“Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move
Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love”
Most good men know that, when it comes to politicians, one must needs doubt truth and reckon it to be a lie. Since getting elected is something of a con game of bribery, deceit and subterfuge, even the gods must forgive many from avoiding politics altogether for risk of despoiling their characters. Sadly, politicians direct our metalives by which I mean the grand framework within which we must conduct our daily tasks and fulfill our individual aspirations. And in moments of crisis especially, the masses hunt for a saviour, sometimes even a tyrant, who will come in from leftfield and bring order to disorder.
And so came Herman Cain from nowhere to dominate the republican presidential race. Like Obama he was unknown, unlike Obama he wasn’t elitist. Or so the story went. Like Obama he is black but unlike Obama he is (or has been) stupid. He was a mathematician and has been chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas so we must grant him some intelligence. But when one is running for president, one is not in Kansas anymore. Mr Cain’s silliness is this: when allegations of adultery and sexual harassment arose, he should not have done what sane politicians do, that is, hunker down in denial mode with the wife by his side. This is incomprehensibly stupid. This strategy does not work. In a world of Twitter, Facebook, 24/7 media and Huffington Post you just can’t get away with saying “I don’t remember” or “It never happened” when in fact you do remember and it did happen. Instead, this is what Herman should have said (with the obligatory wife by his side):
“My wife and I have been married for forty happy years and have two beautiful children and three adorable grandchildren. As anyone who’s been married a long long time knows the incandescent sexual flames that typify early love invariably cool and coalesce into a friendship, companionship and love that is not only magical but also is irreplaceable. My wife and I, I admit, have a relationship no different from most lovers. We have not had sex for, as far as I remember, going on twenty years now. That has not changed the love and respect we have for each other or the ties between us. Speaking for myself, notwithstanding, I remain as any man alive sexually active and frankly, I prefer the warmth of a woman’s body to beating myself off. [Pause to allow the laughter and applause to die down]. I admit that over the last twenty years I have had numerous extramarital affairs. In none of them have I promised anyone my undying love or led them to believe that I might leave my wife. In none has sex not been between consenting adults. In all of them I have treated women with utmost respect even extending financial assistance when needed. I have made passes at many women and, as all men have discovered, not all passes are successful. In some cases I have now been accused of harassment which I absolutely deny. [This may well be a lie but only an eyewitness would know for sure. I’ll leave it in the speech].
If the American people would rather elect a candidate who reluctantly practices celibacy when his loins are in turmoil or if the American people prefer the practice of masturbation to consensual sex then I will withdraw from the race. If on the other hand the American people prefer practical and vigorous men with real life experience in our military and in business, then I hereby extend my hand of fellowship and will be happy to accept your votes as the next president of our great country. I believe the best of America is yet to come. [Pause and wait for applause to die down]. As your next president, this is what we will embark upon. Thank you and God bless America”
Have I contradicted myself and just drafted a speech that lays itself open to accusations of bullshit and cynicism? Perhaps. But I’d have preferred this speech to Cain’s lies and denials. At least my draft has elements of sincerity and candidness. I would still hate the Republican party but would have had more respect for the man Cain. Anyway, so long Mr Cain.