Herman Cain, Amazing Grace Under Fire
If you are a conservative and a minority, watch out. Liberals and the liberal media are out to get you. Just ask Herman Cain.
We've seen it before. And Americans are sick and tired of it. The character assassination of conservatives is standard operating procedure for the liberal, progressive media. This stems from a particular form of demented thinking that seems to afflict the majority of liberals and progressives. In his book "The Liberal Mind, the Psychological Causes of Political Madness," board certified forensic psychiatrist Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr. details his view that liberals do indeed suffer from a form of mental illness. With a contorted worldview and diminished capacity for rational thought, committed leftists view conservatives in harsh and barbaric terms. Conservatives are assumed to be racists, sexists, bigots, gun-toting, homophobic, fundamentalist weirdos who hate the poor and love the rich. They cuddle up to big business, big tobacco, big oil, military defense contractors and gun makers but are hostile to senior citizens and the environment. According to liberals, Republicans and conservatives "want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water," starve children and deny medical care to seniors. Even First Lady Michelle Obama recently got into the act accusing Republicans of seeking to curb, among other things, the freedom of speech. Welcome to the dizzying madness that is the liberal mind.
Enter into this delusion, Mr. Herman Cain. Conservative. Christian. Republican. Businessman. Family man. Presidential candidate, TEA Party favorite and, yeah, he's black. Dumbfounded and confused, liberals look for an explanation. A black, Christian conservative is incompatible with the liberal worldview. To liberals, all black people (and all minorities and women) should be, well...liberals. That's the way it's supposed to be. Conservatives, and especially conservative Christians, are bad people. Black people are good people. Therefore, a black conservative is a contradiction in terms. To liberals, the confusion is overwhelming. For any minority person or woman to choose conservatism means that there's something fundamentally wrong with them. Liberalism should be their natural state. Conservative women and minorities must be defective. Liberals must find and trumpet these defects as a means to defend liberal ideology and explain why these individuals have shunned their appointed destiny and become apostates of the religion that is liberalism.
The response is familiar and predictable. Vicious and ferocious attacks on the intelligence, character, integrity, appearance, skills, knowledge or experience of the turncoat who "should have been a liberal" become common. Victims of this tactic include Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former Gov. Sarah Palin, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Sen. Marco Rubio, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and Federal Appeals Court nominee Miguel Estrada. And we see it once again with Mr. Herman Cain in the most recent personal attacks on his character. Politico.com posted a story on Sunday quoting anonymous sources that revealed a sexual harassment accusation against Mr. Cain while he was President of the National Restaurant Association. The attack against Mr. Cain is reminiscent of the accusations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991. But, this time it's different.
Because Herman Cain is different. He's no politician. He has no innate sense of political damage control and he's not depending on politicians to approve of him. He has only his character and his life and business experience to draw upon. Instead of carefully crafted statements put out by staffers, Herman Cain has addressed the recent allegations of sexual harassment with class and a huge dose of integrity. One might call it grace. Integrity. Honor. Honesty. Authenticity. Words not often associated with politicians but certainly applicable to Herman Cain. Recall former NY Rep. Anthony Weiner and how he responded to the Twitter scandal. That's how a politician responds. And hasn't America had enough of the political elites who lie and deceive, saying whatever is necessary to get and stay elected?
As Herman Cain closed out his speech and Q & A session at Monday's National Press Club luncheon, the moderator offered Mr. Cain the chance to end things on a high note and sing a song as he had previously done at the Omaha Press Club. While Mr. Cain cautioned future groups not to expect him to sing, he did, however, offer up one verse. The song is entitled "He Looked Beyond My Faults" with lyrics by the late gospel and country singer/songwriter Dottie Rambo and sung to the tune of "Danny Boy."
Amazing Grace..Will always be my song of praise.
For it was grace, that brought me liberty,
I do not know, just why He came to love me so.
He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cower reportedly said that "adversity doesn't build character, adversity reveals character." The exceptional character of Herman Cain is on display for all to see this week as he faces down a barrage of questions by skeptical reporters. When asked to sing at the National Press Club, he sang a song of praise to God and offered that it was an opportunity to share his faith. The room was completely silent as he sang. And it was clear that the words of his song were heartfelt and sincere. A very difficult thing to fake.
When pressed by Fox News Greta Van Susteren and Bill O'Reilly about the details of the Politico story, Cain answered their questions in a straightforward manner and with a genuineness that transcended television. With grace and composure. But, Cain is learning the hard way that honesty, integrity and composure don't make for good political television. On Wednesday, after a speech at Docs 4 Patient Care in Alexandria, VA he was faced with a group of reporters not satisfied with his previous answers. As Cain tried to avoid answering more questions about the sexual harassment claims against him, reporters pressed the issue and Gentleman Cain lost his temper for a moment, creating yet another headline, with video, that could be used against him.
For Herman Cain to survive these accusations and the feeding frenzy of the national news media, it's going to take much more than integrity, honesty and grace. A small miracle perhaps?
Jay Clarke is a Southern California businessman and lifelong conservative. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org