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They Think You're Stupid: Why Democrats Lost Your Vote and What Republicans Must Do to Keep It, by Herman Cain


(Click for Amazon book review)

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

Herman Cain is the only serious candidate for the Republican presidential nomination who has not held elected office. (All of the others are Governors, Senators, or Representatives). Cain manages to get onto the list of "serious candidates" because he is a popular radio talk-show host and has published a couple of serious books (this is the political book; his others are about business). He also ran for US Senate in Georgia in 2004 and placed a credible second place in the GOP primary, which means he has campaigned successfully in the past.

Radio talk-show hosts love having buzzwords that their listeners learn over time. ( Rush Limbaugh's broadcasts have so many of Rush's buzzwords that new listeners often think they heard a term wrong, until the 3rd or 4th repetition; the same applies to Cain). Cain's list, as outlined in this book, are:

  • Health Deform: Negative description of Obama/Pelosi/Reed Health Reform
  • Politically Homeless: "Voters frustrated with their favorite political party and discouraged by 'politics as usual'" (p. 27). This term has been used extensively by the Libertarian Party with much the same meaning, but Cain means "independent" instead of "libertarian."
  • Stupid Anonymous: When a voter awakens to the fact that politicians think we're stupid, they become "graduates of Stupid Anonymous". (p. xv)
  • A New Voice: Focused voters using Internet technology to affect elections, after they graduate Stupid Anonymous (p. 166-183)
  • Vocal, Interconnected, and Persistent (VIP): How voters with A New Voice behave. (p. 167-168)
  • Leroy and Bessie Public: Average voters
  • So-called Black leaders: Blacks in the Democratic party who claim community leadership but are "self-appointed," never having held elective office (as explained on p.115, and personified by Rev. Jesse Jackson. Cain excludes MLK from this list (see below).
  • City of Doubt: Washington DC (p. 143)
  • The Hermanator: Herman Cain's nickname as proposed on p. 173. In "The Terminator" movie series, Arnold Schwarzenegger "was impossible to stop and kept popping up everywhere." Cain behaves the same politically.
Cain's heroes include JFK; Martin Luther King (an exception to Cain's derision of self-appointed Black leaders); Abraham Lincoln; and Ronald_Reagan. Cain quotes each of them extensively in this book; one notes the mixed partisanship of that list. Cain's political mentor, however, is Sen. Zell Miller, who was elected as a Georgia Democrat but retired as a Republican in 2005 (famously backing Bush over Kerry for president). Cain ran for Miller's Senate seat in 2003-2004. Miller's mixed partisanship, and frustration with his own party, is Cain's ongoing theme.

-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, June 2011

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Civil Rights
    Herman Cain: I oppose government-imposed hiring quotas.
    Herman Cain: If you believe in Bible, same-sex marriage is moot point.
    John F. Kennedy: 1961: created Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity.
    Lyndon Johnson: 1965: Freedom is not enough; we seek equality of results.
    Richard Nixon: 1971: Required affirmative action for federal contractors.
Education
    Eleanor Holmes Norton: 2003: Criticized vouchers in DC public schools.
    Herman Cain: Vouchers in DC public schools made a better future for kids.
Foreign Policy
    John F. Kennedy: 1961: Warned aggressors that US ready to defend freedom.
Homeland Security
    Herman Cain: FactCheck: No, Israel leader never mentioned our way of life.
    Herman Cain: No doubt that terrorists seek to destroy our way of life.
Principles & Values
    Clarence Thomas: Due to Black church, Black conservatives no longer outliers.
    George W. Bush: 2004: received most votes ever cast for president.
    Herman Cain: US polarized: party divide; racial divide; economic divide.
    Herman Cain: Religious faith & political views inextricably intertwined.
    Herman Cain: 2004: Won second place in US Senate Republican primary.
    Herman Cain: 1986: As CEO, refocused Godfather's Pizza on brand identity.
    Herman Cain: 2004 decision to run for US Senate was divinely inspired.
    John F. Kennedy: 1961: Ask not what your country can do for you.
    Ronald Reagan: Most concerned for special interest group, "We the People".
Social Security
    Herman Cain: Congress is in gross denial; system is broken for decades.
    Herman Cain: Throwing more money at broken system is simply stupid.
    Herman Cain: Establish optional personal retirement accounts.
    Herman Cain: Payroll tax is highly regressive.
Tax Reform
    Herman Cain: FactCheck: No, middle-earners pay more than 20% of taxes.
    Herman Cain: FairTax will cause the US economy to skyrocket.
    Herman Cain: Estate tax causes farmers to have to sell the farm.
    Herman Cain: Top 20% of earners pay nearly 80% of all income taxes.
    Herman Cain: 1990s: chaired Tax Leadership Council, promoting FairTax.
    Herman Cain: Public doesn't understand elementary economics of tax cuts.
    Herman Cain: IRS automatic withholding is immoral taxation.
    Herman Cain: 1995: Served on Commission on Economic Growth & Tax Reform.
Technology
    Herman Cain: A New Voice: interconnected network of voters.
War & Peace
    Herman Cain: Undeniable connection between Iraq and War on Terror.
    Tom Daschle: 2003: Bush failed at diplomacy; 2004: satisfied with Iraq.
Welfare & Poverty
    Herman Cain: Help poor by helping everybody; not by hurting rich.


The above quotations are from They Think You're Stupid: Why Democrats Lost Your Vote and What Republicans Must Do to Keep It, by Herman Cain.
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