It’s not just conservatives who are frustrated today. It is every single American who longs to see their nation regain its vitality, restoring freedom and prosperity at home and shining the light of human potential across the planet.
What is particularly frustrating is that the party out of power, the Republican Party, is supposed to be carrying the torch for these values. But it’s barely happening. The Party has become bogged down with careerists, rear-view mirror thinkers and its own establishment of inside-the-beltway elite.
Nothing could speak more to this problem than establishment attitudes toward the remarkable Herman Cain.
Take, for instance, a recent column by conservative columnist Mona Charen.
After extolling Cain’s compelling virtues – his rags to riches success story, his love of America and the values that make it great, and the courageous ideas he has put on the table in his campaign – Ms. Charen dismisses his candidacy for president.
“[H]e lacks the kind of experience the office requires … political skills … necessary in a political job.”
Others who dismiss Cain point to his lack of national organization essential for raising the kind of money a presidential campaign needs.
I just don’t see it this way.
The American presidency is not a political job. The president of the United States is the leader of the free world. The job, of course, demands political skills, but so does every job that requires working with other human beings.
One of America’s worst presidents – former Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson – had more of these political skills than perhaps anyone who ever held the office.
What he critically lacked was a clear vision and commitment to American principles of limited government and personal integrity.
The single most powerful asset a new American president can bring to Washington is the support of the American people. A president with a vision, and popular support for that vision, will have the Washington political establishment jumping to his beck and call.
What makes Herman Cain so interesting is the passion and clarity of his view of American freedom and his Reagan-like ability to communicate and excite grass-roots Americans.
A new Gallup poll on candidate positive intensity – the percentage of those with strongly favorable opinion minus those with strongly unfavorable opinion – shows Cain so far ahead of the rest of the Republican field it is ridiculous.
He has a positive intensity of 35. No. 2 is Romney at 15, with the rest lagging behind him.
Cain is the only candidate putting concrete and simple ideas on the table for getting this nation back on track.
The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore said Cain’s 9-9-9 plan for simplifying our horrendous and highly politicized tax code would be “… rocket fuel for the economy.”
Cain’s support for getting rid of the confiscatory Social Security payroll tax and replacing it with personally owned private retirement accounts would be a boon to all Americans, but particularly for low-income Americans.
Personal retirement accounts would provide an unprecedented opportunity for every American to build wealth over a lifetime, as was done in Chile, where this reform was pioneered.
After adopting personal retirement accounts, along with other free-market reforms 30 years ago, Chile was transformed from one of the world’s most sluggish to one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Returns on these personal retirement accounts have averaged over 9 percent per year since the program started in 1981.
America needs a new president who loves freedom and has the guts to pursue it without compromise.
Freedom is not about warmed-over conventional wisdom. It’s about ideals, humility, originality, and embracing the unexpected and unanticipated.
The Republican Party establishment needs to start listening to grass-roots Americans and asking why no one is exciting them like Herman Cain.