25 Sep
2011
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Herman Cain’s Weekend Victory

Since the entry to Rick Perry into the pool of Republican presidential candidates, the media have focused on two candidates: Governor Perry and Governor Mitt Romney.  The Tea Party candidates, including Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, who were so prominent over the summer had faded into the background as the narrative of Perry/Romney took over the reporting cycles.  That narrative went something like this: Mitt Romney is smart, attractive, and trustworthy, yet also wooden and uncharismatic .  Rick Perry is accomplished, focused on jobs and defeating President Obama, has years of executive experience, yet is lacking in “intellectual heft” and “too cowboy.”

From the perspective of the Tea Party, both of these criticisms miss the mark.  For the constitutional conservative, Mitt Romney’s problem is not that he is uncharismatic, per se, but that he enacted RomneyCare in Massachusetts, a prefigure to Obamacare.  Instead of recanting, Romney has restated his belief that RomneyCare is cost effective and market oriented – something the statistics belie gravely.  In a presidential election in which Obamacare will be front and center, conservatives are reluctant to extend their trust to a governor that enacted Obamacare on the state level, regardless of recent explanations that invoke federalism to justify the defense of his policy.  A program that is economically destined to fail on a national level has no implicit reason to succeed on the state level.

Rick Perry has no such problems on healthcare, but he does have lots of problems on immigration.  He has consistently defended his decision to extend in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrants.  These special tuition rates are subsidized by Texas tax payers, not illegal immigrants.  Although he has tried to explain his approach as pragmatic (why send future workers out-of-state when we can retain them in Texas with incentives?), he has also slandered those who oppose him as having “no heart.”  Tea Partiers, as constitutionalists, do not view the prudent spending of constituent tax money as heartless, are offended at his insinuations, and sense a G.W. Bush (i.e. “compassionate conservatism”) redux if Perry were elected.

Enter Herman Cain.  In light of the issues that conservatives have with Perry and Romney, it’s not hard to see why Cain trounced them both in this weekend’s straw poll.  (Cain polled 37%, Perry 15%, and Romney 14%.)  He has no such policy transgressions.  He was instrumental in defeating Hillarycare.  He is trusted by the Tea Party, outspoken in favor of fundamental and sweeping tax reform, and has more charisma than both Perry and Romney.  In his talks, he explains in plain language that the private is responsible for growth, and that government must lighten the regulatory environment is we are ever to experience meaningful economic recovery.  Mr. Cain treats voters with respect and intelligence, and sounds more like a wise uncle than slick political salesman.

Republicans should be under no illusions: the national and world economy are at their worst point since the Great Depression.  The euro and EU are in grave danger of disintegration, and America is posting $1+ trillion deficits each year.  China, who has bailed out the U.S.A. and Europe several times over the last few years, is experiencing painful inflation.  Considering these qualifiers, it’s not longer an exaggeration to suggest that the world economy stands at a precipice.  With all due respect to our allies in Europe, only leadership from American can begin to step us back from the edge.

Mr. Cain gets this, and more importantly he understand that Americans get it, too.  Perhaps the single most important stabilizing factor in world peace is a strong Western economy.  Given the foreign policy challenges that are mounting abroad, Americans would be wise to consider an a strong constitutional conservative with abiding faith in the free market for their next president.

DISCLAIMER: This post and the contents thereof are the views of only the author identified immediately above and do not necessarily represent the views of the New York Young Republican Club (the "NYYRC"), its officers or its members. The NYYRC expressly disclaims responsibility for the contents thereof and by its charter documents may not, and does not, endorse any candidate for any office, except in a general election.

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