Debate Forum Left, 12/13/11

Cain was all blame, no shame

By Marianne Stanley

Marianne Stanley

OK, here’s the problem. We are living in a time when lying has become so commonplace that the only reaction elicited from the public anymore is a stifled yawn. Truth, we are told, doesn’t really exist. Instead, “opinion” is all there is. Your opinion vs. my opinion, that guy’s opinion vs. the other guy’s opinion.  So, without the existence of any real facts, according to this erroneous belief, we are standing on quicksand when we accuse anyone of lying.

Having said that, Herman Cain is unfit for public office because he lies. He refuses to accept responsibility for his actions, despite very real evidence. Thus, he blames the supposedly “liberal media” (how long are we going to have those two words paired when only the right-leaning corporate media exists in this country?) for going after him by printing accusations of sexual harassment and infidelity. This, despite the notable fact that the National Restaurant Association reached a “settlement” with the women who accused him of harassment, paying them wads of money rather than allowing the case to go to trial and the information to become public. Another notable fact is that several different women, without even knowing about each other, charged him with this same offense. This is a man who shows, if not contempt, then a complete absence of respect for half of the U.S. population he would be sworn to serve. Not a good sign.

He is also a man who lies to his wife, betrays her, cheats on her, commits adultery although he purports to be a Baptist minister, and has no compunctions about ignoring at least four of the 10 Commandments.

Shouldn’t that have been enough to obliterate any following? The mind-boggling part of all this is that our American voting population has become so vulnerable to sound bytes, to catch-phrases, to kitsch, camp and crap, that Rush Limbaugh could put up Alfred E. Newman or some other cartoon character as the best candidate to lead our country and hordes of folks would begin parroting his words and singing the praises of a non-existent entity. The lines between reality and fantasy are becoming increasingly thin.

Here are a few facts about Herman Cain.  He has been funded by the Koch brothers — the oil and gas gargantuans who are sadly pouring millions of dollars into persuading people to be “climate change deniers” in this time of dire and unprecedented severe weather events that are destroying the very planet that sustained us for millennia and that will sustain us no more if we don’t act immediately to regulate the industries that are literally killing us. He has betrayed his own parents and the majority of the hard-working people in this country by throwing in with those who would destroy the very programs most necessary to their health and wellbeing. Cain (don’t you just love it when people fit their names?) won over the hearts of much of the white male conservative constituency by telling them what they wanted to hear.

Herman Cain strongly opposed a path to citizenship for our fellow human beings who, as generations of people have done, left Mexico to work in the U.S. Notice I said work, not sit around trying to do nothing. Our food industry and hotel industry would collapse without them and yet no one talks about the fact that Americans are unwilling to do the backbreaking work in our fields, poultry processing factories and hotels at the wages paid. We want affordable food and fail to see how our harsh immigration policies are going to make this impossible. Americans are creating a mess for themselves by not connecting the dots and educating themselves.

He opposed same sex partnership despite the fact that as a minister, he is supposed to follow the example of Christ, meaning leaving the judgment to God and simply extending love to his fellow man.

He showed an incredible lack of understanding and depth when it came to economic policies and international affairs, doggedly pushing the catchy but stupid “9-9-9” plan that economists on both the left and right sharply criticized as regressive and unworkable, and in saying that we must keep China from developing nuclear weapons, not even recanting when he was reminded that China has had the atomic bomb for a long, long time.

In short, Cain is a man showing a severe dearth of morality, of character, of the kind of intellect and knowledge that any candidate for president should be required to demonstrate. In fact, the very fact that he is pretty much the same as the other Republican frontrunners is cause for alarm.

My guess is that all of you reading this column know of neighbors or even family members who have more intelligence, more knowledge, more character, more heart, more concern for this nation and the well-being of its citizens than any of the 2012 Republican contenders. In this time of dire crises, when a minority of corporations are putting life itself in jeopardy for the majority of Americans and all the inhabitants on Earth, we need the exceptional man or woman, a visionary possessing humility and sound values, to lead us. To see such a field of self-serving, shallow people at such a time is truly disheartening.

Herman Cain needed to go. No one is responsible for his departure but himself. How we all long for the day when we hear the never-spoken but honest words, “It was my own fault. I was responsible for this. I did what I shouldn’t have done. I apologize.”  Only then, will the light that was once America begin to shine again.

Marianne Stanley is an attorney, college professor and former journalist who believes many of our nation’s ills could be cured if our children were taught critical thinking skills beginning at the elementary level and continuing through middle and high school. She can be reached at MarianneStanley@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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