Even if you're no fan of Donald Trump or Herman Cain, it's distasteful to immediately pounce on Cain's death to lob partisan talking points.
Herman Cain has died after a long battle with Covid-19. An update to his website confirmed the reports on Thursday:
You’re never ready for the kind of news we are grappling with this morning… Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away.
The 74-year-old businessman, conservative activist, and syndicated talk radio host was a sort of proto-Trump candidate in the 2012 GOP presidential primary.
His impolitic antics and simple messaging delighted voters and befuddled the pundits. Like the sitting president, Herman Cain had a knack for stirring viral headlines. Years before his death, Cain was one of the first politicians to become a living meme.
His passing in the hyper-partisan age of Trump and Covid-19 unleashed a slew of disdainful jeers on social media.
In death, Herman Cain is just another pawn in a Twitter flame war for too many armchair social activists and political commentators.
There wasn’t even a moment of silence for the passing of a public figure. The masses of social media users couldn’t even pause to say something nice about someone who had just died, or nothing at all.
The ostensible purpose of using Herman Cain as an example in the tense Covid-19 policy debate is to prevent more death. Those making these arguments today don’t take death seriously enough to allow the people who knew and admired Herman Cain to grieve.
They didn’t have a minute, much less the time to put him in the ground, to process what happened and commiserate together.
This is the time of mourning for all of those who care about a man who just died. And anti-Trump, hashtag Resistance types on Twitter are using his death as fodder for like and retweet bait.
We’ve seen this before. Earlier this year, when Kobe Bryant died, Abigail Disney and one Washington Post reporter couldn’t help interrupting the social media memorial to shout “rapist” at Kobe’s Twitter funeral. That was before he was even buried.
This is yet another ugly revelation of just how cruel and insensitive people can be when armed with a keyboard. It’s part and parcel of the race to the bottom of decency and decorum that President Trump himself accelerated with his rise to power in 2016.
The ones screaming loudest against Trump are acting just like the man they love to hate by commoditizing Herman Cain’s death into a talking point.
Remember how Trump reacted when he heard Sen. Mitt Romney was in isolation on concerns of coronavirus exposure?
Romney’s in isolation? Gee, that’s too bad!
The ones who hate Trump the most have stooped to his level by using Herman Cain to take cheap shots at the hour of his death.
Even when his GOP nemesis John McCain passed, Trump had the decency to express his condolences. He then remained silent during McCain’s funeral, even as mourners used the event to bash the usually thin-skinned president.
And he left the White House flag at half-mast for two days after the Arizona senator had passed. It wasn’t until seven months had gone by that Trump permitted himself to resume his feud with the McCain faction.
Before this self-glorified, malcontent era in our history, there used to be well-observed conventions about how to behave when someone dies.
Whatever our disagreements, whatever our political agendas: We considered someone’s death a time to call a truce and allow others the space to mourn their dead.
RIP, Herman Cain.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
Last modified: September 23, 2020 2:09 PM