Herman Cain vs. Barack Obama in 2012…
(ThyBlackMan.com) Will we see a Herman Cain v. Barack Obama contest in 13 months time? We might. Here is why. . .
Many claim that the Republican Party’s base, particularly its Tea Party wing, is deeply prejudiced. Those thus labeled loudly complain that such charges are more than unfair. Well, what better way to prove that point than to select a Black man as their presidential candidate? Herman Cain fits the bill to a T. He is socially conservative. He insists that race is no longer an issue. And he’s a famously successful businessman.
The election of Barack Hussein Obama was a sign that the country was moving beyond race. (Ironically, even as the mass incarceration of Black men continued nonstop.) Nonetheless, a significant segment of the society was still seen as recalcitrant, namely those that voted against him, the Republicans. Obviously, the 2008 contest was about more than just race, but who can doubt that race was a factor? How big a role did color play? Impossible to say. However, if the Republicans also select a Black nominee this go round, how could they be seen as any less inclusive than the Democrats claim to be? Also, the Republicans, given Obama’s pioneering role and his strong natural base of support, are not likely to win in 2012 in any case.
That is not to say that the selection of Herman Cain by the Republicans in 2012 would be any less a genuine gesture than the nomination of Obama in 2008. However, no matter how genuine, a gesture is just that, a gesture, not a sign of substantive change. The relative economic conditions of African Americans, as a whole, have not changed much over the years, despite the gains of its wealthier, more educated elements and the election of a Black president. Will that fact, coupled with growing impatience with Obama in the African American community, undermine the president’s once superlative Black support?
And so could Herman Cain possibly win? Yes, he could, but it does not seem likely. Herman Cain can be expected to take a piece of the traditionally overwhelmingly Democratic Black electorate. But is it likely to be that much of a share? Especially given that we can expect him, rightly or wrongly, to be vilified as a turncoat and a tool of the Republicans and other outside forces. In fact, that could be the core of the Democratic campaign against him. Meanwhile, the other side is likely to present Herman Cain as more authentically Black and African American than the “mixed race” Obama with his foreign born father. Recent presidential races have not been pretty. Don’t expect a Herman Cain vs. Barack Obama contest to be any different.
But imagine the sight of two Black candidates on national TV eloquently debating for the prize of the presidency! Would that stimulate, or suppress, voter turnout? There would be less of a burning desire on the part of Black voters to show up at the polls. No matter who would win, we would still be under the reign of a Black president for another four years. Would whites be less inclined to vote, and, if so, would white Democrats or white Republicans be more apathetic? I suspect that any lessening, or increasing, of voter enthusiasm would likely cross racial and party lines equally.
Note that the first Black Miss America, Vanessa Williams, was immediately followed by the second Black Miss America, Suzette Charles, and the fourth Black Miss America, Marjorie Vincent, came on the heels of Debbye Turner, the third African American woman to wear that crown. Will the same thing happen here? Will Herman Cain succeed Barack Obama? But then again, the race for President of the United States of America is far more than just a beauty contest, is it not? Come to think of it, I’m not that sure. . .
Staff Writer; Arthur Lewin
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