The Break – Time To Vote

With the long election season finally coming to an end, the crew give some final thoughts. KC, Chris, Tash, Leisha, Shelby and Axel discuss how much of the attacks on Hillary Clinton are due to her being a woman, things getting nasty, the American media’s role in this election and more.

Music: Tom Misch – Risk

Please leave your comments and feedback below or you can contact us via Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE; Facebook: Black Is Magazine; Email:; Voicemail: (323) 455-4219.

The Break – The Black Vote Pt.2

In this episode KC, Chris, Malcolm, Tash, Leisha, Shelby, Steve & Julius finish up their discussion on the state of the black vote. They touch on the fear of black skin, changing minds, holding up standards for the black community, Trump dismantling the system and the mob mentality.

Music: deDunamis – Peaks

Please leave your comments and feedback below or you can contact us via Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE; Facebook: Black Is Magazine; Email:; Voicemail: (323) 455-4219.

The Break: Obama’s Still President – Now What? (PODCAST)

Listen in to the episode as KC and the family discuss their expectations and desires of President Obama for his second term in office and where the Republican party went wrong this election year. Podcast guests include Chris Lehman, Tash Moseley, Toria Williams, and John Wood.

For comments and questions on this or any other episode, please call the hotline at (323) 455-4219!

The Break: Journey to the Election Part III (PODCAST)

Listen in to this special segment of our “Journey to the Election” podcast series! Moderated by John Calvin Byrd III of Sickly Cat Magazine, this episode focuses on the role of big business in presidential campaigns, missteps of the Obama administration, and the differences (or lack thereof) in the political parties. Podcast guests include: Chris Lehman, Dr. Wayne Byrd, John Wood, and Joshua Stroud.

For comments or questions about this episode, call our hotline at (323) 455-4219!

Movers & Shakers: Ted Hayes

Listen in as John Wood has a passionate,vigorous chat with activist and author, Ted Hayes. Hayes is also an advocate for the homeless, an avid cricket player, and formerly an outspoken Black Republican. Listen in as he and Wood discuss “chattel” slaves, the state of the Black community today, immigration, and the problems of Black culture.*


*The statements made by Mr. Hayes do not reflect the thoughts and beliefs of the Black Is team.

Defending Black Republicanism (Part 3 of 3)

(Correction: In Part 1 of Defending Black America I said that the majority of black Americans were Republicans until the late sixties. This was incorrect. The vast majority of blacks were Republicans until the mid to late ’30’s whereupon roughly half of blacks, supporting President Roosevelt, began to identify as Democrats. More became Democrats during the Truman administration and through the ’50’s, but it was not until the southern strategy and the changes of the ’60’s that blacks abandoned the Republican Party almost wholesale, as part 1 describes.)


It may seem strange in a way to hear any black person defending black Republicanism, particularly in the age of Obama, and given the fact that the political identity of Black America has become so wholly tied to the Democratic Party. But without appealing to any other fact or statistic, I can make a shrewd argument as to why this is not a good thing for black America practically speaking. Being so predominantly concentrated in the Democratic Party does not give us the outsized influence over Democratic Party politics that you might expect. Our 9/10 affiliation with the Democrats means that Democratic politicians can afford to place the particular needs of African-Americans relatively low on the party’s political agenda. Blacks deeply distrust the Republican Party, after all, so they don’t have anywhere else to go. What incentive is there for the Democratic Party to give more attention to black issues than they do therefore? Strategically speaking, would it not better for black American votes to be competed for by both parties than for them to be forfeited by one and taken for granted by the other?

As much as black Americans tend to be Democrats of course, there is a small but committed minority of black Republicans even today which includes some figures you might not expect. Colin Powell and Condaleezza Rice, (former Secretaries of State under George W. Bush), recent GOP party chairman Michael Steele and Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas we generally know, plus recent presidential candidate Herman Cain and a number of black political commentators and strategists like Larry Elder and Amy Holmes. But there are names on that list of prominent blacks outside of politics which might surprise you. T.D. Jakes, one of the most influential pastors in America, is a Republican. Former basketball star Karl Malone is a Republican; activist and author Alveda King, the niece of Dr. King is, as her uncle was, a Republican and an outspoken one at that. Comedienne and television producer Sheryl Underwood (former host of BET’s Comic View) is a Republican. Eldridge Cleaver is dead now, but the co-founder of the Black Panthers was and remained to his death a strong Republican. Actor Denzel Washington (I’m somewhat happy to say) is a Republican as well. (Boxing promoter Don King and rapper 50 Cent are also Republicans, though I mention them with a bit more ambiguity.)

A 2004 Pew Research poll indicated that 7% of blacks are Republican. In a way it is a bit strange however that the GOP has not sought to make further inroads than this into the black community given that, on at least one important set of issues, blacks have far more in common with the Republican Party agenda than that of the Democratic Party and that is with respect to social and cultural issues. There is of course a solid minority of African-Americans who are avowed social liberals, and for them the Republican Party probably has little to offer in any context. But on the whole black Americans are socially and culturally conservative, at least much more so than the average Democrat. Roughly half of black Americans are pro life, and possibly many more are opposed to gay marriage (though, to be honest, that is an issue about which I take a more libertarian stance). Perhaps most significantly, black Americans overwhelmingly share with conservatives and Republicans generally a common belief in the church and religious faith as occupying a central role in their own lives, and that it should do so in the cultural life of the nation. This puts black Americans squarely at odds with the increasing forces of secularization within the Democratic Party’s progressive base, making this part of the Democratic agenda an obvious one that most black Americans who, like me, would like to see the right to school prayer and the freedom to be able to invoke the name of Jesus in a graduation speech maintained, or who would like to retain the words “under God” in our pledge of allegiance, cannot share.

There are many ways in which the the history and the interests of the Republican Party are more in line with that of Black Americans as a whole than that of the Democratic Party, but that is not the point of these articles. Whether or not blacks ever again embrace the Republican Party, (and more importantly more conservative domestic policies and cultural perspectives) is not as important as whether or not blacks come to be able to respect the Republicans and the conservatives in our own community though they have a different political point of view. Surely such respect and understanding is more consistent with the trans partisan message of unity that candidate Barack Obama expressed running for the presidency in 2008. I agree with him: this is not a red America or a blue America, but rather the United States of America, and within the black community the same logic holds. It would stand to reason that we better each other through a diversity of opinion. I’m not one to say that the Democratic Party is no good, that liberals are innately dumb, or naive or traitors to our people. Most Republicans are not that way, and are every bit as proud of our history as black people as are those who call themselves Democrats. We would like the rest of black America to remember that.

Defending Black Republicanism (Part 2 of 3)

The thing that most drives African-Americans away from the Republican Party today, if one excepts the perceived Republican opposition to civil rights, are deep and fundamental differences in economic and domestic policy.  Given the long disadvantaged socioeconomic station which blacks have historically occupied it is easy to see why the public spending policies of the Democratic Party would have an enduring appeal to the many of us who are poor, struggling, and who need help where we can find it. But just because a certain set of policies may have an appeal to the poor and the working class does not mean  these policies are as beneficial as we would think. For an emerging black community coming into it’s own as business owners, college graduates, innovators and professionals, a different philosophy must begin to take root, one that allows us the means and the opportunities to control our own destiny as independent individuals, as secure families and as an increasingly prosperous community.

In recent days, former Republican Speaker of the House and current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has made headlines, and met with fierce allegations of racism from some, for saying at a campaign stop in South Carolina, “The African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” His words made the blood boil of many progressives generally and many blacks particularly, but it is worth curtailing the emotion to at least acknowledge the legitimacy of the point. As President Obama himself has acknowledged, there are a segment of people, and surely we observe them in our own community, who are content to live off of the public dollar as long as they can without making a serious effort at sustaining themselves. Naturally this doesn’t characterize our community as a whole, but what is more broadly true is that even for the large majority of black Americans who work hard for a living or who are trying their best in this difficult time to be able to provide for themselves and their families, there is a sense that true social mobility for us in this society is mostly a bitter mirage. Therefore we think education won’t help us. We believe that corporate America will not accept us. We expect the legal system to hinder us. In our history there have been many reasons to feel this way. But in the 21rst century too many of us cling to these limiting attitudes even as the walls of institutional oppression have crumbled around us before the advance of the black condition and the opening up of American society. For all of our problems and even given the current economic climate, black Americans are more wealthy, more educated, and more influential in recent years than we have ever been before. Yet instead of tending towards policies that would open wider the gates of our opportunities, we support initiatives designed to make sure we will fall only so far.

There is a reason that perhaps the steepest historical decline in the black unemployment rate occurred as a result of the tax cuts of Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s. There is a reason that even with cuts in investment taxes and welfare spending black unemployment reached a historic low at the end of the Clinton presidency, to only be neared again under George W. Bush’s presidency as a result of, in my opinion, the Bush tax cuts for the upper and middle class. (We’re it not for the real-estate crash and the financial collapse the national unemployment rate would probably have remained under 5% for sometime.) These periods of high employment and increase of black wealth and American wealth and employment generally came not as the result of aggressive government spending and public assistance. They came as the result of people being able to save, spend and invest more of what they had earned. There is a psychological difference of course in being able to keep more of what you yourself own or produce as opposed to simply receiving for free of what has been taken from the pockets of others. People have more appreciation for what they earn than for that which is given them without effort. Like the song says, “God bless the child who has his own.”

That is not to say that food stamps and welfare are innately bad. For the many people who are trying hard in tough times to get by and who have nothing else to rely on (believe me I know what it’s like) it’s important to have this safety net. But growing the social safety net does not grow long lasting prosperity, which is what needs to happen if things are to genuinely get better. It has been the approach of the current administration to funnel money directly into state governments, pet projects and rebates in order to stimulate economic growth. And while it should be noted that a good deal of this massive spending came in the form of tax credits, these were temporary and insufficient to generate real economic growth. Meanwhile as we spend money with little restraint, the very funds needed to fund our social welfare programs are missing because the economy is languishing. Raising taxes on the wealthy and cutting defense spending can barely begin to cover these bills. It is only economic growth that can accomplish this.

One area where President Obama deserves more credit than he has gotten is in the area of education. For as willing as many of us are to roll in the mud over the issue of Affirmative Action, the affirmative action we should all be calling for is stronger performance on behalf of our children from an education establishment that rewards seniority over ability. Consequently our children suffer while the teacher’s unions protect themselves. We keep pouring money on the education problem, but study after study have shown that government funding does not impact student achievement and neither, in fact, does class size. What matters most is not funding, or surroundings, but teacher quality. We have only been subsidizing the mediocrity of a failing union culture. President Obama has at least shown the political will to say to the left wing teacher’s unions that performance should be the deciding factor when it comes to retaining and rewarding educators. This is a conservative sentiment that Republicans have fought for for some time, and it’s unfortunate that more Democrats have not voiced support for at least this element of the President’s educational agenda.

I do not believe that black Americans will long be content to accept government programs as more than a nominal factor in ensuring the welfare of our people. I do not believe that black Americans will long tolerate an educational system that has no expectations for our children. We as a people do have a higher sense of who we are and what we can accomplish. But the interests of the Democratic Party are largely served by our dependency on federal dollars and our belief in the illusion that the poverty of our surroundings prevents us from being able to learn. These are a couple reasons why some of us are Republicans. But it doesn’t matter whether one is a Republican or Democrat. What matters is that we look at the example of an exceptional black Democrat like Barack Obama to realize the wisdom of a great black Republican like Booker T. Washington, who said that “character, not circumstances, make the man,” and furthermore, that “we should not permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.” We have the ability. It is only the embrace of freedom and opportunity that we need to able to succeed.

The Controversy Behind Obama’s New Defense Bill

Obama’s first presidential act of 2012 was the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act. This new strategy gets rid of the old strategy of the United States being able to wage two wars simultaneously and promises budget cuts over the next ten years.  The tide of war was receding and the US must renew its economic power the president said in a January 5th press conference

“Our military will be leaner,” Obama told reporters, “but the world must know – the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats.”

So far so good right? Obama kept his promise of ending the Iraq war. Troop drawdown in Afghanistan is already under way and the United States is shifting its policy away from long-term nation building. And these things are good since everyone witnessed how the cost for both wars drained the economy. The media reported this as the unveiling of a new strategy as America goes into a new direction post the Iraq War. What the media didn’t report was the provisions in the bill, which allow for the indefinite military detention of Americans without trial; and Obama just signed that into law. Remember the Patriot Act? Remember who passed it? The fuss behind the Patriot Act still continues and now there is fuss behind Obama’s new legislation.

Obama expressed reservations about the bill, but still signed it. The Senate tried on two occasions to amend the bill that specifically forbids the indefinite military detention of Americans. Senator Mark Udall introduced an amendment intended to forbid the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens that got rejected by a vote of 37–61 and also Senator Dianee Feinstein attempted to add an amendment to instead say that Americans are exempt from detention under the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists act of 2001, which was signed by President George W Bush. That also was rejected by a 55 to 45 vote. Senator and Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin and ranking Republican committee member Sen. John McCain supported the original bill in its entirety and unchanged. It was passed unchanged by the senate and signed unchanged by the President.

The criticism drawn from other politicians, government watch groups, and media outlets about the bill is because of the text in sections 1021 and 1022 as they have been called a violation of constitutional principles and the Bill of Rights. Section 1021 (c-1) allows “Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of hostilities.” A President can declare that he is in a war without an end and justify any actions taken under this text.  It also states in section (b-2) states that the law applies not just to members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but to any person who has “substantially supported” “associated forces.” The language is loose and is only left up to interpretation by Obama or any other future president.

Obama’s official statement  states that his administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. If Obama really wanted to he could ask Congress to amend the controversial sections listed, but there is no intention of him doing that as his administration and supporters of the bill continue to dismiss the contention that American citizens can be detained indefinitely. But the bill does not dismiss the AUMF act of 2001, plus the language causes alarm for groups like the ACLU and Human Rights Watch.

“The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States” is stated in section 1022 (b-1) of the bill. Notice the word “requirement”. It is not “required” to detain Americans, but the President can still do so. Remember what happened to Japanese Americans in World War 2? Remember the McCarthyism and the Red Scare, which blacklisted many innocent Americans because of alleged ties to communism? Keep in mind Guantanamo Bay is still open for business and one of Obama’s campaign promises was to close Guantanamo Bay. No detainee has left Guantanamo Bay in a year because of restrictions on transfers. Now we see a law passed condoning the indefinite military detention without trial, it makes you wonder if we are indeed moving forward post the Bush Presidency,

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), called Obama’s action “a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law. Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today.”



Defending Black Republicanism (Part 1 of 3)

There is an interesting psychological phenomenon that persists in black politics and in African-American society generally; one that has stubbornly bore down roots since at least the early seventies and beyond. It is a striking manifestation of identity politics that has gone too far for too long, retarding the political, and arguably the socioeconomic, growth of black America. That phenomenon is the near totality of our people’s unyielding devotion to one political party, our correspondingly bitter and intractable opposition to the main alternative,  and the anti-intellectual and, frankly, hurtful dismissiveness with which the large majority of blacks who pay allegiance to one  party treat the small minority who hold with the other. What I am referring to is, of course, the now longstanding black reliance on, and attachment to, the Democratic Party, and our longstanding opposition to, and reviling of, the Republican Party. This, believe it or not, is not a good thing. The potential progress of black America in the twenty-first century will be essentially capped until we outgrow this ideological bigotry.

I say ideological bigotry because that, for far too many black liberals and democrats, is what their opposition to conservatism and Republicans generally, amounts to. You see it expressed in film, stand up comedy and on the street level. Republicans and black Republicans particularly are portrayed as greedy, naive, uncle Toms, etc. That’s no way to characterize people we disagree with. But furthermore this ignores the broader history of the Republican party and the historical relationship it has had with the black community.

Let’s begin with the origins of black animosity towards the Republican party, for which there is a legitimate cause. Only a minority of black people nowadays seem to know or remember the fact that the vast majority of black Americans were Republicans all the way until the late sixties. That ended with the polarizing divisions wrought by the battles of the Civil Rights Movement and then with the adoption of the “Southern Strategy,” a term then popularized by prominent GOP strategist Kevin Phillips, who described it thusly:

“From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that… but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

There was then in the late sixties a vast constituency swap, whereupon black Republicans almost en masse became Democrats and southern (mostly middle class) white Democrats became Republicans. Given that this were the case one might be tempted to think that the Republican party must have fought tooth and nail against the Civil Rights Act and the movement towards integration, but the truth is far more mixed. The greatest political opposition to the movement came from southern white Democrats, who would eventually become Republicans. At the same time western, mid-western and northern Democrats like John Kennedy, and some southern Democrats (particularly President Lyndon Johnson) were on the side of racial progress and President Johnson in particular showed great courage in pushing the Civil Rights Act through congress. (Johnson knew that to sign the bill would be to, in his own words, “sign away the south for fifty years,” but he did it anyway.) The support of Democrats like Kennedy, Johnson and others in congress and across the country gives Democrats a viable claim to much of the success of the Civil Rights era. Still, in congress roughly 80% of Republicans voted for passage of the bill in both the House and Senate, as opposed to roughly 60% of Democrats in the House and a little less than 70% in the Senate. The triumph of civil rights was a bipartisan triumph therefore, but in congress there was more unified support for these landmark changes among Republicans than Democrats.

There are other positive things to be said about the Democratic Party and it’s historical relationship to African-Americans. Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court Justice and a champion of civil liberties, was a black Democrat. Adam Clayton Powell, the first black congressman in New York’s history and the first from any northern state outside Illinois since reconstruction, was a Democrat (served 1945-1971). But Martin Luther King, Jr., the single most important figure in the Civil Rights Movement, was a Republican and an active one at that. He endorsed Richard Nixon for the governorship of California in 1964, something that is not widely known. Furthermore, he encouraged the presidential candidacy of the anti-segregationist Republican governor of Michigan, Governor George Romney, who was of course the father of Mitt Romney, ironically the man who is favored to carry the GOP banner against Barack Obama this year.

Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, and although some  have cast doubt upon the legacy of Lincoln as the “Great Emancipator,” the fact remains that he legally freed the slaves and that he  was always an abolitionist, as most Republicans were. Frederick Douglass, (to whom Lincoln bequeathed his iconic walking stick upon his death), was a Republican and even received a vote in the electoral college for the presidency (obviously the first for a black American). Every black elected politician and appointed official was almost certainly Republican during the reconstruction era. That changed after the Civil Rights Movement reached it’s zenith in the sixties of course, and after that a strong faction of segregationists did emerge in the Republican Party because they came from the Democratic party (invited in by cynical GOP strategists and political elites). Even so, it was Ronald Reagan who signed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day into law, and while he probably did not really wish to do so, then Vice-President George H.W. Bush fought hard behind the scenes to see its passage and ultimately both parties voted for it by wide margins.

Black Americans have always had a home in the Republican Party. Those of us who have remained in it or returned to it should be respected, I feel, for to us it is not just the party of Reagan, but the party of Lincoln, of Douglass, of Booker T. Washington, and of King.

The Rise of Herman Cain

Who is Herman Cain? I would wager that most people, maybe even most black people, did not know before a couple weeks ago. Heck, maybe most still don’t know. But for those who are paying attention he has quickly emerged as a fascinating figure on the political landscape and an increasingly significant one.Two and a half years after this nation swore in it’s first black president (an event thought nearly impossible by a majority of black-Americans just a year before)  it is just possible that it could happen again.

The successful former chairman and CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain, and a fairly popular political voice in conservative circles since the early nineties, Herman Cain has much more than that to boast of in terms of accomplishments. In fact, the life of the self-made Georgia millionaire (born in 1945) reveals a long list of impressive achievements: he graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelors in Mathematics in ’67, he graduated from Purdue with a Master’s in computer science in ’71 (while also working as a ballistics analyst for the Naval department at the same time). He then went to work for Coca Cola as a computer systems analyst, then found himself working for Pillsbury, whose President soon entrusted Cain with the responsibility of revitalizing 400 Burger King locations in the Philadelphia area, (the least profitable restaurants in Pillsbury’s recently acquired Burger King chain). Herman Cain turned them into the most profitable Burger King locations in only a few short years. As a result of his success, Cain was appointed President and CEO of another Pillsbury subsidiary: Godfather’s Pizza, which he also turned from a languishing company to an ultimately profitable chain. He resigned that position in 1996. He has also served as the deputy chairman and the chairman of the Federal Reserve bank of Kansas City in addition to being a  political columnist, talk radio show host and Baptist Minister. Perhaps most incredibly, Herman Cain is a survivor of stage four colon cancer. He and wife Gloria have two children and three grand-children.

That Herman Cain is smart and accomplished there is no question. That he is a relatively viable presidential candidate, while this was an idea easy to dismiss even several weeks ago, also cannot be doubted. For a peculiar combination of Herman Cain’s own talents and resourcefulness in addition to a unique set of political circumstances in the Republican party has allowed Mr. Cain (who has proven himself  a galvanizing speaker and an increasingly powerful debater) to emerge, at this stage in the race, as the definite number two candidate (and not too far behind number one contender Mitt Romney at that). The lack of an obvious champion among Republicans and the mistrust many Tea Party Republicans have of former Governor Romney in addition to the slow motion implosion of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s candidacy has left Cain as the most appealing alternative to Republican voters hungry to see some one with the right strengths and values confront not only President Obama, but to some degree the Republican party establishment itself. This is Herman Cain’s hour and it will be interesting to see what he does with it.

So the question that remains is what should black people think of him? Being a Republican myself (though not quite so conservative as Herman Cain) I have no problem with his running for the GOP nomination, in fact I think most black people would be proud of his success just as we were and continue to be proud of Barack Obama. But Herman Cain represents a strain of political thought that is well outside the mainstream of most black political philosophy. Not for Herman Cain are the wonders of the welfare state. Though he has offered few specifics in this regard, it seems clear that he is ready to drastically cut federal spending on public and entitlement programs while initiating his catchy and controversial “9-9-9” tax plan, drastically cutting income taxes for not just the rich but for all Americans, yet simultaneously significantly increasing consumption taxes which would have a disproportionately negative affect on poorer and middle income Americans, blacks especially. This stands in stark contrast to the policy preferences of President Barack Obama, who has made clear that he wants to raise taxes on the top income earners in this country in an effort to preserve as much in the way of public benefits as he can. Who is right? Public spending does a lot of good for black Americans who are traditionally disadvantaged in terms of educational and, consequently, economic opportunities in this country and thereby wind up needing some assistance from the government to get by.  But on the other hand, no amount of public welfare can replace the value of having a job, not just in terms of earning potential but in terms of self-esteem and real psychological value. President Obama’s policies have thus far not succeeded in dramatically reversing the downward spiral of American employment in general and black unemployment in particular. With the large sums of money that would be freed up for investment and consumption for most American’s by the 9-9-9 plan, it is just possible that a real surge in job creation might follow under Cain where it has thus far failed under Obama.

What Cain would and could do as president of course is mostly hypothetical. We do not yet know him as well as we will have to to understand just what type of leader he might prove to be when the pressure is on and in any event, it is still not likely that he will be able to overcome the advantages of big money and political experience that his chief rival Mitt Romney possesses. Even so, if we are honest with ourselves and each other, the example of Herman Cain should give us some reason to smile. He is another shining example of what our people are capable of when we believe in ourselves and our abilities. You do not have to agree with his politics to see that, in this respect, he is every bit as much a role model as Barack Obama. Whether he can win the Republican nomination, much less the presidency, much less still the support of a broad number of African-Americans is an open question. But the case is closed on the ability of the man. Love him or hate him, Herman Cain is a force with which to be reckoned.