Iowa Blogger Wants Cain To Man Up And Tell The Truth
Craig Robinson, a conservative blogger who runs The Iowa Republican, didn’t mince words last week, calling Herman Cain a liar who is not willing to take responsibility for his actions. Despite Cain's steady poll numbers the news media keep repeating over and over, the sexual harassment allegations against Cain that surfaced last week are actually beginning to take their toll on his candidacy.
“There have been countless news articles about the Cain sexual harassment story, yet none of them have stated the obvious—Herman Cain is a liar. As is the case with most people who try to lie their way out of a problem, it’s difficult to keep one’s story straight.”
“Any notion that the article in Politico describing Cain’s inappropriate behavior as head of the National Restaurant Association is part of some sort of concerted left-wing liberal media conspiracy against Cain is non-sense. Knowing what we know as fact today, the article in the Politico has been proven to be correct – by Herman Cain.”
“In defending Herman Cain, some conservatives have compared what Cain is going through to what Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had to endure during his confirmation process. The Cain supporters once again claim that the liberals, or even his Republican opponents, are so scared of Herman Cain, a black conservative, that they have to attack his character.
That argument insults the intelligence of anyone who has a brain.”
"Herman Cain needed to man up and tell the truth when asked about his past. He didn’t. He blamed the media. He blamed Democrats. He blamed the color of his skin and his political affiliation. And now he’s blaming Rick Perry.
Mr. Cain, with all due respect, take a look in the mirror, or look at the side of your bus. You only have yourself to blame."
Craig Robinson isn’t just any political blogger from Iowa – he is the former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. His article is a sober assessment of the glaring deficiencies in Herman Cain's performance as a candidate.
So why does Herman Cain continue to get some GOP supporters so excited they can't see straight? His straight talk, his lack of government experience, and his resume do matter, and his religious faith is the linchpin of his relationship with many of his followers. But the main thing the Herman Cain candidacy has done is satisfy a deep yearning by more than a few Republicans to harness the power of white racial guilt to work for them instead of against them. This may seem absurd to anyone who remembers how nervous the Democratic establishment got about having a black presidential candidate when Obama started to pull ahead of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries, but to the kind of white conservatives who feel they have been all but forgotten in modern day multicultural America, the only plausible reason Barack Obama is the president of the United States today is because too many Americans gave the black candidate a free ride to the White House.
Nobody on the Sunday morning political shows was brave enough to say this yesterday, so I will—Herman Cain, the current Republican presidential front runner, has been suffering from the inherent racism of low expectations. Frankly, comparing the 2008 presidential campaign of then candidate Barack Obama to the campaign of Herman Cain isn’t even an apples and oranges comparison. Barack Obama and his advisors methodically built a veritable army of first time political volunteers across the country and shrewdly leveraged their numbers in areas conventional campaigns had traditionally ignored to amass enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination. By contrast, Herman Cain and Mark Block are the leaders of a political Dirty Dozen, a ragtag group of political misfits who appear to be making up a lot of their strategy on a day-to-day basis.
I think Craig Robinson should ask his fellow Republicans who insist on clinging to the myth of a Herman Cain presidential nominee to man up and tell the truth—the Herman Cain organization we see today simply does not possess the ability to out-organize or out strategize an Obama re-election campaign.
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Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
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A little goes a long way.
- A recent study from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 80 percent of Americans don't exercise enough.
- Small breaks from work add up, causing experts to recommend short doses of movement rather than waiting to do longer workouts.
- Rethinking what exercise is can help you frame how you move throughout your day.
Political division is nothing new. Throughout American history there have been numerous flare ups in which the political arena was more than just tense but incideniary. In a letter addressed to William Hamilton in 1800, Thomas Jefferson once lamented about how an emotional fervor had swept over the populace in regards to a certain political issue at the time. It disturbed him greatly to see how these political issues seemed to seep into every area of life and even affect people's interpersonal relationships. At one point in the letter he states:
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."
Today, we Americans find ourselves in a similar situation, with our political environment even more splintered due to a number of factors. The advent of mass digital media, siloed identity-driven political groups, and a societal lack of understanding of basic discursive fundamentals all contribute to the problem.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In a 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey by Cato, it was found that 71% of Americans believe that political correctness had silenced important discussions necessary to our society. Many have pointed to draconian university policies regarding political correctness as a contributing factor to this phenomenon.
It's a great irony that, colleges, once true bastions of free-speech, counterculture and progressiveness, have now devolved into reactionary tribal politics.
Many years ago, one could count on the fact that universities would be the first places where you could espouse and debate any controversial idea without consequence. The decline of staple subjects that deal with the wisdom of the ancients, historical reference points, and civic discourse could be to blame for this exaggerated partisanship boiling on campuses.
Young people seeking an education are given a disservice when fed biased ideology, even if such ideology is presented with the best of intentions. Politics are but one small sliver for society and the human condition at large. Universities would do well to instead teach the principles of healthy discourse and engagement across the ideological spectrum.
The fundamentals of logic, debate and the rich artistic heritage of western civilization need to be the central focus of an education. They help to create a well-rounded citizen that can deal with controversial political issues.
It has been found that in the abstract, college students generally support and endorse the first amendment, but there's a catch when it comes to actually practicing it. This was explored in a Gallup survey titled: Free Expression on Campus: What college students think about First amendment issues.
In their findings the authors state:
"The vast majority say free speech is important to democracy and favor an open learning environment that promotes the airing of a wide variety of ideas. However, the actions of some students in recent years — from milder actions such as claiming to be threatened by messages written in chalk promoting Trump's candidacy to the most extreme acts of engaging in violence to stop attempted speeches — raise issues of just how committed college students are to
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Most college students do not condone more aggressive actions to squelch speech, like violence and shouting down speakers, although there are some who do. However, students do support many policies or actions that place limits on speech, including free speech zones, speech codes and campus prohibitions on hate speech, suggesting that their commitment to free speech has limits. As one example, barely a majority think handing out literature on controversial issues is "always acceptable."
With this in mind, the problems seen on college campuses are also being seen on a whole through other pockets of society and regular everyday civic discourse. Look no further than the dreaded and cliche prospect of political discussion at Thanksgiving dinner.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
As a result of this increased tribalization of views, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to engage in polite conversation with people possessing opposing viewpoints. The authors of a recent Hidden Tribes study broke down the political "tribes" in which many find themselves in:
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
Understanding these different viewpoints and the hidden tribes we may belong to will be essential in having conversations with those we disagree with. This might just come to a head when it's Thanksgiving and you have a mix of many different personalities, ages, and viewpoints.
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
You'll find that depending on what group you identify with, that nearly 100 percent of the time you'll believe in the same way the rest of your group constituents do.
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 51% of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people's preferred gender pronouns.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Understanding the fact that tribal membership indicates what you believe, can help you return to the fundamentals for proper political engagement
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Avoid logical fallacies. Essentially at the core, a logical fallacy is anything that detracts from the debate and seeks to attack the person rather than the idea and stray from the topic at hand.
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
- Have the idea that there is nothing out of bounds for inquiry or conversation once you get down to an even stronger or new perspective of whatever you were discussing.
- Keep in mind the maxim of : Do not listen with the intent to reply. But with the intent to understand.
- We're not trying to proselytize nor shout others down with our rhetoric, but come to understand one another again.
- If we're tied too closely to some in-group we no longer become an individual but a clone of someone else's ideology.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
Debate and civic discourse is inherently messy. Add into the mix an ignorance of history, rabid politicization and debased political discourse, you can see that it will be very difficult in mending this discursive staple of a functional civilization.
There is still hope that this great divide can be mended, because it has to be. The Hidden Tribes authors at one point state:
"In the era of social media and partisan news outlets, America's differences have become
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
We need to start teaching people how to approach subjects from less of an emotional or baseless educational bias or identity, especially in the event that the subject matter could be construed to be controversial or uncomfortable.
This will be the beginning of a new era of understanding, inclusion and the defeat of regressive philosophies that threaten the core of our nation and civilization.
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