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by Jesse T. Mims, ©2014

Photo of Dr. Ben Carson by Gage Skidmore

(Feb. 19, 2014) — There has been quite a bit of general discussion this past year among many Republicans and Democrats about the possibility of Dr. Carson running for president in 2016. I think it’s safe to say most conservatives believe, largely based on media reports of his National Prayer Breakfast “truth to power” speech, that he would make an acceptable president, if not the best of all the potential choices.

During the last few months, the talk of a 2016 Carson bid for the presidency has turned into a full-court press by some who are saying he is just what America needs; but, having been born an analytical Sagittarius with a (usually) healthy dose of skepticism, I still see gaps in the story that need to be filled before jumping on the Carson For President Bandwagon. When I started researching to see what I could learn, the more I dug, the more questions I found; and soon, that began to seem all too familiar. Not of Obama-like proportions, of course; but, on a smaller scale there’s a similar pattern of unanswered questions that too many people seem to be either overlooking or trying to ignore.

The truth is, once again the usual talking heads of the Boob Toob, aka TV, are repeatedly telling us the few things they want us to know; this time, about Carson. But, they’re not telling us everything we need to know in order to make intelligent decisions about things of immense importance such as whether or not we should consider Carson to be the best person for the job of president. Almost everything we know about him has been fed to us by the media, and most of that is based on his few politically-oriented comments in his approximately 28-minute speech in February 2013 at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Almost entirely because of that media coverage alone, a person who at least 90% of America’s population probably never even heard of prior to one year ago this month, is now considered by many as the perfect candidate to solve most of this country’s problems. That strikes me as even more amazing than Obama’s seemingly, at the time, meteoric rise to fame. The similarity is also more than a little worrisome to me.

While much of his speech was more inspirational than political, even a relatively slow speaker like Carson can say a lot in 28 minutes; but, oddly enough, out of that entire speech, there were only a few isolated comments that could be turned into conservative sound bytes. Truth be told, of the portion of his speech that was of a political nature, much would be considered more liberal than conservative. Surprisingly, or perhaps not… the more liberal of those comments have gotten little coverage even from the most left-leaning media. In order to start filling in the gaps, I think we first need to take a closer look at some of the points Carson made that have gotten comparatively little media attention.

For example, he said, “We spend a lot of money on health care, twice as much per capita as anyone else in the world, and yet not very efficient. What can we do? Here’s my solution. When a person is born, give them a birth certificate, an electronic medical record and a health savings account [HSA] to which money can be contributed pre-tax from the time you’re born to the time you die.”

Carson went on to say that HSAs could be passed on to surviving family members, so “there’s nobody talking about death panels,” in an obvious reference to the controversial “death panels” discussed during negotiations and after passage of the ACA.

Regarding those who cannot afford health insurance, Carson suggested, “We can make contributions to their HSA each month,” he said, adding, “we already have this huge pot of money; instead of sending it to some bureaucracy let’s put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care.”

[The above, beginning immediately after, “For example, he said,” is quoted here but originated from Carson’s speech, as can be watched at the link provided below.]

Most conservatives understand that many of the problems inherent in the nation’s health care industry such as costly insurance premiums could be cured fairly easily by allowing insurance providers to compete across state lines. But Carson clearly takes a much more costly and complicated approach.

Let’s look a little closer at some of the words he used to describe his solution…

…electronic medical records…

…pre-tax contributions from the time you’re born to the time you die…

…we already have this huge pot of money…

I don’t know about you, but my conservative mind is reviewing those words and going…

Hummmm… Doesn’t “electronic medical records” mean “computerized record-keeping?” As in “ObamaCare”… along with which its required computerized record-keeping we conservatives have been discussing the dangers of since the advent of the ACA?

Hummmm… Isn’t “from the time you’re born to the time you die” the same as that old “cradle-to-grave” thing liberals have been trying to force upon us in order to further control us since the whole Democrat/liberal/progressive/Socialist/Communist progression began more than a half-century ago?

Hummmm… Exactly who is the “we” who has that “huge pot of money?” Certainly not the taxpayer; not anymore, anyway. But we DID have it before politicians forced us to give it to the government.

If I had not watched the video and personally heard those words coming out of Carson’s mouth, I would swear they had been spoken by some hardcore liberal like Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.

When he says, “What can we do? Here’s my solution,” I can guarantee he’s talking bigger government, more federal programs, more spending, and more of our money being taken to pay for it all.

I can guarantee when he says, “We can make contributions to their HSA each month” from “from the time you’re born,” the “we” he speaks of is not him and his medical profession colleagues.

When he says, “Now they have some control over their own health care,” I can guarantee “they” will have less control over “their” lives because, due to all the computerized record-keeping, the government will know as much about “them” as “they” do; and, we have learned that what the government knows, it will use to control us.

Carson’s “solution” may be the epitome of compassion, and it may SEEM somewhat better than ObamaCare. But, little of it can be said to have been born of the conservative ideology I’m familiar with. Indeed, it sounds exactly like the same old liberalism we conservatives have been battling for longer than many Americans can remember!

Well, I have an even better solution… How about we just not send so darned much of our money to Washington to begin with for politicians to steal or spend on never-ending unconstitutional programs, and then send money back to us they had to borrow from China, the interest on which we’re already never going to be able to repay!

A lot of things Carson has said have been overlooked or glossed over quickly without explaining what he really means. He has said, “I don’t want to sit here and say all of his (Obama’s) policies are bad.”

See http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/02/dr-ben-carson-for-president-ill-leave-that-up-to-god/

I would like to ask him exactly which policies of Obama’s he thinks are NOT bad. Personally, I cannot think of a single one.  I think that would be a great question for some Fox News reporter to ask Carson, but that’s not going to happen.

I would also like very much to know a little more about Carson’s father, Robert Solomon Carson. Does anyone know if he was a U.S. citizen when his son Ben was born? Does anyone else even care…. Sorry if I seem a little testy… Obama and the seemingly unending stream of constitutionally-ineligible Republicans have inflicted me with a chronic case of skepticism about such matters.

I would also note that Carson was raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist and that he and his wife are still members of that church. For those with the words “religious bigot” on the tip of their tongue ready to be spat at me, let me make it clear that I’m perfectly aware religious preference is not one of the constitutional requirements for the presidency. However, I believe it is legitimate to ask whether or not that church’s views on pacifism/passivism might cause a member to be confused about the Second Amendment. It’s not the religion I’m concerned about; it’s the confusion about our right to keep and bear arms. There is at least one member, Chad Stuart, a “Christian, husband, father, and Seventh-day Adventist Minister,” who believes “the right of the 2nd Amendment, at least as it reads, was put in place in direct conjunction to ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…’ and no other reason.” Pastor Stuart, Carson’s fellow member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, is obviously confused and admits he’s “struggling with the 2nd Amendment.”

See http://www.chadnstuart.com/2013/04/questions-on-the-2nd-amendment/

Carson also seems to be struggling with that same amendment… Coincidence?

By the way… How many know his appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast was the second time Carson was the main speaker at that event? Not many, probably, but, it was. He was given the same honor in 1997 during the Clinton administration. I bet even fewer people have heard his first speech there. Actually, that’s not quite true. Anyone who heard his second one has also heard a large portion of his first one. Much of the second was pretty-much an almost verbatim repeat of the first. About the only difference was the remarks he made relative to Obama’s policies that made him famous overnight. Well, that and an impressively speedy recital of how the brain, muscles, and nerves all work together to allow his audience to raise their hand in response to the question he had just asked. That alone has enough entertainment value to make watching his first speech well worth the time.

I located and listened to both speeches last week. If anything, his 1997 speech was even more enjoyable and possibly even more inspirational than his second one. If anyone is interested, links to both are posted below. In my opinion, they are both well worth taking the time to watch.

1997: http://www.c-span.org/video/?78669-1/national-prayer-breakfast
2013: http://www.examiner.com/article/watch-dr-benjamin-carson-wow-the-national-prayer-breakfast-video-included

Interestingly, Carson is one of the few people, if not the only one, who has ever manged to score the main speaker position twice at the National Prayer Breakfast. Both times were during the administrations of one of the most liberal presidents America has ever had (usurper in the case of Obama…). Both men tried to “fundamentally transform America” and did much harm to the country in the process. The tenure of both were/have been riddled with unconstitutional acts, scandals, and much-too-believable rumors of mysterious deaths and threats made to anyone who opposed them. It is clear there was more than enough reason to reprimand both. But, oddly enough, the person who spoke in front of both for approximately 28 to 45 minutes each managed to find significant fault only with the latter, Obama. Is it possible Carson feared Clinton more than Obama?

I don’t know. I would like to; but, I don’t… I would also like to know how Carson manged to be invited to be the main speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast twice and why he used the same speech almost verbatim both times except when he chose to reprimand Obama. Was the decision to invite him a last-minute one, causing him to not have time to prepare a fresh speech? Was he instructed to just say pretty-much anything as long as he got in enough hits on Obama to bring attention to himself?

Did anyone know Carson retired as a surgeon in 2013? Well, he did… effective in July.

The National Prayer breakfast was held in February of 2013. Had he already planned to retire before he spoke there? If so, had he already also planned to run for president in 2016? If so, did he hope his almost duplicate speech except for that part wherein he castigated Obama would serve as a kickoff to his presidential campaign? If so, who chose him to be the speaker and are they part of a plan to put Carson into the White House in 2016?

It’s a rare honor to be invited to be the main National Prayer Breakfast speaker ONE time; and, even more so, a second time. Is it just a coincidence that the second time he was invited was when he would be speaking before Obama, which gave him the perfect opportunity to “speak truth to power,” resulting in his getting millions of dollars’ worth of free promotion from both the liberal and conservative media, which just happened to cause millions of conservatives to drool over the prospects of his running for president in 2016, which just so happened to closely coincide with his decision to retire from his highly successful medical practice?

He has said he is not a member of any political party and makes sure he does not appear too interested when asked about the possibility of a run for the presidency; yet, on page 34 of his book, “America the Beautiful,” he says, “I believe it is a very good idea for physicians, scientists, engineers, and others trained to make decisions based on facts and empirical data to get involved in the political arena and help guide our country.” Also, from page 35, he says of physicians, “…we should be concerned not only about the health of individual patients, but also about the health of our entire society.”

While his claimed non-affiliation with any party could be either good or bad, can we afford to assume that if and when he became president, he would really be as conservative as he has made himself appear? Has there ever been any real evidence before he made his now famous (almost duplicate) speech, that he’s a true conservative? Enough to offset the blatantly liberal comments in his speech?

His apparent position on the Second Amendment is certainly not that of a true conservative.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/03/04/dr_benjamin_carson_on_gun_control_it_depends_on_where_you_live.html

Glenn Beck asked him the direct, straightforward question, “Do I have a right to own a semi-automatic rifle?”

Carson gave a direct, straightforward answer:  “It depends on where you live.”

But, then in an effort to clarify, he added, “I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people and I’m afraid that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it. If you live out in the country somewhere by yourself, I have no problem…”

Well, I DO have a problem. It makes no difference what your reason is for believing a person’s right to keep and bear certain types of arms depends on where you live; if you believe that, you don’t understand the Second Amendment.

His clarification only made his initial answer worse, because it solidified his belief that a person’s right to own certain perfectly constitutionally-legal weapons depends on where he lives. Never mind that the particular places he thinks those weapons should be banned are among the most dangerous for unarmed, law-abiding citizens.

He has also indicated he believes Affirmative Action was necessary “because many in the majority society had grave doubts about the intellectual capabilities of minorities.”

See http://www.newsmax.com/armstrongwilliams/retire-carson-affirmative-action/2013/07/01/id/512786

How much do we REALLY know about him? I don’t think we know nearly enough to be promoting him as a presidential candidate…

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I think we need to find out all we can about anyone with presidential aspirations before investing too much into promoting them for that office.

The main purpose of the above is to emphasize just how little we actually know about this man most of us had never heard of before he suddenly got almost weekly, if not daily coverage, immediately after his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. I would also hope it encourages more people to ask questions about every potential candidate. But I also believe these particular questions are perfectly legitimate in regard to Carson and should be answered. If very many of them continue to remain unanswered, I am of the opinion that we do not know enough to safely put this man into the Oval Office.

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  1. Thank you. I am of the same opinion, “we do not know enough.” However, you may need to send this article to the “Tea Party” since I received a flyer from them asking “Run Ben Run”

    Where oh where has DISCERNMENT gone!? I would venture to say the same way “Critical Thinking” went.