Herman Cain‘s Bizarre World: Where Common Sense and Decency Don’t Matter
By Nick Chiles
Out here in the real world where us regular folks reside, when we hire someone to perform a task for us, one of the first questions we ask ourselves is, “Is this person disciplined enough to do the job?” It’s a basic requirement among grown-ups, whether you’re tutoring a 10-year-old, painting a house or running a multi-million-dollar corporation–you must put aside all whims, oddities and distractions long enough to get the job done. If you can’t do that, you need to gather up your tools and keep stepping.
But then there’s the bizarre, erratic, delusional world where Herman Cain’s brain resides.
None of these rules apply in Herman’s head. In Herm Land, you can indulge every whim that drifts your way–whether it’s sticking your hand up an employee’s crotch, having adulterous affairs that last longer than many people’s marriages, running for President of the United States without sitting down to study the issues, or spending your days campaigning in states that don’t even have primaries anytime soon. In Herm Land, you just make up your own rules as you go along–common sense, decency and decorum be damned.
Herman Cain has got to be the sloppiest dude ever to run for major public office.
Ironically, the entire basis for his candidacy, at least in his own mind, is that he would bring a businessman’s discipline and approach to the job of running the nation. Well, if this is the way most American businesses are run these days, there’s no wonder that we are grappling with the worst economy in 70 years. His lack of preparation, his inattention to the details of running a presidential campaign, are astounding. Did he not expect his past to be an issue? Where has he been over the last 20 years, when gotcha journalism and slash-and-burn campaigning have become the rules of the land?
And aside from Herman’s overall wackiness, we can’t escape the racial realities of his candidacy. Here’s a black man who stood up in a majority white nation and announced that he wanted to be its leader–all the while knowing that his past was littered with the bodies of white women he has harassed, molested and pulled into hotel rooms all over Atlanta. Ginger White is his latest accuser. He is either the most arrogant brother, with the biggest cojones, we’ve ever encountered, or somehow the brutal racial history of America in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s–not to mention the two centuries that preceded them–got lost in translation in Herm Land. Considering that Cain is a 65-year-old child of the South, born in Memphis and raised in Atlanta, with a front row seat for much of that brutal history, I’m going with the real big cojones.
Or maybe he’s just the sloppiest dude ever to run for major public office.
It wasn’t so long ago that black political candidates had to be perfect, beyond reproach, in order to be treated seriously. Barack Obama set the paradigm for the ideal, untouchable candidate, straight out of central casting. Have things evolved and progressed so rapidly in our hyper-speed, voracious culture that in just three years we went from Barack Obama to Herman Cain, from perfection to amusement, from Jackie Robinson to a minstrel show?
Nick Chiles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author.