Who is Dr. Ben Carson, and what characteristics would he bring to the presidency?
While the foremost pediatric neurosurgeon in America, if not the world, is certifiably smart, wise, and well-versed in dealing with people and their problems, perhaps the word that best describes him is “humble.”
It would be easy for a man as accomplished as Dr. Carson is to become arrogant and selfish, in love with his words and himself—oh, wait. That guy already is president.
Dr. Ben Carson–who has every right to consider himself a cut above the rest of us poor mortals who have never held a human organ in our hands, knowing we had the power of life and death (Planned Parenthood ghouls excepted)—instead has an old-fashioned theological understanding of his own common humanity, a profound humility that comes through in everything he says and does.
Dr. Carson is no stranger to public and persuasive speaking. Long before the Obama White House made the foolish choice to put their guy next to a man whose intellectual shoes he is not fit to tie, Carson was well known to Christians, conservatives, and African-Americans. A popular choice as an after-dinner speaker, Carson has already been all over the country, telling his profoundly American personal story and giving his deeply moving testimony. Unlike most of the rest of the presidential contenders, Carson’s life has already been made into a book and movie—and, unlike Hillary Clinton, the movie made about him was quite flattering.
True, he has not been in politics before. But, ask yourself—considering the people we’ve had as president up to now, how important is that? Wouldn’t it be grand to have someone in office whose political experience was mostly voting and doing good work? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to elect someone who hasn’t spent every waking moment since he was three figuring the angles and cultivating the relationships that would make him president?
Now, some might fear that Dr. Carson may be unfamiliar with the niceties of governance, the do’s and don’ts of federalism, branches of government, how a bill becomes law. Then, again, we have an astonishing six years already behind us with a president who claimed to know all these things, yet has chosen to break the law at every turn, under the pretense that Executive power trumps all.
Dr. Carson poses no such danger. One need only listen to him through a few speeches, or read his book, to realize he has a grasp of the Constitution and the functions of government that surpasses most sitting Congressmen and Senators. They get the process, but not the point. They may know Robert’s Rules of Order—but are clueless as to what they can, and should, do about executive orders.
Carson understands the limits on the presidency afforded by the Constitution. Perhaps because he is not a lawyer, trained in the fine art of evading the truth and stretching loopholes to accommodate otherwise inappropriate acts, Carson sees the powers of the presidency through the same lens the Framers did. Because he was interested in them, he studied them. Because he studied them, he understands them. Unlike most contemporary politicians, who study the Founders only long enough to find what they want in the text, Carson has read them, and read about them, without an axe to grind. He just wanted to know what they thought.
As a doctor, he may be second only to Bobby Jindal (a health policy expert, having both administered it in the real world, and written his thesis on it at Oxford) in his understanding of the complex ways in which Obamacare is likely to turn our world upside down. Unlike most sitting Republicans, Carson has concrete ideas as to what Obamacare could be replaced with—which starts with a self-funded Health Savings Account for everyone, into which anyone could contribute from the moment a baby is born.
It’s bold, pragmatic, outside-the-box thinking. And it has nothing to do with being a Democrat or a Republican.
The American people are tired of people who spend two years gathering money in order to spend another two years slashing and burning everyone in their way. We are sick of voting for people who fall into the Washington swamp and become stuck in the mire of an endless variety of corruptions. Ben Carson has had his life. He has completed his good career. Anything he does from now on is a service to the nation, not a way to get into our pockets to fund his golf games, his family vacations, and his expensive curiosity about the rest of the world.
He has done well on the stump—not surprising, since he was already a public speaker. And, though he was virtually ignored for at least half of the all-important First Republican Primary Debate on Fox News Which Was The Most Important Television Event of All Time, what he did say was smart and pithy and resonated with voters. After the debate, his numbers immediately went up, and they have continued to trend upward; at this point he consistently appears in the top five in both national and state-by-state polls (which would be unimpressive if there weren’t sixteen other candidates).
He’s a good man that has excelled at everything he’s done. The truth is he may be a candidate that we are not worthy of.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed[.]”–Declaration of Independence, 1776.