While many conservatives, including my co-blogger are enthusiastic about Herman Cain’s candidacy, I have some concerns which I expect to address in short order. Despite those concerns, I do appreciate that enthusiasm; the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO has been saying all the right things about big government and small business and saying them well.
Saying the right things, however, does not, in itself, guarantee that Cain, or any candidate for that matter, would make a good chief executive. And while he may have said the right things about free enterprise, he has not, alas, said the right things about gays.
In a blog post earlier today, our friend Chris Barron addressed those comments:
The bottom line is that Herman Cain’s personal position on whether being gay is a sin or a choice has no bearing on whether the policies he supports would be good for gay and lesbian Americans.
Chris, to be sure, makes an interesting point. Even so, I’m still not likely to back this businessman for the GOP nomination. That said, Chris is right to differentiate a politician’s personal positions from his public policy proposals.
If you believe, as I do, that social change comes not from government, but from the private sector (by which I mean not just private enterprise, but also other non-governmental institutions), you would want a leader who refuses, as apparently does Mr. Cain, to impose his personal beliefs on the rest of us.
We don’t expect government to make our lives better for us, but to leave us alone so that we, together with individuals and groups, with whom we choose to associate, can make it better on our own.