I rarely get seriously angry with politicians, but today is an exception. I am seriously angry with one politician, and he isn’t on the left. That politician is Herman Cain. The reason I am this angry with Cain is because I actually liked him before now. I liked his straightforward style, his economic acumen and his real world experience. Cain was not my first choice for the nomination because of his lack of experience, but I was happy he was in the race and pushing some common sense solutions. That feeling has completely disappeared this week.
First, I need to provide some background for what led to my anger. As many of you are aware, the Washington Post ran a despicable smear piece on Rick Perry the other day, one that I will not link to. Hugh Hewitt has a pretty good response to it here. Just to be clear, the story was not about Rick Perry using the N word or even condoning it, but instead it was about the N word being written on a rock by someone else on a piece of property that Perry’s family has spent time on. That is like someone being blamed for the thoughts of everyone who has ever owned the house or apartment they are currently residing in. Many of us have been fighting and speaking out about media bias and the use of the race card against conservatives for years, but this is one of the worst examples I have ever seen. This really is not about Rick Perry or whether you like him, but instead the general outrage all respectable people should feel about false insinuations of racism.
Most conservatives are tired of being accused of racism for not agreeing with every leftist policy and talking point. These attempts diminish real racism and create a political environment where policy debates become impossible. As I have said before, the left now consistently uses the term racist to actually mean someone who opposes their policies. Those same policies have created a culture of dependency and devastated minority communities for decades. Herman Cain knows this or at least he should, so I was shocked to see him joining in on the attack against Perry. Obviously, this was a media trap that Cain fell for, but that is no excuse. This morning I made the mistake of turning on CNN where they were pushing this smear against Perry and they used Cain’s comments as evidence that this would be a serious issue for Perry. Conservatives already have to fight the race card smears by the media and the left; we don’t need to have them confirmed by leaders in our own movement. Most conservatives will not tolerate the unfair use of the race card against political opponents, which is exactly what Cain did here. I believe this is a fatal mistake for the Cain campaign and I know I personally cannot respect him after this point unless there is an immediate apology. Cain said last week that he could not support Rick Perry as the nominee “today”. Well with his comments this weekend, I cannot today support Herman Cain as the nominee. We already have one president who plays the race card against political opponents, we don’t need another one. I will reconsider what I have said here if Cain issues an immediate apology for buying into the smear and promoting it, but thus far it does not seem like one is coming.
Update: It appears Herman Cain has responded to the controversy. While I appreciate him trying to walk back the comments, that is not nearly enough in my opinion. His comments were much stronger than the walk back and have already been used by the media. He needs to issue a serious apology and go out of his way to defend Perry at this point.