods -- they tend to find it more prudent to triangulate, manage, strategize, compromise, and appease. They are also highly unlikely to accomplish anything close to marginalizing today's alarmingly radical Democrat party. In short, the GOP needs to elevate and highlight courageous and passionate Tea Party favorites like Star Parker, Allen West, and Nikki Haley rather than the more tepid Mitt Romney types.
On a national stage, Herman Cain and other minority conservative candidates have the ability to send shockwaves not only through the political landscape, but down deep into the dark corners of academia, where legions of liberal professors continue to wield a very harmful but successful narrative in order to beat young America's potential defenders -- both white and nonwhite -- into a pulp.
A Herman Cain-headed ticket for 2012 would be unbeatable. It would also represent a new dawn in America where gratitude, confidence, and initiative would overwhelm the resentment, anger and ingratitude so characteristic of left-wing political culture.
It's the nature of the times.