Herman Cain has been smeared this week. Assuming that Mr. Cain does not turn out to be a cross between Ted Bundy and Jack the Ripper, the question will be, does our process have room for the citizen statesman? Early in our country’s history, when the government was efficient and effective, we were governed by citizen statesmen. There was no such thing as professional politicians. Our representatives were our neighbors. They would serve for a few years and went home. They did not need special interest groups to tell them what was important to their constituents; they saw it first hand. They championed principles not parties. But this was long before the progressive movement. Their principles were based in rugged individualism and self-reliance, once the guiding principles of the Democratic Party.
Fast-forward a hundred years, the United States has not had a citizen statesman as president in a very long time. The political process shreds human beings as efficiently as a meat grinder makes hamburger. Our insensate search for the perfect president (man) somehow justifies the torturous gauntlet we put candidates through. Yet the search for the perfect leader continues.
In these coming months, Mr. Cain needs to keep his and the national dialog elevated above the muck. Concentrate on principle. Mr. Cain has begun the principle discussion with his 9-9-9 tax reform but still has a significant amount of work to do in explaining the benefits of replacing the income tax with a consumption tax. He needs educate the public on how our government’s funding has yet to evolve. Our government burdens our companies and as a result our jobs with more than 20% in embedded taxes. This competitive disadvantage far exceeds any hurdle the private market has…including labor cost. Reducing some if not all of embedded or hidden tax only increases our competitiveness and…our jobs.
Likewise regarding retirement, Mr. Cain needs to explain sell his concept of a private public partnership. Border security perhaps a dual fence concept, one physical and one virtual as promoted at ResolutePrinciples.com would make sense. Regardless of the challenge, America is seeking principled solutions. Solid executive leadership combined with principled solutions may be a close as we can get to perfection.
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