For those of you who have had the misfortune of not seeing one of the most trolled Facebook events of the 21st century, Herman Cain was brought to Northwestern by the College Republicans group on campus. Immediately after hearing of this news, a vivid array of hypothetical situations fluttered through my mind, namely the lofty goal of dressing up in a pizza costume and rushing the stage. There was never a shred of doubt that this event would be controversial, and there was only a minuscule shred of doubt that there would be a quote from the Pokemon movie; as I’ll explain later, that shred of doubt was unfounded.
Sadly, it wasn’t practical for me to violently pregame the event, thanks to midterms. So instead, I just walked over to Fisk 217, the lecture hall I’ve historically associated with a balding Dutch man speaking in a monotone voice about Cap and Trade theory (we love you, Professor Hendrik “Mr. Potato Head” Spruyt). As I sat down in my unnecessarily creaky seat, I was hit by a flash of genius: I should live-tweet a Herman Cain speech!
Regrettably, we were asked to turn off our phones before Mr. Cain took the stage, probably so they didn’t make noise when he sent dick pics to various young women in the audience. It was sad to see my live-tweeting dreams be crushed, but at least they weren’t crushed as aggressively as Herman Cain’s campaign was.
After a quick video was unsuccessfully featured (it froze halfway and people really just didn’t seem surprised), the Category 5 HermanCain took the stage to roaring applause. That was really awkward, because it indicated to me that I might be one of the only people who was coming to see Herman Cain ironically.
He started off his speech with some very rehearsed lines about dreams and success and other shit like that, which he performed as if it were a monologue from King Lear. He then moved on to recounting his career — this took about twenty minutes, and was basically him power-tripping about his success in turning a profit on some Burger King franchises in Philadelphia. He clearly doesn’t understand that we’re all well-acquainted with the most profitable Burger King location in the US, and couldn’t give two shits about any Burger King sites that aren’t automatically associated with the utmost drunken debauchery.
But things didn’t get really awkward until Cain starting discussing his actual politics. The intellectual tension in the room could be cut with a knife, as everyone seemed to realize simultaneously that Herman Cain knows jack shit about foreign policy. Among the most uncomfortable moments was when Cain proclaimed unequivocally that Germany lost World War II because they ran out of oil – a statement that, to his credit, probably goes over well with the semi-literate mountain people that attend Tea Party rallies. However, right as the words came out of his mouth, there was a quiet buzz around the room, as everyone turned to their neighbor and whispered something along the lines of “That’s completely fucking wrong.” He effectively dispelled any doubts of his knowledge by noticing this buzz and following up with, “Wait, am I thinking of the wrong war?”
At another point toward the end of his speech, he stated off-handedly that “the 9-9-9 tax plan will fix the economy.” He didn’t bother elaborating on this whatsoever, but instead directed us to his website where, in his words, “there’s a five-minute video about it.” We were all super convinced, and I’m definitely writing in Cain 2012.
Perhaps the most uneasy moment of the speech was when he talked about energy dependence, and loudly voiced his opinions that we shouldn’t be so reliant upon the “sheiks, shakes, and shikes” of the Middle East. Following this statement, I viciously pinched my arm 1o to 12 times, convinced that this was actually just one of my many fucked-up dreams. It wasn’t.
And then he closed with what we now know to be his favorite Pokemon quote. Honestly, at this point I was in so much disbelief that I was temporarily paralyzed. Like, I couldn’t actually move, I was just so transfixed by Herman Cain’s complete absurdity.
I didn’t stay for questions.