The great Herman Cain, R.I.P.

Of all the people to lose to COVID, the public figure who brings the most sadness, by far, is the great Herman Cain.

Here is what Dan Calabrese, a longtime staffer wrote on the Herman Cain site:

You’re never ready for the kind of news we are grappling with this morning. But we have no choice but to seek and find God’s strength and comfort to deal with it.

Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away. He’s entering the presence of the Savior he’s served as an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta, and preparing for his reward.

Romans 2:6-7 says: “God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.” By that measure, we expect the boss is in for some kind of welcome, because all of us who knew him  are well aware of how much good he did.

Cain was, as one writer noted, the best president we never had.

A legendary Conservative. The man who could have been our First BLACK President. A TEA Party Icon, Magnificent orator, True believer in limited government, a Citizen who was brought up by his parents to work hard and to EARN his place in the world, a Family Man who is survived by his wife, Gloria, two children, and four grandchildren.

He came to the fore in 2012, when he ran for president, and had so many tremendous presidential qualities - a successful businessman, a brainy economics nerd at the Federal Reserve with a great understanding of how economies work, a bootstrap success story, and a great eloquent orator. To lose Cain now is just so sad, because he meant so much to us. 

What's vivid now is that he was the proto-Trump. And in fact, no surprise, he was one of President Trump's earliest supporters.

He was bombastic, engaging, and funny -- kind of like President Trump. But he was also sunnier, the bootstrap success story, the man of amazing Reagan-like optimism, brighter optimism than even the twinkling Reagan, a man who would move the nation forward.

Like Trump, he was also shaped by his business experiences, and in some ways probably a better businessman than Trump in that he didn't quite have the atmosphere of rough and tumble ups and downs -- bankruptcies and billions --  that Trump did - he actually took lousy failing companies and made them into well-run and profitable ones. And like Trump, he was always in tune with the popular culture. Trump got his from reality TV. Cain got his from fast food businesses.

And like Trump, he had some woman problems, some wandering eye stuff, which in the end sank his 2012 presidential candidacy. He played by the rules back then and backed out. Trump understood the value of shamelessness and stayed in - and took the White House. Cain, though, to his credit, died still married to his first wife. Nobody's perfect. But in this regard, they were a bit alike.

I came to adore Herman Cain during the presidential election when he brought up the serious economic stuff that I wish Trump would embrace in his second term -- the coming failure of the Social Security system. And being a very, very solid guy, he brought up and packaged the one thing that can fix it, privatized personal retirement accounts, which have shown themselves to be succcess stories over and over again. He even gave us a delightful new shorthand for it - "Chilean Model" based on the first national system in Chile in the late 1970s that succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams, turning Chile, which was in a post-Venezuela-style hellhole condition, into a bona fide first world country, the only runaway success story to ever come out of Latin America. It's one of the world's biggest untold stories, and yet Cain knew all about it, knew the people behind it, knew the economic workings and understood why it worked so brilliantly. And were he to have become president, it could have happened, with the perfect captain to turn the wheel  for it properly.

Now President Trump must pick up that torch to complete that critical task that Cain introduced. 

Trump made the most beautiful tweets he's ever done with Cain's passing, much to his credit -- it's pretty clear he very much cared:



We can only hope that with Cain's passing, every effort will be made to remember him, to place him in Trump's garden of heroes, to create statues, to name highways, to name schools for him. The one last task we can all do for this fallen hero is remember him, finding ways to teach the young who he was and why he's a better example to follow than all the wretched ungrateful football players, crazed leftists taught in schools, and looney tune Hollywood flotsam and jetsam put forward as role models. Herman Cain was an American Original, the real thing, the best president we never had and we are grateful to have known of him.

Herman Cain, Rest in Peace.


Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of image by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0 and Pixabay public domain images.

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