Citizen Cain

Now is the time to test whether the Tea Party means business because, judging by last week's Republican presidential debate, the Tea Party candidate for president in 2012 is self-evident.

Herman Cain is the ideal Tea Party candidate.  Herman Cain is the ideal citizen candidate among the eminently forgettable posse of professional politicians.  Cain has and utilizes, as he did last week in Greenville, South Carolina, the one asset that will unite constitutional conservatives: he is a plain-speaking Gadsden flag. 

Generations of career politicians who, in the words of Daniel Webster, "mean to govern well, but mean to govern," have bankrupted our country in a slow side toward socialism and the withering of our liberty. 

Patriots are clamoring for an individual who, as president, can calmly and confidently reorient this country to the Constitution and fiscal sanity.  We the People must nominate the next Republican nominee, even (especially) if it means making an end run around the party establishment to put forth someone who is not of Washington, nor political moderation.  We must eliminate candidates who have had a part -- large or small -- in contributing to the current crisis.  That means no Romney, no Huckabee, no Gingrich, no Palin.  The boldest statement that can be made is to elect a private citizen president.

Not for Cain is the dialect of programmed candidates controlled by Republican Party hacks or "up-and-coming political stars."  As was obvious during the debate, Cain does not require handlers and consultants.  No political consultant would ever tell a candidate to answer a question, to which he cannot truly give an informed answer, as Cain did on a question of national security, "I don't know all the facts."  Few, if any, would encourage a candidate to endorse Benjamin Netanyahu's view on the ultimate aims of the jihadists.  Cain speaks with total self-confidence born of ability and achievement, not the unearned laurels of sycophants.

Cain speaks blunt truths about how far we have fallen from our charters and the necessity to restore them and revere them again.  As he recently told Neil Cavuto when refusing to walk back comments about a ban on Muslims in a Cain administration, he only wants "true patriots" around him, committed and dedicated to the Constitution, the Declaration, and the laws of this country.  What else matters?

Cain has proven himself again and again as an executive (which, lest anyone forget, is the office he is seeking), willing to begin at ground level and rising to save a company from bankruptcy.  He is a scholar, a mathematician (bachelors from Morehouse), and computer scientist (masters from Purdue) who speaks logically and plainly.  He recognizes that this is a world of absolutes, right and wrong, and operates so.  He does not fail, nor does he ever need to preface any statement with "Let me be clear."

A Cain candidacy would give conservative voters a break during October 2012 in the form of a candidate before whom we do not cringe in anticipatory dread during the presidential debates.  Cain would crush the president in a debate, and would do so as calmly and precisely as he demolished Bill Clinton in 1994.  Cain is Obama's worst nightmare: A strong black man from the South, a self-made black man, unafraid of anyone, unafraid to say directly to Obama's face what needs to be said directly, as often as it needs to be said.  Cain has had a true American experience.  He knows from real racism and segregation, not some intellectualized rage formulated in the soft environs of the Ivy League.  Cain did not beg, borrow, and steal for a piece of the pie -- he quite literally made his own pies.  His example is the American example.

There will no doubt be wails from all corners that someone like Cain is "not qualified" for the presidency because he lacks decades of experience in government.  Not qualified?  By what standard?  A short time ago, this country elected, through willful ignorance and misplaced guilt, a dilettante who would hardly deign to vote other than "present."  We elected a man whose life story is shrouded in a mysterious haze that absurdly thickens as time passes.  We elected a man with personal and professional associations that should have blasted him off of any slate for any office.  We elected a man who wanted every roadblock thrown in the way of military operations over which he now presents himself as author and executor.  The only positive consequence of the election of Barack Obama is that the completely arbitrary and elastic list of standards for presidential qualification was obliterated.

Sure, the left will brand Cain an "Uncle Tom," and call him a sellout or a self-loathing black man.  Some outfit already declared Cain a "monkey in the window" for delivering a speech at CPAC described as a "minstrel show."  It is to be expected, but it is also to be relished.  In their default position, the left does not count upon younger generations of voters who have already seen past their tired racism and demagoguery.  A man like Cain will use these slurs to complete advantage.  As Cain says proudly anywhere and everywhere, he is an ABC -- American, Black, and Conservative.

Patriots must align with an individual who will take the fight first to the GOP, and then to Obama, without reserve and without quarter.  We must not afflict ourselves with inside-the-Beltway mentality about the necessity of our "top-tier" candidate having so-called experience in Washington or other councils of government.  Look where that mentality has brought us.  Nor must we buy in to the empty cult of celebrity that so easily seduces the left.

In short, we must support and advance the candidacy of a capable citizen who not only speaks the language of freedom and democratic republicanism, but also lives it.  We must support someone who has the wonderful temerity and capability to defend what is worth defending.  If we are serious about really changing the American political culture, we must support and advance the candidacy of Herman Cain, citizen.

"Plain talk is like spring medicine -- unpalatable, but necessary."
 - John Boyle O'Reilly

Matthew May is the author of a forthcoming book entitled Restoration.  He welcomes comments at
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