The odds are Herman Cain will never be president. If you don’t know him, Herman Cain is the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and a former board member of the Atlanta federal reserve. He’s seeking the Republican nomination for president.
Even if Herman Cain fails in his bid, which I believe he will, he is teaching a valuable lesson.
That lesson is that optimism sells.
Herman Cain’s sunny disposition is infectious and sunny is something we need.
Many of us on the right are mad as hell. We hate that America is rapidly going broke. We hate that grievously flawed policy has the economy stuck in the doldrums. We hate that tin pot tyrants from the Middle East hold the energy we need for ransom and that our government stands in the way of producing more of our own energy. We hate that able-bodied men and women in increasing numbers are becoming dependent on government for the basics of survival.
It doesn’t have to be this way and thus we are angry that it is.
But anger doesn’t sell and we need to be selling.
There are two visions of America in competition with one another and if we on the right don’t sell ours, we’re in deep trouble.
Here, on this continent, humankind figured out for the first time that individual liberty is the most powerful social force in the universe.
When liberty was unleashed on the American continent, a bright dawn broke over the world. Americans, free of the tyrannies of government, learned to produce food in abundance, made literacy the norm, conquered infectious disease, built vibrant and bustling cities and for the first time in history made poverty the exception.
With its citizens free to pursue their dreams as each saw fit, America got rich. And a wealthy America became a force for good. It was America that was able, for the first time in history, to finally bring an end to the warfare and bloodshed that had enslaved Europe. It is America that is always first on the scene at the earthquake or the tsunami. It is America that steps in to mitigate famine and pestilence and pandemic all over the world.
Critics of America point to the stain of slavery. But they ignore the fact that America addressed this evil from within. Bitter and bloody was the fight. But in the end, slavery was eradicated in America without the intervention of a conquering foreign army.
America’s past, for all of its inevitable human failings, is a halo of glory.
What has many upset and has driven a lot of anger is the question, “What of America’s future?” A moribund economy and a profligate debt and an expanding welfare state do not augur well.
Yet I remain convinced that when men and women are free to follow their aspirations, miracles happen. And by free, I mean free of the inevitable tyrannies of an overweening government. Tyrannies such as stifling regulation, the imposition of overzealous mandates on those who risk capital and create jobs and government intervention in the free flow of goods, services and capital.
Freedom also means avoidance of dependency. Make it easy for people to become dependent on government and you enslave them. Dependency should be a last resort – limited to those that are unable due to physical or mental disability to make it on their own. For everyone else, unleashing the animal instincts that are called forth by the need to provide for one’s self is a proven prescription for prosperity.
America has what it takes to succeed. Our history proves it.
Herman Cain agrees. He’s the guy in the race with the smile on his face. He’s the salesman who knows he has a good product.
Herman Cain faces long odds on winning the Republican nomination. But whoever does win, would do well to learn from him. Because there’s a lot of selling left to be done and anger doesn’t sell.