Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Conservatives should be tired of defending the indefensible

I’ll start with the usual disclaimers: Herman Cain has not been found guilty of anything in a court of law. Accusations are sometimes just accusations.

But his sexual harassment problems should throw a central truth about his candidacy into stark relief: Herman Cain has not earned the loyalty of conservatives, and it’s baffling that so many of us are willing to say absurd things to defend him.

At the very least — the very least — Cain’s candidacy for president shows a troubling lack of wisdom. Knowing, as he must have known, that some of these accusations could become public, yet still deciding to run for president reveals that Cain is either deceptive or willfully blind to the realities of politics. Neither is a reassuring trait in a commander in chief.

Furthermore, if Cain actually did what he is alleged to have done, then there is no way his campaign should continue. Sexual harassment is inexcusable. There’s no gray area here. There’s no he-said she-said haggling over details.

Unless all four of these women have independently and baselessly invented sexual misconduct that never happened for no reason other than to destroy Cain, then there is a pattern here, at minimum, of Cain acting in ways that are inappropriate for a man toward a woman.

Finally, Cain’s response to the last week’s allegations is concerning because he seemed tone-deaf. Rather than convincing denials, Cain has proffered race-related conspiracies and statements intended to cast doubt on the veracity of the alleged victim. His public posture in the last week doesn’t exactly ring of moral outrage in the face of injustice.

In fact, in making public his latest accuser’s financial and legal trouble in an attempt to discredit her accusations, Cain is doing again what he is accused of doing: using his power and position to take advantage of someone less powerful. Cain should have flatly denied the accusations and refrained from comment on his accuser’s past. His failure to do this is another strike against him.

As a conservative, I’d say this to conservative leaders: It’s not enough to prove that liberals don’t like you. It’s not enough that Gloria Allred is on the other side. It’s not enough that the media asks you hard questions. You can’t define yourself by who hates you.

Conservatives have a bad habit of putting up with almost anything from their heroes, provided they continue to believe the right things. The reflexive desire to be on the opposite side of their enemies has led them in some unappealing directions. Herman Cain is one of those directions.

Cain’s flaws are obvious, from his inability to identify China as a nuclear power to his willingness to fan the flames of conspiracy to his now-infamous problems with women.

He has raised over $1 million since his press conference yesterday. That face alone speaks volumes about the state of today’s GOP.


Reach the columnist at

Click here to subscribe to the daily State Press newsletter.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.