In case you haven't heard, Herman Cain has announced his candidacy for president of the United States. Cain's basic platform appears to consist of a love for free market enterprise and an antipathy for too much government. It's no wonder that he's a Tea Party darling and the icing on the cake is that he's black. One person commenting on a news story about Cain's candidacy opined that Cain is a liberal's nightmare because, "His election would completely invalidate their lame argument that if oppose Obama, your a racist." (sic)
I checked out Cain's presidential campaign web site and I think that Palin writes his material. A verbatim example of his wisdom: To change the economic course of this nation, we must change the occupant of the White House, electing someone who understands the power of empowerment.
What does that sentence mean? What is the power of empowerment? Just what this country needs, another politician spouting meaningless rhetoric.
Another trait that Cain shares with Palin is that he also slept through civics class. According to news reports of his announcing his candidacy for president, Cain encouraged Americans to read the Constitution, admonishing us, “Keep reading,” he said. “Don’t stop at life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Herman, I hate to break this to you, but you're in the wrong document, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are not the same. Life, liberty etc.--that's in the Declaration.
However, Cain's bag of tricks extends beyond the usual assault on "entitlements" and government interference with the right to destroy the environment. Cain is a bona fide homophobe. According to Cain, “I believe homosexuality is a sin because I’m a Bible-believing Christian, I believe it’s a sin.”
Cain's pontification on the righteousness of his homophobic bigotry sits well with his likely supporters. I don't believe that there is any entitlement to be a bigot. I know that there is no entitlement to impose your bigotry on the rest of us. Backing up bigotry with the Bible doesn't change anything; Cain is an ignorant man who spreads hate in the guise of personal morality.
One of the most difficult truths for me to accept is that being a member of a group that has suffered oppression doesn't endow someone with any more insight into the evils of hate and discrimination than those that have traditionally played the role of oppressor. Nonetheless, it still assaults my sense of justice whenever a black person espouses a belief in the right to discriminate against some other traditionally oppressed group.
I wonder if Cain recognizes that he is being used. Maybe he doesn't mind as long as the payoff is 15 minutes of fame. He's the perfect poster boy for the Right; a black man with business credentials who opposes government spending, supports big business, and waves his Bible while advocating for bigotry. The Right can point to him and declare, "See, we're not racists." Gee, makes me want to run right out and sign up as a Republican; hell, I may even join the Tea Party. Then again maybe not, after all, I have chores to do.