Monday, October 24, 2011

Why Does Anyone Take Herman Cain Seriously?

Michelle Cottle does her homework and writes a book report about Herman Cain's autobiography.  She dutifully reports,

In Chapter Nine of This Is Herman Cain—entitled “‘Forty-Five’—A Special Number,” Cain notes that his “conception, gestation, and birth all occurred within” the year 1945 (true of pretty much anyone born in the last three months of that year). He then launches into a detailed account of how “45 keeps on popping up as I go about the business of being elected—you guessed it—as the forty-fifth president of the United States of America.”
Meaningful signposts include events both past (in 1945, Reader’s Digest published a version of Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, which Cain ran across last year and loved) and future (in 2013, the year the 45th president will take office, Cain and his wife will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.)
In some cases the digits 4 and 5 are only part of a figure, like the times when one of Cain’s weekly commentaries ran to 645 words or when the final leg of a campaign trip took place on Flight 1045 traveling at 45,000 feet. At times the 45 in question is only tangentially related to Cain, as when he cites a Las Vegas campaign event where he met a couple celebrating their 45th anniversary. And in one case, the key moment ultimately doesn’t have anything to do with 45 at all: at an early strategy meeting, Cain and two aides believed they were seated at table 45 in a restaurant, only to be told that there were only 43 tables total. Regardless, it all adds up to something big for Cain.
This information raises an obvious question.  If one loves the number 45 as much as Cain does, shouldn't his tax plan have been 9-9-9-9-9?

Cottle adds another question:  why is Cain getting a free pass for this weird obsession?
Remember how much criticism Rick Perry took for suggesting God had called him to run? The ridicule Michele Bachmann has endured for her religious views? Just imagine the abuse that would have been heaped on any other member of the GOP field who spent an entire chapter of his or her campaign book rhapsodizing about the mysterious power of the number 45. If Perry had written that, you can bet Team Romney would be paying people to show up at Rick’s rallies dressed like fortune tellers and waving Magic 8-Balls.
I'll add one more serious question: why does anyone take this man's candidacy seriously?

I suppose my response to this story means I'm bigoted against numerologists. That charge is probably true;  I will also plead guilty to believing that I would be willing to vote for Roman Catholic, Orthodox, mainstream Protestant, evangelical, fundamentalist, or charismatic Christians or any combination of the above. I'd also be willing to vote for Jews, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and New Age Neo-Pagans, whatever the heck they are.  At least, there's rationale and logic behind each of these systems.  I won't have to worry about someone making a policy decision because the numbers 4 and 5 appeared in a document.

While I'm on this little rant, I'll close with one final question:  how does the number 45 square with the Biblical Christianity Cain purports to believe?

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