In the 15th Century, “Lady Justice” was introduced wearing a blindfold. Her sightlessness was meant to represent objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out without fear or favor, regardless of identity, money, power or weakness. Blind justice and impartiality should be the goal.
Enter 21st century politics, where you find justice thrown under the proverbial bus, along with a presidential candidate.
Herman Cain joined the race for the Republican nomination with a goal of leading the nation into a better quality of life, for, in his words, “my grandchildren and for the generations to come.”
Born into a hard-working Atlanta family, Mr. Cain has been a computer systems analyst, a missiles engineer for the Navy, and a successful businessman and CEO.
Initially he may have seemed an unlikely presidential candidate, but that is no doubt part of his appeal. He’s got new ideas, and more real-world experience than any president in modern history.
Suddenly, while Mr. Cain is soaring at the top of the polls, proposing to scrap our three million word tax code for a simpler, fairer, pro-growth 9-9-9 plan (getting rid of the tax code would arguably be the largest transfer of power from the government to the people since the U.S. Constitution was ratified. No wonder the establishment resists such an agent of change) he is besieged by the media, suffering “death of a thousand cuts,” as described by Cain Senior Adviser, Niger Innis.
For six unrelenting weeks, Mr. Cain has been the target of attacks on his character. His accusers have yet to prove anything, yet the man has been judged guilty in the court of public opinion without even a semblance of a fair trial.
Recently, Raynard Jackson, a self-proclaimed political pundit, accused Mr. Cain’s campaign of causing a mind-blowing “Cain Drain” on America. Along with that, Florida Republican Congressman Allen West came out with something close to a call for Mr. Cain to drop out of the race.
But Mr. Cain will not make his decision about whether to stay or go based on what Raynard Jackson or Allen West have to say. He told Neil Cavuto on Fox News' "Your World" Wednesday that he will decide on continuing to pursue the presidency – a “Cain Reign,” if you will -- based on the impact on his family, feedback from supporters and public opinion.
That was good news for those of us who want him to stay in the ring and fight off this latest attempt at character assassination.
And make no mistake about it, the unproven allegations of sexual harassment; the extremely dubious claim of a 13-year affair with Mr. Cain; these are attempts at character assassination.
Herman Cain represents a double threat to President Obama. He is an African-American man with strong conservative values, the same values embraced by many, many American families.
African-Americans who might have disagreed with candidate Obama’s left-of-center politics voted for him in 2008 because electing a candidate with brown skin was too historic an opportunity to miss.
This time around, Mr. Cain would split the black vote; that is a guarantee. As for the rest of the electorate, I believe many voters would be happy to give a non-politician a chance in the Oval Office. Let’s be honest about this; the liberal agenda with failed stimulus plans and government entitlement programs is crippling our economy and our quality of life.
Mr. Cain, his wife, Gloria, and their family are people of courage and fortitude. As the First Family, they would have a lot to offer America. There are many of us praying that Mr. Cain will stay the course. As my Uncle Martin said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
No one is immune to these grimy tactics, as slurs against other candidates including Congresswoman Bachmann and Governor Perry indicate. This Tabloid Politics garbage mentality is unjust and reeks of more to come if we don't cry out and stop it now. As for Mr. Cain, groundless accusations cannot be allowed to run a good man out of this fight.
We the people must demand a more just political process. If someone is going to talk about another person’s character, they must have irrefutable proof and not just their word. The people should demand this and so should the media. A political campaign should address the many troubling issues facing the nation and not have to waste its resources defending meaningless allegations.
We must demand that the media reports on the issues, and let us see the platforms of the candidates. In the face of these attacks, on Mr. Cain and other presidential hopefuls, I’m inclined to find that Tabloid Justice is indeed blind, but far from objective.
Dr. Alveda King is a civil rights and pro-life activist. She is the niece of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.