I first heard about Mr. Cain after someone accused him of being a paid schill for the tea party, to which he responded "Well, they must be missing some payments!". I decided to get a quick read on the guy after hearing two other sound bites, one in which Cain described his 999 plan, and another where he defended his statement that under Obama-care he'd have died during his bout with colon/liver cancer.
I went to Herman Cain's campaign site and paged through his "Issues", before checking out his 999 Plan page. Now, I happen to think that the "Fair Tax" idea has quite a bit of merit, and deserved to be thoroughly discussed and considered.
I was very disappointed when I arrived at the 999 Plan description page. I'm saving a copy of the page, so that I can see if they change it in the future, but it was so bad, I wrote them a letter urging them to shape it up. Here is the letter in its entirety.
To the Herman Cain campaign,
I am very impressed with Herman Cain as a candidate and with the ideas on which he has built his political platform.
However, the Herman Cain website (especially the 999 plan page) lacks good organization and editing in the writing. For Herman Cain to get the recognition that he will need to be successful in a bid for the presidency, his ideas, especially the trademark of his candidacy, must be clearly written, accessible, and detailed enough to be analyzed for their value.
I came to this website to learn about the 999 plan that Mr. Cain proposes, and determine if the plan has substance and merit. I was very disheartened with what I found.
The entire page reads more as a collection of notes, or as an outline for a speech. While an outline of the plan is helpful, without substance and organization it is little better than an ineffective cross between a speech outline and a snake-oil sales pitch.
I am left without a clear, detailed picture of what the 999 plan entails, and with little way to judge its value. In addition to problems with page's overall organization and lack of vital content, the writing contains several grammatical errors and confusing, unclear sentences.
For example, in "Phase 2 - The Fair Tax":
"The Fair Tax makes our exported goods and services the most competitively internationally than any other tax system."
The idea is correct, but unclear. It would read more clearly as "The Fair Tax will make US goods and services more internationally competitive than any alternative tax systems, including our current one."
The importance of a well organized and clear website can not be understated, and the quality of writing within is just as important to Mr. Cain's long-term success as his appearances and media exposure. A candidate's website explains in further detail their stance on important issues and defines their platform, expanding and clarifying what is heard in sound bites. This is the deciding factor for many voters. In short, Mr. Cain's appearances and sound bites bring many voters here, where their support is won or lost.
Don't let this campaign be derailed by shoddy writing.
I offer my best wishes for the Cain candidacy. Please accept my criticism, and use it as I intend, which is to aid in advancing Mr. Cain's chances as a Presidential candidate.
I'm not sure why it bothered me so much to read through this plan. I think its because there are a lot of good things that should be said about the plan, and the candidate, but the presentation of both leaves Mr. Cain looking unprepared, unprofessional, and unelectable.