When Herman “the Hermanator” Cain said two days ago that African-American voters vote overwhelmingly liberal due to “brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple,” he was stating a basic fact. Substitute “brainwashing” for “cultural conditioning” and he was describing how most of us are shaped by our native cultures, at least in our youth. There are specific reasons for African-American political allegiances that don’t apply to some of us, but we’re all “brought up” to think and vote in a certain way.

I was conditioned to be a liberal because of the left-liberal views of my parents and the left-liberal values of Westfield, New Jersey, and Wilton, Connecticut, where I was living when I figured out what my cutural and political values were. We’re all conditioned to think and assess the world as we were taught by our parents and our extended neighborhood family. It’s a rare bird who goes out into the world and makes his/her fortune and decides to think and vote in a radically different way than what he/she taught in his/her formative years.

That said, the Hermanator is dreaming if he thinks African Americans are going to leave the “liberal plantation,” as MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan crudely put it earlier today.