You know we live in a sadly odd and trivial society when a man whose political ineptitude and unabashed bigotry against intelligence are even together no measure of his readiness to be Commander-in-Chief as compared to a slew of sexual innuendo circulating around the rumor mill.
Herman Cain – now a former Republican presidential candidate – whose wide collection of gaffes and political
incorrectness absurdity left him largely unfazed amongst the ranks of would-be “Cain-ites” in the 2012 presidential election – was at one point propelled to the front-runner position ahead of even Romney, Gingrich and Bachmann.
During which time – for some reason that is still a mystery – it seemed that perhaps nothing could stop the “Godfather” from winning the party’s nomination based on charisma alone despite his many, many documented articles that proved with no uncertainty that he should never, ever be President.
This is/was a man who went on camera to say that, as President, he would NOT allow any Muslims on his cabinet (which he then attempted to walk back, but not really). Along those same lines, he insisted that – within the land of the free – it is within a community’s rights to ban a mosque from being built.
He claimed that the Christian God himself spoke to him and told him to run for President (to be fair, which Republican nominee was NOT hand-picked by the Lord-on-high?), and that the nation’s millions of unemployed citizens had only themselves to blame for not being rich like him.
He had no idea what the hell was going on in Libya, only that whatever President Obama did about it must have been wrong.
Why? Because American voters “need a leader, not a reader” (especially one who reads/speaks “Cuban”), and learning the correct pronunciation of foreign countries is not a prerequisite for holding the highest office in the land.
He thought Congressional legislation was just too wordy for his liking, and offered little-to-no understanding of national economics save for the idea that the path to American prosperity would come from a numerical alliteration (“9-9-9!!”) that was easy to remember and just plain fun to say.
But to many Right wing voters looking to back a winner, all of this was okay.
Herman Cain enjoyed a brief yet noticeable lead in the fight for the Republican nomination because – stupidity be damned – he spoke their language (hint: it wasn’t “Cuban”).
Dumbed-down rhetoric backed by fact-less propaganda seems to really fire up the vast majority of the Republican crowd – at least, what has sadly become of it, anyway. Cain knew that, exploited it and reaped the rewards for a short time before imploding in a cloud of his own, new-found infamy.
So, woe is Cain, right? Or, rather, shame on us?
Are we so eager to seek out sensational stupidity – whether we adore it or abhor it – and enable it to overrule actual intelligence and common sense?
On the flip-side, take the case of former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) whose vigilant, progressive service to his district as well as the country at large – where he acted as a tip-top proponent of progressive legislation that fought for workers’ rights, health care and social reforms – were overshadowed by a hardly illegal “sexting scandal.”
Was Weiner a great Congressman? Yes. Were his “online antics” with women who were not his wife stupid? Absolutely. But shouldn’t there be a certain weight – a gravitas, if you will – to the latter over the former?
Should the utterly absurd resonate throughout our society more than one’s actual contributions to said society? Apparently, yes. Because really, what are a few years of patriotic governance and intelligent leadership when there are (perfectly legal, yet still stupid) crotch-shots to sort through?
Are we – as a media-fueled, easily fooled collection of publicity sniffers – to blame for our own misgivings and mis-characterizations? Should we not be smart enough to recognize a candidate’s obvious flaws and dismiss them as non-starters from the very beginning?
Didn’t we learn our lesson with Donald Trump? Or, to be even more discerning, G.W. Bush?
Regardless – fast forward to the present day, and as it stands Herman Cain remains ousted as the would-be new voice of the neo-con movement and will undoubtedly vanish into the annals of Right wing political obscurity.
Or, to be more exact, his own show on Fox News (wait for it, it’s coming).
– Joe Ascanio
Based out of Greater New York, Joe Ascanio is a full time web designer, developer and marketing guy working in the online technology marketplace. OneWhiteDuck.com is a semi-personal blog devoted to opinionated rantings over current events, politics and pop culture as they relate to our modern-day society.