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Tuesday 15 November 2011

Vote For Me, I Don't Know What I'm Talking About.

Listening, as i normally do, to the Today program on Radio 4 this morning, i caught an item on Herman Cain, the prospective U.S Presidential candidate.

The item was about how Mr Cain had had difficulty talking about President Obama's recent policy on Libya, when asked by interviewers.
You can read about it and see a video here.
If you can't be bothered to wade through that, the main talking point was that Mr Cain had pretty obviously no idea what he was talking about.
He fumbled and fudged his way through the questions. He couldn't talk about any specifics concerning the questions he was asked. He even had to question the interviewers to make sure in his mind that they were talking about the same topic.

Here's a quote from when Mr Cain was asked if he supported President Obama's actions on Libya.
Cain: "President Obama supported the uprising? Correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi. Just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing before i say 'yes i agree', or 'no i don't agree'.
He then went on to say: "I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons - no, that's a different one"

It is obvious that this man, who don't forget wants to become the President and Commander In Chief of the most powerful country in the world, doesn't have a clue about a very important topic of recent U.S foreign policy.
I, for one, find this to be rather scary and also extremely worrying.
If you don't know about the important topics of recent foreign policy, what hope is there that you know anything about any of the smaller, but equally important, issues that affect your country and possibly the rest of the world?

This interview comes hot on the heals of another prospective U.S Presidential candidate, Rick Perry, not being able to name the three main agencies of the U.S Government in a televised debate.
See the video here.

All this is very funny to look at, especially from over here in the UK. But, as i said earlier, this is frightening stuff. In little over a years time, one of these men could be President of the USA!

It is, of course, quite possible that Cain and Perry may well have had their campaigns seriously damamged by these huge gaffes and quite rightly so. It's also quite probable that they will give up, if not now, then fairly soon.

But, this does beg the question, why did they think that they were qualified enough to run for President in the first place and also, why did people feel that they were good enough to do so and then support and give substantial amounts of money to them?

I realise that these two men might not be representative of all the candidates and i sure hope that there are better men still left in the race. But, it does make you wonder about the quality of political candidates and not just in the USA either. We see examples like this across the world.
Maybe, in the end, we get the candidates and politicians that we deserve?

The whole political system seems to be weighted heavily in favour of the well healed, well connected and well educated. It's almost a throwback to times past where only the Lords of the manor etc were allowed into Parliament/Government and the ordinary folk were kept out.

So, we end up getting political candidates who may have money and connections, but who have no real knowledge. Candidates like Herman Cain, who rely on advisors to tell them what to think and say. So much so, that when they're asked a question that they haven't been briefed on, they can't answer it.

Personally, i'd rather have a politician who knows their own mind, says what they really think and actually knows what they are talking about. Even if i don't happen to agree with what they say.

I'd vote for that.


  1. OK, I think I understand what Mr. Cain was saying. First, let it be said that he was definitely not in favour of Gaddafi killing his own citizens, absolutely not. He would, however, have done a better job of determining who the Libyan opposition was and how capable it was of running the country, before "everything exploded." He would have considered all the information from the American intelligence people, then made an executive decision, as he has done for so many years as a successful businessman. Now, it's possible that, having carefully and soberly considered all the information, he might have "ended up in the same place" as President Obama. Of course, he doesn't know for certain that the Obama administration didn't take all the available intelligence into consideration because he wasn't privy to the details of the process. So what, I believe, Mr. Cain was saying was that he might or might not have acted differently from President Obama but in either case he would have made a better decision.

    Well that's perfectly clear, isn't it?

    [I have great admiration for American writers, musicians, filmmakers, entertainers, innovators and entrepreneurs. But I'm haunted by the fact that this is the country that elected George W. Bush, twice, and is home to a political party that ran a vice-presidential candidate who believed that governing a state from which you can see Russia in and of itself equipped her with foreign policy experience.]

    Enjoyed your post, Andy.

  2. What Cain is saying is that it doesn't matter what he does or doesn't know about a situation, or whether or not he has any background in the topic, what's important is that having run a chain of sub-standard pizza restaurants gives one a better grounding for making public policy decisions than having served in the US Senate.

  3. Dugal: Thanks. I'm always a little wary of straying into U.S politics. But, as you appear to be, i get a bit worried about the quality of some of their candidates. I'm not suggesting that it's only the USA that have this "problem", as it clearly isn't. But, these 2 recent gaffes have really brought the issue into focus.

  4. Ken: That sums it up pretty well i think ;)

  5. Fortunately you don't have to worry about Cain or Perry becoming president. Newt Gingrich, however, is a different story. If he were to become president (not likely, but more likely than before) the whole world is in deep trouble.

  6. Phil: Now, Newt Gingrich i have heard about and i remember him as not being someone i'd want to trust. So, i'll bear your comments in mind.
    Was it you who Tweeted about him earlier today? I remember seeing someone talking about him.