For political professionals it’s tempting to write off Herman Cain’s candidacy as a surge that will eventually wash back out to sea.
But that would be a mistake.
Cain has two things going for him that have intersected in time and could make his candidacy truly historic- unlike the canned, Nobel-prize winning infomercial Democrats put on for the mile-high, but inch deep Barack Obama.
Obama’s really about more of the same: more government, more power, more money, more fundraising, more problems, more regulations. Nothing has changed in Washington; it’s only that the checks are bigger.
The only thing different about Obama is his historic redefinition of the size and scope of government to make it truly the dominating feature of society at a time American citizens are sick and tired of government.
If one wants to call that audacity, they are welcome to it. But with Obama down 8 points to a generic Republican candidate, I’d call it something else.
And the mistake that Republicans could make is that much of the GOP field offers only Obama-lite: more government, more power, more money, more fundraising, more problems, more regulations with the same bitter taste, just lower taxes.
It’s not Cain the leader, or even Cain the thinker that’s so appealing to people. Bigger isn’t better, people have decided.
Cain’s remedies look different than the failed policies of the past. Those policies too often have been defined by each party’s argument about what we should have more of- all aided and abetted by a media anxious to remain relevant in a smaller world.
Should we have more foreign policy or more domestic policy? Either way, it costs the same.
But unlike previous presidential cycles, the media won’t be able to dictate rights and wrongs, yes or no’s, thumbs up or thumbs down for candidates this time around.
While we are heaping out blame on political parties, processes and electoral college maps for the stratified society that we live in, we mustn’t forget to lay most of the blame at the feet of a self-selected media elite that sold America on the idea that reaching across the aisle was the same thing as solving problems.
John McCain, who reached across the aisle to bring us some of the most disastrous reforms in American history, was practically sainted in his misinformed, maladapted legislative efforts. Obamacare was another effort by the media elite to give us a halleluiahed, reach-across-the-aisle moment in American history.
But as they marched us down the aisle on Obama, Obamacare, Cap and Trade and other crimes masterminded by US funded think-tanks, something happened to the media message.
They finally lost forever the last bit of control they had to move the agenda in middle America.
The most under-covered story of the last three years of politics is the democratization of media.
In the last presidential election cycle, conservative voters weren’t on Facebook, hadn’t heard of Twitter, didn’t blog they way they do now.
And it is that ability to talk over the media directly to other grassroots conservatives through social media that was responsible for the spontaneous formation of the Tea Party.
It’s also responsible for the post-partisan candidacy of Herman Cain.
Like they did with the phenomena of the Tea Party, it would be unwise for the media to dismiss the populist spirit that goes to the core of the Cain campaign.
Cain may bust for all I know, but the populism will remain until our leaders look a lot more like Herman Cain.