Whether we like it or not, Herman Cain is expanding the definition of what it means to be black in America. He reminds us that the divides in America are driven more by wealth and class than by race or gender. America is more capitalist than it is racist, sexist or homophobic, so it is no surprise that even Sarah Palin went out of her way to mention how much she loves Herman Cain.
So it seems that Dr.Watkins is willing to be an honest broker that while racism does exist in this country, it is not the driving force in politics even though we have many examples of those who like to make it so. But, don't get me wrong, he still plays the race card;
With popular Republicans such as former governor Mike Huckabee, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Donald Trump bowing out of the election, Cain has the opportunity to take his appeal to the next level. It will be interesting to see if those on the far right truly have the stomach to treat Cain with decency, rather than throwing him under the bus as they did Michael Steele.OK, first I never looked at Donald Trump as a republican let alone a conservative. His only real appeal was to the birthers. I have met Michael Steele on quite a few occasions. He is a very nice man who was totally wrong for the job of RNC Chairman. Steele likes the spot light. It is part of his personality. There is nothing wrong with that in the proper context, but the chairman of the party is more of a behind the scenes type of position. Not one of Steele's strong points. Steele mismanaged the party's money among some other controversies during his tenure. Remember the stripper bar tab? Not something that represents the party in positive light. While he didn't come out and say it, I am sure that Watkins believes that Steele was nothing more than the token black chosen after the election of the first black president. If that were the case, it wouldn't have taken as many ballots for Steele to win the chairmanship.
We all know that if Cain deviates even a bit from traditional Republican platforms (as did Colin Powell), he will be the target of right wing lynch mobs only reserved for black Republicans who don't know their place. He won't have the same latitude for reconsideration afforded other leading Republicans, such as Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Some conservatives are open to the idea of a black man giving orders, as long as he tells them to do what they were already planning to do in the first place.
Colin Powell is another man that I never considered to be a conservative, so when he came out with views that don't support conservative values or thoughts it didn't surprise me. Do I think that he supported Obama due to color? Maybe, maybe not. Only he knows his own thought process. What I do know is that some military people told me that they had real doubts about McCain because they felt he would continue and possibly increase our involvement in wars in the Middle East. It is very possible that he went along with that thought process. Powell was held responsible for the war in Iraq in some ways due to his speech in front of the U.N. while he was Secretary of State. I don't think it is so far off to say that could have been part of his feelings of escalating our footprint. Those are questions that only he can answer.
I don't know how to express how wrong he is that Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are getting some sort of pass from conservatives. I don't know one single person who support either one of them. How Romney keeps getting high poll numbers is just beyond my comprehension, except that it is a name that everyone recognizes.
His main objection to Herman Cain is about policy or is it?
In case you're wondering, there is no way on earth that I would support Herman Cain for president. But my opposition to Cain has nothing to do with me thinking that he's somehow betrayed his race. Instead, it is my advocacy for progressive thought, racial equality and protection of the poor that leads me to believe that Cain is not the right man to run the country.What I find so sad about this is that he doesn't see that what he is saying is about race. What he is missing is the fact that the country is running out of money. So unless we start spending our money more wisely and more effectively we will be unable to help the poor. Conservatism is not about leaving the disadvantaged to fend for themselves, it is about enabling them to get to the point that they no longer need government assistance and are able to help themselves. Herman Cain would like to stop the alarming high rates of abortion in the black community. Abortion kills more blacks than gangs. Cain supports school choice in the poor performing schools, many of which are in minority communities. Giving these children a better education will greatly improve the chances of lifting themselves out of poverty. Cain's view of homosexuality is the norm in the black community. It isn't that Cain's values are different than many within the black community, it is that the black community doesn't vote it's values.
Unfortunately, quite a few members of the black community could care less about the poor and are so conservative that they'd rather see the nation become a dictatorship. This is one reason that Cain's candidacy, if couched in the right terminology, could threaten to crack the long-term love affair between African-Americans and the Democratic Party.
Not every black person is poor and liberal, and many of them sit down with their own version of Herman Cain for Sunday dinner every single week. While I humbly (and perhaps even myopically) stick to the words "probably not," the truth is that Herman Cain has the chance to reshape America.