The OG, Herman Cain himself

Herman Cain was one of a handful of prominent Black conservatives riding that juicy grift for years. In 2011, he ran for president riding some measure of popularity among Tea Party activists. (Wikipedia tells me he also ran in 2000, which I don’t recall, and clearly had zero impact on the race.) He actually had some traction in 2012, winning straw polls in Florida and at the National Federation of Republican Women conference. However, his campaign came to a screeching halt when credible allegations of sexual harassment surfaced. This was at a time, apparently, when that kind of thing still mattered to Republicans. Or at least, it did if that Republican was Black. 

As birds of a feather flock together, Cain ended up with another serial sexual harasser, Donald Trump, and was an avid supporter as co-chairman of Black Voices for Trump. Let’s pick up in 2020. 


The “Wuhan Flu” doesn’t exist, which is a #plandemic, and anything that says otherwise is “Fake News.” 

No wonder Trump loved him so much. 


Trump insisted on doing this Tulsa rally despite being in the middle of a deadly global pandemic with no vaccine in sight. That rally was a hilarious bust, a total humiliation for Trump. But Cain wasn’t going to let reality get in the way of his enthusiasm for the event. Trump sure as hell didn’t care about anyone’s safety:

Karl notes that Trump was positively giddy in the days leading up to the rally, especially after Parscale notified him that they’d passed the 1 million ticket threshold. The dire warnings from Oklahoma’s public health officials that the rally would worsen the pandemic in their state naturally failed to penetrate Trump’s Macy’s parade balloon of an ego.

In fact, asked about the possibility that his rally could turn into a superspreader event, Trump had a characteristically sociopathic response: “As you probably have heard, and we’re getting exact numbers out, but we’re either close to or over one million people wanting to go. Nobody has ever heard of numbers like this. I think we’re going to have a great time.”

About 6,200 people ended up showing up. The overflow areas and big screens set up outside were broken down before Trump even took the stage. 


Can you hear the theme to Jaws in the background? 


Twelve days later, Cain’s people admitted that their guy was in the hospital battling COVID. 


We got repeated “he’s doing better!” tweets over the following four weeks, followed by the kind of silent stretches that makes you think, “Oh, he pulled through” (like happened with Chris Christie). Instead, COVID, which is a virus that actually does exist, won the round. 


There’s another reason his name has lived on in infamy.

Then a bizarre thing happened: His staffers kept posting from the Herman Cain twitter account, calling themselves “The Cain Gang.” So you had this bizarre and creepy situation where a dead man seemingly kept tweeting. 

And then, THIS tweet: 


The gasps of disbelief could be heard all across Twitter. 


Cain was the first high-profile COVID-denier to die of the disease, but it didn’t give Republicans pause. They didn’t suddenly take masking seriously. Trump didn’t stop doing dangerous and irresponsible superspreader rallies ahead of the 2020 election. Instead, they doubled down. Maybe things would’ve been different if a WHITE prominent Republican had been felled by the virus instead. Or if Donald Trump himself hadn’t survived his COVID hospitalization. As is, Cain barely registered in the broader COVID debate, a mere blip that conservatives conveniently swatted aside. 

Their use for him and his “Black voices for Trump” negated, he was quickly forgotten.

More of the story here. 

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