Fifty one years after Harper Lee penned “To Kill a Mockingbird”, we are watching the same story played out in real life. Truth may be as strange as fiction after all.
Harper Lee’s novel, set in Maycomb Alabama during the depression, tells the story of two children and the lessons they learned as their father, attorney Atticus Finch, defended an innocent black man accused of sexually assaulting a white woman.
To watch the media feeding frenzy surrounding Herman Cain of late, I cannot help but be reminded of the American classic tale written by Lee.
From the 1962 movie, perhaps we will remember Mr. Finch’s Jury summation: “To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. The state has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place… It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses, whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross-examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. Now, there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewel was beaten – savagely, by someone who led exclusively with his left. And Tom Robinson now sits before you having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses… his RIGHT. I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance. But my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man’s life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt.”
While this doesn’t quite apply to Herman Cain, because there is not even circumstantial evidence in his case, the attitude of the left, particularly in the Media, and most particularly on MSNBC seems to be identical.
In her novel, Harper Lee says of racial prejudice, “As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it – whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash. “ (Atticus Finch)
As I listened to MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday morning, they discussed Herman Cain. After Donny Deutsch described the GOP race as a vaudeville show, and one must wonder does he REALLY want to go there, black-face make-up and all, he goes on to describe Mr. Cain’s top rating in the polls at 20% to 23% as “people just wanting the show to go on, and if Mr. Cain goes away, there is no show.” When discussing Herman Cain’s pause answering a question about his agreement or disagreement with President Obama on the handling of Libya, Mike Barnicle said that Herman Cain is a joke. Mr. Barnicle should have listened to the rest of the answer, which as Howard Dean said, was the correct one. After gathering his thoughts, Herman Cain responded that he was not privy to all of the information about the situation in Libya and who the rebels were. We still don’t know exactly who the rebels are, but we do know now, that they want to impose Sharia Law in that country. They may well be Al-Qaeda jihadists for all we really know. The “clowns” in the room (as Barnicle referred to the GOP field) really seem to be the commentators on MSNBC who, like Mr. Cunningham and the other residents gathered outside the Maycomb Alabama courthouse seem intent on a lynching. Why are they so afraid of a strong principled black man. And like Mr. Cunningham, do they need an 8 year old Scout to hold a mirror to their prejudice and shame them back to their hovels.
After calling Mr. Cain “Stupid”, fortunately without the epithet, Mika Brzezinski then smirked about Mr. Cain’s offer of the Secretary of State job to Henry Kissinger, and his refusal of it. Cain said that Kissinger declined because he did not wish to come out of retirement. Cain said he was grateful that the former Secretary spent some time with him and answered questions about the middle east. If seeking counsel on foreign policy from one of the most respected and knowledgeable statesman in modern times is stupid, one wonders what brilliant might be. One has to expect that the daughter of Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor would be a little left leaning, but one would hope she would show a little intelligence and insight.
Why all the Cain bashing from the left? As Ms. Harper’s novel points out, “Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand.”
Maybe it can’t be understood, but it seems possible that the left, with it’s long, long history of truly renown racists like George Wallace, Woodrow Wilson, Bull Connor, Robert Byrd, and Stephan Douglas among others, can bury an attitude so deeply that they don’t even notice it. It seems equally possible that, by what psychologists might call projection, it is impossible for the left to fathom a GOP that is truly colorblind. Perhaps they cannot see that the bulk of the Republican party, and particularly the Tea Party took to heart Dr. King’s dream, that we do judge a man, not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. That certainly would explain why Tina Brown, Mika Brzezinski, Mike Barnicle and their ilk are having such a hard time understanding why Herman Cain remains at the top of the Iowa polls, and why they must use personal ridicule to attack him, rather than try to joust in the arena of ideas.
More stereotypes have been thrown around by the political pundits, particularly on MSNBC than have been heard in decades. What’s worse, they have completely ignored the recent heinous acts of Anti-semitic vandalism and mayhem in Crown Heights, as well as the anti-Jewish rhetoric being spewed by some of those lovely souls attending Occupations about the nation.
While they smirk, and joke and impune, perhaps they have failed to realize that our once great nation is declining rapidly into chaos. We have no leadership in the halls of Governance, our freedoms are being usurped as the regulatory agencies attempt to enslave us to the nanny state, our economy is near ruin, our youth have no work ethic, no values and no sense of responsibility. Our financial institutions behave recklessly while those in oversight line their pockets. And rather than debate policy, rather than seek men and women with real ideas about how to extricate ourselves from the weeds and point this once mighty ship of state back toward the main channel, we should laugh and poke fun about how long it takes for a man of honor to answer a question? In what kind of insane world do we find ourselves? Should we seek the white rabbit and a bite of the cake which reads eat me?
Mr. Cain is an honest man, with good ideas who cares about America and the direction in which this nation is headed. Who could blame him if he took up his hat and went home, yet here he is, offering his leadership to a leaderless Republic. Kick him if you wish, but do so at your soul’s and your nation’s peril.