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Sylvia Rhue, Ph.D.

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Obama vs. Cain: Intellectual Rigor vs. Intellectual Rigor Mortis

Posted: 10/25/11 04:03 AM ET

Herman Cain is running for the office of President of the United States. In a match-up between President Obama and Mr. Cain, it would be a glaring matter of intellectual rigor (Obama) verses intellectual rigor mortis (Cain). Watching a debate between Obama and Cain would be like watching a boxing match between Ali and Urkel. Beauty and brains against bigotry and bias. Truffle against trifle. You get the point. Obama does his homework and is not afraid of facts. But taking a look at Cain's political positions, there is a consistent pattern of obstinate wrongheadedness.

At one time Cain was the CEO of Godfather's Pizza. Let's look at a pizza pie analogy. Cain's personal pizza is comprised of the following ingredients: walloping dollops of white dough (and I mean the bankable kind of dough), leavened with fried dogma, generously slathered with layers of belligerent anti-LGBT and anti-woman hostility sauce. Cain pizza is topped with the cheese of right-wing Christian supremacy, biblical literalism and warmed-over leftovers from Alan Keyes. His personal pizza leaves a sharp, acrid aftertaste of bitter intolerance. It comes wrapped in a box of rigid ideology. Cain pizza is delivered with all the charm of a day in the life of Robert Mugabe.

Linguistically, President Obama may drop the g's from his gerunds, but intellectually, "I-don't-have-the-facts-to-back-me-up" Cain drops logic, facts, and empirical evidence from his pronouncements. And he is not interested in finding them. It is as if he gets his information from the reading of the entrails of pizza.

Mr. Cain's ideas on education, Muslims, climate change, the environment, debt, energy, immigration, foreign policy, nuclear weapons, unions, welfare and unemployment are frightening enough, but let's look at just three ideas to illustrate why this man should not be elected to any position of power over anyone. Ever.

LGBT/Science Concerns:

Mr. Cain has referred to gay people as "godless." He is waiting for the science to come out to declare that being LGBT is not chosen. Apparently, "science" is just another a left-wing propaganda scheme for Cain. He does not believe in evolution. He does not believe in climate change. Yet if there were any evidence of intellectual rigor -- I would settle for intellectual honesty -- Herman Cain would know that the argument over homosexuality being a choice has been settled. The proposition that the earth is 4.2 billion years old has been proven. Evolution is as settled a fact as the theory of gravity. There is no controversy except for those for whom facts are not relevant.

Mr. Cain thinking he's entitled to an opinion on a matter of scientific fact is quaint at best. When one considers that he's a member of an oppressed minority group turning around and contributing to the oppression of another minority group, Mr. Cain's bigotry seems tragic, hypocritical, and profoundly sad. When one remembers that Herman Cain is seeking the office of the Presidency of the United States, it becomes a cause for alarm. His dangerously unscientific views about LGBT people render him unfit for that office.
--John M. Becker of Truth Wins Out (Oct. 20, 2011)


Women:

Cain does not believe that women (and girls) who are raped should have access to an abortion. That alone disqualifies him to be seriously considered for any job except Torquemada's life coach. Although Cain has said that it's not the government's role to make that decision, his position is that there should not be abortion under any circumstances.

He believes that life begins at conception. It doesn't. If he had a rudimentary understanding of biology, he would know that life continues at conception. Dead sperm cells don't merge with dead eggs. Living sperm and living eggs continue the progression of life. It is the entrance of the soul into the life potential that makes it sacred. Men and men's laws cannot determine when the soul enters the womb. Women's moral agency and free will demand that they own and control their bodies and destinies.

Race:

As an African American, I am more concerned with Mr. Cain's views regarding African Americans than I am about Rick Perry's n-word rock of racism. Cain ran an ad in 2004 and 2006 from the America PAC in which he does a voice-over talking to a supposed black man about his "hos," his infidelity, his refusal to join the army, etc. Remember, this is Cain's attempt to win votes:

This ad is so offensive and demeaning to African Americans that even the RNC is reported to have said it was racist.

Cain is a demagogue who is a demigod with the Tea Party because he is their favorite kind of Negro: the type who despises blacks as much or even more than they. They viscerally know that Herman Cain is Clarence Thomas on meth. Cain possesses a punitive personality that is ready to punish (i.e., death by electric fences). How else do you explain his meteoric rise among conservatives? The ones who applaud executions, call for the death of the comatose and boo an American soldier on the battleground? They organically relate to his callousness and his cluelessness.

Cain has accused African Americans of being "brainwashed" because the majority of blacks vote for the Democratic Party. Here is the gist of the reality of black voters: African Americans have been the most sophisticated voting block in American history (with the disgraceful exception of when they vote against rights for gays and lesbians -- but white funders and white-voting majorities place those issues on the ballot, energize them and get them passed). For black people, the vote is too important a deal to be trifled with. We died for the right to vote. We are not brainwashed when we consistently vote for our own interests.

Herman Cain refers to himself as the "black walnut." From the continuing statements he makes and the stances he takes, I think he should just drop the first three letters of the word "walnut" and go on with his life. I agree with Harry Belafonte, who stated that Cain is "the latest incarnation of what is totally false for the needs of our community and the needs of our nation."