Herman Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, Kansas City Federal Reserve Chairman, and Republican primary candidate for President, jokingly refers to himself as the “Hermanator” and “Black Walnut.” His assertion that “stupid people are ruining America” and his admonition of the Wall Street Occupiers to blame themselves for their joblessness and poverty have engendered praise from many Tea Partiers and ridicule from most everyone else– conservatives and liberals alike. Cain has shown a predilection for making bold statements and for the most part, not backing down from them. This forthrightness has catapulted him to the front of the GOP presidential field. Early in his run, he took a stand against the building of a mosque in Tennessee because he sees sharia law as a creeping threat to our government; and has also said that he would not nominate a Muslim to his cabinet.
On the October 16 Meet the Press with David Gregory, when asked about his immigration policy of building an electrified border fence, Cain claimed that he had been joking about electrocuting illegals and said that “America needs to get a sense of humor.” However, he later told reporters in Arizona that he still believed a fence was necessary, and that “it might be electrified.” Cain defended his lack of a clear-cut foreign policy by frequently re-iterating that he can’t build a foreign policy strategy until he has full intelligence briefings, and named Ambassador John Bolton, Henry Kissinger, and KT McFarland as his influences on the subject. However, he was unaware as to the meaning of “neoconservative.”
When questioned about his controversial 9-9-9 tax reform plan, Cain repeatedly claimed that the majority of Americans would pay less because of the elimination of hidden taxes, although he could offer no proof thereof. Gregory insisted that the rich would pay less and the poor would pay more according to the simple mathematics, but also cited the rebuttals of prominent economists. Though Cain’s plan lacks credibility, its simplicity has garnered many fans.
A full-fledged believer in trickle-down economics, Cain thinks that America is on the track to socialism under Barack Obama, though Obama has governed far to the right of his party. Under Obama, there have been no prosecutions of Wall Street financiers or government officials, relatively scant banking regulations, and no income tax increases on individuals or corporations. The current president has, to his detriment, catered to Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. If Cain thinks that America is headed for socialism, it’s hard to imagine what degree of free-market fundamentalism he espouses. The real danger of Cain and his Tea Party brethren is the apparent ignorance to the pitfalls of unbridled capitalism and purist ideology. Cain’s inflammatory socialist rhetoric against liberals serves him in riling up his base, but very well may be his downfall in the general election should he be his party’s nominee. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans favor consensus over polarization, hence old-guard establishment Republicans are wary of nominating a far-right candidate like Cain… so “Hasta la vista, Hermanator, and hasta manana, Mitt Romney.”