If nothing else, at least watch this touching 3-minute YouTube tribute below to Mr. Herman Cain.
“How would you like to be remembered?”
That’s a question I ALWAYS ask my MoxieTalk guests and a question I think everyone should consider before they depart planet Earth. After all, how different would your choices be if you first felt whether or not they might show up in your obituary?
Such is true for Herman Cain. The notable conservative voice passed away last week after battling COVID-19 for a month. Cain, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, was an outspoken critic of facemasks and other efforts aimed at preventing the spread of the disease.
On June 20th, 2020, Cain attended President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The first such rally held since the start of the pandemic earlier this year. Cain posted pictures of himself seated cheek by jowl with other Trump supporters, nary a mask in sight. A week later, he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted to the hospital. Within 70 days, he was deceased on July 30th, 2020, from COVID-19.
Now, there’s no way to know whether or not Cain contracted the virus at the rally, but his downplaying of the seriousness of the pandemic is all too clear. Sadly, most of the news coverage on his passing focused on the irony of the cause of his death rather than the considerable achievements of his remarkable life! Cain’s choices in the last few months threaten to overshadow a lifetime of moxie.
Thus, I thought I’d take a moment to highlight Cain’s moxie:
Moxie powers up
Cain entered this world humbly, born to a domestic worker and chauffeur. His parents were extraordinarily hard-working, and his father often juggled multiple jobs at once so he could purchase the family’s home.
Young Cain inherited the work ethic. He graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in Mathematics in 1967 and added an MS in Computer Science from Purdue in 1971. He began his climb up the corporate ladder as an analyst, first with Coca Cola in Atlanta and then with Pillsbury in Minneapolis.
He was tapped to analyze and manage 400 Burger King restaurants. It was Cain’s big break. The restaurants he oversaw posted significant gains over the next three years.
In a climate that was not always receptive and supporting Black people, Cain had the moxie to power his way to the top.
“People sometimes hold themselves back because they want to use racism as an excuse for them not being able to achieve what they want to achieve,” said Cain.
Moxie to the rescue
Cain’s skill earned him a promotion to CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, a struggling chain that had dropped from 3rd to 5th in its category. Cain engineered a turnaround that rapidly returned Godfather’s to profitability, then made his boldest move yet: he pulled together a group of investors and bought the chain from Pillsbury.
Here is a hilarious YouTube clip of Herman Cain as CEO of Godfather’s pizza, singing, “Imagine there’s no Pizza.”
He was also appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in 1991, where he remained until he resigned to pursue his own political ambitions.
His next move was to Washington DC as the head of the National Restaurant Association, where he lobbied successfully against minimum wage hikes and other initiatives that he saw as detrimental to restaurant owners. His work with the association brought him into the circles of politicians and power in DC, and he made the transition to public service and politics.
He became an adviser to Bob Dole’s campaign and served on other conservative boards and think tanks. He became a favorite among the emerging Tea Party wing of the Republican Party just as it was coming to power.
His proven business acumen gave him credibility, and his charisma got him attention and airtime. Cain spoke with authority and persuasiveness on the issues that mattered most to conservatives.
Moxie has a plan
It wasn’t long until Cain moved from advising candidates to being the candidate. He launched his own campaign for the 2012 election.
The centerpiece of his pitch was his “9–9–9” tax reform idea. Under his plan, the business would pay 9 percent in taxes, and individuals would pay 9 percent in taxes, and sales would be taxed at a rate of 9 percent.
Even though economists were skeptical about whether or not the plan would actually work, the plan caught the attention of potential voters due to its simplicity and Cain’s relentless championing.
Cain dropped out of the race in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal, but he never really dropped out of the public eye. He’s remained active in politics, most recently leading Black Voices for Trump.
Herman Cain’s Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Cain