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ELECTION 2012

Herman Cain falls far short

Exclusive: Alan Keyes argues candidate's 'overacted populism is just a pose'

Many grass-roots voters (especially those who identify with the tea party) are reacting adversely to the elite faction’s assault on the Constitution. With predictable opportunism, some candidates for the GOP presidential nomination are seeking to appeal to (or else deceitfully manipulate and exploit) these voters. They have developed sound bites and catchphrases to give the impression that they will seriously fulfill the presidential oath to defend the Constitution. But, as I suggested in my WND column last week, this hasn’t led any of them to think through and articulate (as I did in this column in December 2008) the straightforward reasoning that makes plain the clear and present danger to the Constitution arising from the elite faction’s arrogant abrogation of the clearly stated constitutional requirement that only a “natural born citizen” of the United States is eligible to be president.

On my blog last week, I wrote about Ron Paul who “is well and favorably known for insisting that the U.S. Constitution be strictly adhered to and applied.” This seems consistent with his criticism of the U.S. government’s targeting of terrorist kingpin al-Awlaki on grounds that it violates the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment. However, I wondered at the fact that Paul himself fails to take careful account of what that amendment says. He emphasizes the fact that al-Awlaki is a U.S. citizen. But the Fifth Amendment’s words do not restrict the due process requirement to the government’s dealings with citizens of the United States. They apply to “any person,” with nothing said about that person’s citizenship status. I go on to say that “… considered in light of this more accurate observation of the constitutional context, Ron Paul’s criticism implies restrictions on U.S. government action that are so broad as to preclude the possibility of any warlike actions in defense of our national security.” (Before they let fly their emotional thunderbolts, I suggest that Ron Paul zealots read the entire post.)

Be that as it may, at least Mr. Paul’s longstanding preoccupation with constitutional issues assures us that he is aware of the Fifth Amendment’s restrictions on executive action and the president’s responsibility to think them through. By contrast, however, Herman Cain’s words and actions in a different context offer no such assurance. When he “declined to sign Susan B. Anthony List’s Pro-Life Presidential Pledge,” Mr. Cain justified his action with a statement implying that the pledge’s demand that he advance certain legislation conflicted with the constitutional separation of powers. “Congress must advance the legislation,” he said. He described his refusal as “a testament to my respect for the balance of power and the role of the presidency.”

This seems like a statesmanlike reservation, but only to those who fail to take a quick look at the Constitution. Article II, Section 3, states that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. …” Thus the Constitution requires the president to recommend (that is, favorably put forward or advance) legislative proposals for the consideration of Congress. Given this mandate, it makes no sense to argue that doing so is somehow inconsistent with the constitutional separation of powers.

In a previous WND column, I questioned whether Mr. Cain had given careful thought to the constitutional provision that says that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for “any office or public trust under the United States.” On that occasion constitutional care appeared to suffer from his eagerness to make clear that he would be tough on Islamic terrorism. In the pledge episode, it appears to suffer from his desire to sidestep on constitutional grounds a pledge provision that he could have rejected on grounds of pro-life principle. The result casts doubt on his pose of statesmanlike reverence for the Constitution and his claim to be a strong pro-lifer. These are matters in which careless study (or no study at all?) makes it impossible to be a strong defender and advocate for the views we claim.

As a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln, I know that formal education isn’t required for such study. (In fact, given the politically correct brainwashing that goes on at many educational institutions in the U.S. today, unreconstructed formal education is likely to be positively harmful.) I know this as well thanks to the example of people like my good friend Jay Parker, who has managed to be a successful businessman, philanthropist and mentor to principled conservatives, while following Lincoln’s path of self-education in matters of constitutional self-government.

Even in a less ominous time than that in which we live, I doubt that it would make sense to jump on the bandwagon of a candidate whose claims of adherence to the Constitution and its Declaration principles consistently prove to be poorly grounded or self-contradictory (a problem I first discussed in my WND column two weeks ago). Gale-force winds are blowing from quarters determined to bring the Constitution down. There’s good reason to believe that if we tarry much longer in this condition, they will reach hurricane strength. Herman Cain’s professed beliefs are not deeply rooted or thought through enough to stand strong against the storm. He falls far short of being the person the nation needs in the White House to help us do so.

And that’s even without considering his complicity with the Federal Reserve Bank, the key strategic instrument used by the elitist faction (including Republican practitioners of John Maynard Keynes’ variation of socialism) to usurp control of the material resources of the American people. More to come on that, though Mr. Cain’s reiterated defense of TARP (the failed 2008 bank bailout Congress approved over the sensible and widespread objections of the American people) in the last GOP so-called debate has already awakened more people to the fact that his overacted populism is just a pose. He is the candidate from the Federal Reserve Bank. He carries more water for the Bank’s manipulative oligarchs than for the grass-roots, middle-class Americans their elitist faction has systematically despoiled.

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