I was listening to Cain's speech announcing he was ending his campaign and two things struck me:
1. He, like a lot of politicians, made a huge point about not being one of the political elite. Ironically he didn't even say much about "Washington". He could have convincingly said he wasn't one of the Washington elite. But he said "political elite". This bothers me to no end. If you are one of the top candidates for the president of the United States you are practically the definition of "political elite". It's like people who tell me that Ron Paul isn't one of the political elite (ya, ya - I'm bringing it back to him again). Ron Paul was a "Washington political elite" (and an effective one) when I was just a twinkle in my mother's eye. I don't see why these guys can't just say "I'm going to fight for you guys"? That's not hard. I know they don't want to announce they're elites and they don't have to. But why say "I'm not an elite" when it's so transparently untrue? I guess Cain supporters and Paul supporters are legitimately taken in by the lie (and it is a lie because they know damn well that they are political elites).
2. Second, I haven't been following the campaign much at all, but I've heard off and on that Cain is the real pro-American guy. He's the guy that's really inherited Reagan's "city on a hill" attitude, who wants people to be proud to be American. I'm not sure what distinguishes him in this except that his speech writers make a point of fitting that into speeches, but OK. Fine. He talks about it a lot. Fine by me. What killed me is that at the very end of his speech he said something like "Nobody's going to get me to apologize for being proud of America". Apologize?!? Who out there is trying to get Cain to feel bad about liking America? Who is hounding this man to apologize such that he can triumphantly end quoting Reagan and insisting he'll never apologize? Who's asking him to apologize? This again, I'm sorry to say, applies to Ron Paul too. People love to make themselves into martyrs - the last person standing up for the vision of the city on a hill! The last person standing up for liberty! The last person standing up for the Constitution! Thankfully these delusions of grandeur aren't true. Lots and lots of people are rightfully proud of America, and nobody's ever going to ask Cain to apologize for that. But you can bet he and Paul and many after them will continue to get electoral mileage and campaign contributions out of pretending that such a martyr dynamics are in play.