“The Godfather” himself, Herman Cain, made a highly-anticipated appearance at the State Theatre last night as part of the College Republican’s Truth Week. Cain was thrust into the national media spotlight when he ran for the Republican presidential nomination last year, and has held numerous high-ranking leadership positions in companies like Pillsbury, Burger King, and Godfather’s Pizza.
We sent three writers to listen to the Herminator in various states of mental awareness. These are their stories.
While I may disagree with almost everything that has ever come out of this man’s mouth, I would never pass up an opportunity to get wasted and hear The Godfather himself spread his gospel to the Penn State community. So when I heard that Herman Cain was speaking at the State Theatre, I downed the rest of my six pack and stumbled over to join the Republican Rally in the Valley.
Upon arriving at the State Theatre, I naturally headed straight to the bar and ordered my ridiculously overpriced Yuengling for the night. As I took my seat and looked around, I couldn’t help but notice the sea of white privilege that was overflowing the auditorium.
After a brief introduction, the man, the myth, the legend — Herman Cain took the stage to a standing ovation. The first 30 minutes of his speech amounted to a self-promotional, biographical Herman Cain circlejerk. Enlightening us all with tales of how his humble beginnings, hard work, and a little Moxie got him to the national stage, Cain enthralled the audience with his story of the American dream.
Cain then went on to talk about the IRS (aka “the bureaucratic monster”), kitchen table economics, and the lapdog mainstream media. He capped off his speech with his 3 point plan: Stay informed, and stay involved…
After his speech, he concluded the event with a Q&A. I expected it to be a town hall-style Q&A, where audience members could ask questions, but to my surprise, it was just one guy on stage asking pre-written questions from his notepad.
I did not attend the so-called “College Truth Tour” on the grounds that I would be informed, but I was certainly entertained by Herman Cain’s speech. As I walked out of the State Theatre in a drunken haze, I couldn’t help but hear the famous words resonating in my head: “Aww Shucky Ducky!”
I’ll start off with a disclaimer. I’m not a Republican. In fact, I’m so far left on the political spectrum that even the Democratic party would scoff at some of my ideas. There is not a single political issue that I agree with Herman Cain on.
But I love Herman Cain.
You’re probably wondering, how could this be so? If you were at the State Theatre last night, though, you would already know the answer.
Herman Cain is a man who has that remarkable quality where everything he says is instantly hilarious. Every word rolls off his tongue in that melodious southern drawl that comes directly from the bowels that just forces you to stay attentive to every word.
That’s not to say Cain can’t tell jokes with the best of them. “You want me to be a radio talk show host? Do I have to go to Radio Talk Show University!?” was the best one liner of the night for me.
His talk was not as partisan as one might imagine. It spoke about Cain’s American dream — how a person who came from nothing could accomplish something with their life if they just dreamt it.
It was one of the most cliché, redundant quasi-inspirational speeches I’ve ever listened to. The type of stuff a Little League coach would say to his team before a big game. Work hard, have dreams, set goals, reach for the stars. But it was awesome, because Herman Cain was saying it. And you could tell how much he loved it.
He quoted the Pokémon movie. He said “spinding” instead of spending. He said his favorite number was 9. He took pot shots at Jon Stewart. He established this indescribable charm that kept the audience locked in for the entirety of his hour long speech, even if some people thought he was absolutely crazy.
“It’s not where you start out in life,” Cain said. “It’s where you end up.”
I ended up at the State Theatre Wednesday night. And boy, I’ll never forget it.
The American dream is flat lining in an economy with anemic growth and an unemployment rate that is the lowest it has been in 4 years.
Though corporate tax rates in the US are the lowest in the industrialized world, we’re somehow choking out businesses which is keeping us sputtering through a recession.
For some unknown reason, people in other countries want to (gulp) terrorize us.
But this isn’t the American Dream Herman Cain believes in.
For Cain, his “pursuit of happiness” saw him climbing the corporate ladder and becoming the vice president of a company in the same building where his father was once a janitor. Like a good white-collar American, he then used his business connections to slither into politics. And in the most patriotic business move of his career, he took the philosophy he was baptized into in board rooms to the airwaves of corporate media.
“It’s not where you start out in life, it’s where you end up,” said Cain with the conviction of a corny motivational speaker.
By pandering to the “pull America up by the boot straps” sentiment, Cain created this utopian mirage of the US where if you try hard enough you will be rewarded with prosperity. It isn’t inflation rates or loop holes or deficits bogging down the American spirit, it’s those damn lazy people without dreams or goals.
He was feigning this grass roots enthusiasm that Obama capitalized on early in his political career. But instead of pushing “hope” to the masses like bath salts, Herman Cain was packaging the American Dream and making it cheap and easy to purchase at your nearest Walmart.
This was the US as a business model.
It didn’t matter what kind of tax reform — whether a flat tax, a national sales tax, or Cain’s signature “9-9-9″ plan — according to Cain the IRS has become a “bureaucratic monster” that needs to be put down. There’s nothing that gives a right-wing hard-on to a Reagan conservative than lower taxes.
He also attacked our dependance on foreign oil saying that it made America “vulnerable.” God forbid those Arabs turned off the faucet and we couldn’t get gas to drive our SUVs to the mall. His solution was in domestic coal, oil, and the ever popular fracking. And while the environment was of his concern, Cain made no mention of pussy liberal energy sources like windmills.
When asked about the death of America’s ambassador to Libya, Herman Cain made it clear that if he were president, it would have never happened. Somehow a policy of “strength and clarity” is all it takes to quell spontaneous street riots. And for the conflict in Syria, Cain said “I didn’t even know Turkey had guns.” Turkey is the 15th largest military, only 8 spots behind the moral police of the free world, you guessed it, the good old stars and stripes.
If Herman Cain is right, all it takes to be successful in the US is riding blindfolded on the roller coaster of free market capitalism, running a foreign policy modeled off of the Roman Empire, and selling the safety nets to buy more shrimping boats. God bless America.