When Herman Cain is on a roll, he rolls like thunder. “The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals,” he declared at CPAC Florida. “The tragedy of life lies in not having enough goals to reach for. It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity to die with no dreams.”
Cain is filled with awe and wonder for the improbable nation surrounding him. “The founding fathers were dreamers. They dreamed of creating the greatest nation on Earth… and they did. They got it right! Even when America is at its weakest, we’re still the greatest country in the world, and they’re still looking up to us.”
Besides the logistics of running an outsider campaign, Cain’s biggest problem has been his greatly reduced energy level and confidence when tackling subjects he’s not enthusiastic about. It made him seem vague and unprepared during the foreign-policy rounds of early debates. He demonstrated at the Fox News / Google debate last night that he’s been working on correcting that weakness. Give him fifteen minutes to talk about what he wants to discuss, and he’s a force of nature.
“Next to national security, the greatest challenge we have is this economy,” Cain declared. “As goes the economy, so goes the solution to so many other problems.” Out-grow our international adversaries, such as China, and “we won’t have to look back.”
He took another opportunity to tout his strategy for re-igniting the engine of the American business sector, which he believes Obamanomics has starved for fuel: his “999 Plan,” combining flat 9% corporate and personal taxes with a 9% national sales tax.
“The first thing we do to get the 999 Plan going is throw out the current tax code. It is broken,” Cain said. “Sometimes you can’t ‘fix’ something that is badly broken.” By replacing capital gains, income estate, and payroll taxes with the 999 Plan, we would “make this one of the most business friendly nations in the world.”
He views the reduction of capricious government power as a vital step toward giving businesses the certainty required for growth. He rejects the notion that Americans are hopelessly trapped within the corrupt system currently dying around them. “We’ve got some altering and abolishing to do,” he said, with visible relish for the challenge. “It’s our right!”
Such an ambitious agenda requires determined executive leadership, which he sees badly lacking in the autopilot growth of Washington, and the relentless efforts of politicians like Barack Obama to pay off vital constituencies with other people’s money. “Our greatest crisis is a severe crisis of leadership in Washington, D.C. and the White House,” Cain said. “If you change the leadership, you change the outcome. We’re not going to get a different outcome unless we change the leadership.”
Cain had some practical advice for the CPAC audience, encouraging them to stay informed, involved, and inspired. “Many of you have heard me say stupid people are ruining America,” he remarked. “Don’t be amongst the stupid.”
He said that one of his greatest inspirations came when he saw the face of his grandchild for the first time, and came to understand the duty responsible men and women hold toward the future. If we don’t take charge of our lives and break the cycle of dependency now, then “one day we will tell our grandchildren what America used to be like, when men were free,” warned Herman Cain. “I’m not going to have that conversation with my grandkids.” You can see why he views battle against a dragon with trillion-dollar bones as a less terrible alternative.
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