I’m a 70-year-old white feminist liberal who would never vote for Herman Cain but I cannot silently watch him fall victim to the arrested development of the American public via the defamation of his character by the American news media.
Let’s get a few things straight: I do not endorse Herman Cain. I will not vote for Herman Cain. The thought that Americans would elect Herman Cain as the next U.S. President makes me glad to be 70 and not 17. And my opinion is strictly based on his policies and has nothing to do with the scandal he’s immersed in at the moment.
I am a product of the 60’s, just like a lot of hardcore GOP voters out there. The exception is that I remember what it was like back then. Herman Cain is being attacked for sexual harassment and lying to the public about it, and the media is portraying this as if it is something that Americans should be shocked about. But the only surprise I have towards the scandal is the notion that people over the age of 50—MY GENERATION—should be or would be shocked by the whole ordeal.
Really? Has the Internet made us so accustomed to instant information that we can no longer remember what happened just a few short years ago? At the same time Cain was trying to eat at the chef’s table Clinton was hiding cigars with Monica Lewinsky. While investigating Clinton’s affair, lead Republican of the investigation, Newt Gingrich, was himself having an affair with a staffer over 20 years younger than he was.
I’m not condoning Mr. Cain’s acts. But I’m not shocked by them either. In fact, I’m not even that shocked that most of America is making such a big fuss about it, because the truth is that America could care less! The news and media are the ones responsible for the scandal part of the scandal. Granted, Cain has yet to own up to it—he’s barely acknowledging it. But this is a perfect example of a tool that the politicians have been using for years: PERCEPTION IS REALITY.
When 40 different newscasters and commentators repeat the same information over and over throughout the day, throughout the week, using the same words, that information become implanted in our minds whether we realize it or not. It’s called “perception setting.” Have you ever noticed how certain phrases seem to pop up in every news report when a story drops? These information gateways are experts at crafting, delivering, and reiterating a message and making sure that you get that message and log it in your mind to serve as reference for when you have to develop an opinion or an attitude about the subject at a later date.
So I don’t think Herman Cain is being rightly treated in this matter. We live in a country where men of power use sex and, sometimes, women use sex for power. This behavior is older than mythology itself! In other countries, France for example, this kind of behavior wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow. But in America’s prudent and prurient society we have to once again use this as an opportunity to hold Mr. Cain, a presidential nominee, to a standard that we like to pretend we ourselves live by. Will we ever grow up and start to be honest?
Dr. Dorree Lynn, PhD, is a practicing psychologist and life coach with more than 40 years of experience. She is the founder of the website FiftyAndFurthermore.com, and is AARP’s Media “Sexpert” wit her own segment, “On the Couch” on AARP TV. Dr. Dorree’s latest book is Sex for Grownups: Dr. Dorree Reveals the Truths, Lies, and Must-Tries for Great Sex After 50. Facebook.com/DrDorreeLynn. Twitter.com/DrDorree