After watching the Republican debate one is left with the impression that the GOP candidates have been in a time capsule for 80 years. They want everything to be returned to the way it was under Herbert Hoover.

Capitalism should operate as it did before the New Deal; and race relations should go to the period before the 1960s.

The GOP candidates desire a time when U.S. imperialism was top dog and there was no social safety net, labor rights, and civil rights.

And what they want most of all is a time when there was no African American in the White House.

In this regard, Herman Cain, the black GOP candidate, is as right wing as the rest of them.

Perhaps because he is African American he seems to try even harder to prove to his Republicans cohorts he’s as reactionary as they.

The almost totally white and wealthy Republican crowds at the debates just love him. The cruder he acts, the more he scoffs at not knowing what he should know, the more he acts likes a comic rather than a candidate for the highest office in the land, the more he slams Obama and other black leaders, and liberals, the more the right-wing Republican audiences adore him.

And the reason they love him most is because he absolves them of their deep-seated racist beliefs.

Cain’s main role is to give a kind of seal of approval to the racism, and bigotry of the Republican Party and he does it well.

This is why he’s now the frontrunner.

For example, Mr. Cain says “the tea party is not racist,” despite the fact that the nation’s largest civil rights organizations argue the contrary.

Said Cain, “A lot of these liberal, leftist folk in the country that are black, they’re more racist than the white people that they’re claiming to be racist,” which is a prime case of blaming the victim if there ever was one.

Speaking of the president, Cain charges that Obama has never been part of the black experience in America.

He has also said that he was more “authentically black” than Obama.

Cain also said, “African Americans are generally on a level playing field with other Americans and sometimes use racism as an excuse for being poor.

If he is elected with this attitude, the question has to be raised: will he enforce civil rights laws?

On the Occupy Wall Street Movement Cain asked, “Why don’t they just go get a job? What do they want these bankers to do? Write them a check?”

His advice is that they go protest at the White House, not on Wall Street.

On immigration, the black Republican called for the construction of an electrified fence on the Mexican border with high voltage to keep people out. When later challenged on this outrageous proposal he said, “It was a joke. America needs to get a sense of humor”.

What kind of person much less the frontrunner for his party’s presidential nomination makes a joke like that?

And then there is Cain’s 999 flat tax proposals. It is estimated that it will mean $500,000 in tax break for millionaires and a 7 and a half tax hike for working people.

Not even one of the other Republican challengers supports Herman Cain’s 999 tax program.

Cain also said that the reason black people vote Democratic is because they are brainwashed.

Needless to say, he is insulting African Americans with that statement.

Actually, as a group of voters, African Americans have been the most sophisticated in their tactics and the most consistently progressive in casting their votes.

Why would they embrace the Republicans when that party is doing everything they can to suppress the votes of blacks, Latinos and other Democratic voters?

African Americans don’t vote Republican because the Republican Party has over the decades especially the last 30 years become the party of racism and reaction. And in a thousand ways they have put up the “Blacks are not welcome” sign on their front door.

Cain is not the first black to run for the GOP’s nomination. There was also Allen Keys. He is however the first to lead in the polls among Republican voters. At the same time, he has less money and almost no organization compared to other “top tier” GOP hopefuls.

No one is predicting that he will win the nomination, not even Cain himself.

I’d say he has about as much chance of winning the Republican nomination as becoming the Exalted Cyclops of the KKK. Still if not challenged, he can do a lot of damage along the way.



Jarvis Tyner
Jarvis Tyner

Jarvis Tyner is the former executive vice-chair of the Communist Party USA and a long-time member of the party's national board. Tyner has been an active public spokesperson against racism, imperialism, and war. He has written numerous articles and pamphlets and appeared on the media, campuses, and in other public venues advocating for peace, equality, and the socialist alternative.