First Published in The American Thinker on October 22, 2011
“Can I get an amen?” is a common Sunday-morning question asked to Baptist congregations, (black churches in particular). After a strong or thoughtful point that brings believers to their feet, the reverend asks for an amen to get the crowd going. At my hometown church, St. Mary’s Baptist in Tyler, Texas, the congregation would thunder in unison, “AMEN,” accompanied by dramatic organ chords — rippling from high to low — raising the cacophony higher.
Lately I’ve found myself saying amen to Herman Cain. With the latest poll showing Cain ahead of Romney 27% to 23%, it looks like the American people are starting to feel the same.
Herman Cain is making great use of his ministering background. Bringing those skills to politics, and blending them together like peanut butter and jelly, relieves Cain of the cumbersome need to pause to see if everyone else concurs. In fact, one reason why America is starting to say amen is Cain’s telling truth from his heart and experience — both of which have not resided in Washington, D.C.
It isn’t only what Herman Cain says that gets an amen, but it is also that he represents what has been lacking in this country. And that is a main-stage conservative Republican presidential candidate (or any politician for that matter) who can get a higher percentage of the black vote without pandering to their pathos about being black, but rather by appealing to their desire to be independently happy, wealthy, and wise according to their inheritance of the genuine American Dream and God almighty. Case in point: Mr. Herman Cain himself.
But the media has been invested in the control of the black vote. As part of the brainwashing machine, for decades, they have allied closely with Democrats and liberals to halt any progress towards political independence among the minority voter. How? By coining the term “minority,” which in the first place implies inferiority and in the second place replaces logical and sound counsel to solving problems with a paranoid and emotional underdog worldview. This is an outlook that pits blacks against a cruel and insufferable world in which, no matter how hard they try themselves (or Democrats try on their behalf), all the mean, selfish, greedy white Republican males and (lately) Tea Party protesters don’t want them to succeed and won’t let them win.
The media cannot say Cain is being used or simply brought in to support a Republican agenda that promotes diversity and inclusion. Several black conservatives have run for office and have been successful, and yet they have always managed to be relegated to Uncle Tom status. The political establishment (primarily the left and the leftist media) argues that these conservative blacks have been subject to brainwashing of a different kind: brainwashing against their own race, interests, and history.
But what Cain has going for him is that he is a political outsider on all fronts. Being outside the political fray provides Cain the freedom to unload all of himself without distress over poll numbers, re-election results, or beltway loyalties. This is how he can collect a slurry of amens from every crowd and upon every topic he discusses.
On his 9-9-9 plan: This plan seemed radical and inconceivable at first mention, but Cain has not wavered and watered it down in the face of tough questions. On introducing his 9-9-9 plan during an early debate, Cain said, “If ten percent is good enough for God, nine percent ought to be good enough for the federal government.” (Can I get an amen?)
On Occupy Wall Street: “Don’t blame Wall Street. Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!”
On race and race in the race: “African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view.”
In referencing a reporter who has asked whether he was “angry about how America has treated you”: “Sir, you don’t get it. I have achieved all of my American dreams and then some because of the great nation[, the] United States of America. What’s there to be angry about?“
“I don’t believe racism in this country holds anybody back in a big way,” Cain said on CNN’s State of the Union.
As the organ rolls to the sway of hands in the air, can I get an amen?
But not everyone has their hands up for the same reason. The media and the left are alight with indignation and surprise over Cain’s audacity and his elevation in the minds of voters. In ministering to the truth as he has experienced it, he has done what many conservatives fail to do: make a point by saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
It is not so much that his blackness throws the race card out of the deck during the campaign with Obama. It is more that Cain’s blackness is not his trump card. His race does not define who he is and who he has endeavored to be. Cain seems to have lived keeping his eyes on the prize, not worrying about who else first got one. His values are the solid, traditional, old-fashioned values of the American family. And before its members became cross with who is a minority and who is hyphenated, the black family also aspired to the American dream and embodied the values of the family with great success.
Cain stands a great chance of uniting the country in a way no other conservative Republican has: by getting a larger percentage of the black vote. This will not be easy, but it is certainly possible. And it isn’t the be-all-end-all for this rebel candidate, but it sure would be a telling and uplifting revelation that the choir is finally listening. Do I even have to ask?
Lisa Fritsch is the author of Obama, Tea Parties and God and has made regular appearances on Fox News Channel. www.lisafritsch.com