The Case for Carson
The buzz surrounding Dr. Ben Carson is loud and growing...but is it merited?
The Republican Party has been looking for its "Great Black Hope" since J.C. Watts almost twenty years ago. There are solid logical reasons why black America ought to reject the slavery of leftism: violent crime, social decay, broken educational systems, and limp economic growth all hurt blacks more than they hurt other Americans.
The black conservative movement has produced some significant spokesmen: Dr. Thomas Sowell may be the greatest social historian alive; Lynn Swan is among the greatest pass receivers in football history; Condi Rice is a brilliant academician with grace notes of musical brilliance; Herman Cain is a successful businessman who could speak clearly about the economic problems of America.
Black leftists, by contrast, tend to be like Obama: they owe everything to leftism and shrivel into insignificance without the artificial environment of the left's hothouse. These black Americans believe that the successful cannot have achieved anything through merit, because these propped up nabobs have achieved nothing themselves.
Inordinately, these black leftists, like all leftists, tend to be drawn from academia (where real merit is brutally punished, but groupthink is richly rewarded), from the legal system (where the more surreal the rhetoric, the more serious the attention) or from the hoary hosts of political insiders (which allow even the vainest mediocrities, like Al Gore, to be feted and flattered).
Benjamin Carson is almost the utter antithesis of these sorts. He has succeeded in a field in which only true intelligence, rigorous discipline, and the toughest work ethic matter. Perhaps no black conservative in America has his unique combination of talents and experience. When credibility with conservatives in America is vital to our success in future elections, Carson resembles another conservative who is rightly regarded as completely trustworthy: Senator Tom Coburn.
These physicians have no reason to sate their egos with political cosmetics; they have held human life in their hands and healed it. Carson, like Coburn, is a healer who holds deep religious convictions without appearing or sounding preachy or phony. Many conservatives would have loved to see Tom Coburn run for president. He won't -- Coburn is not really politically ambitious at all -- but Benjamin Carson offers all of the reassurance to conservatives that Coburn would offer.
Carson, like Coburn, is almost impossible to demonize. Recall that candidate Obama in early 2008 said:
The fact is, is that I'm also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate, who during his campaign once said that it might be appropriate to apply the death penalty to those who carried out abortions.
Gallup Polls show doctors among the most respected of all professions (70% approval), with only two more respected professions: nurses and pharmacists. For reference, lawyers come in at 19% approval and labor leaders at 18% -- the same class as business leaders (18% approval) and stockbrokers (12% approval).
Forbes actually showed doctors as more admired than nurses, with only firefighters more well-thought of by Americans. Angus Reid, conducting the same sort of study in Britain, found almost identical results. People trust doctors and others in the healing arts a great deal, and people view lawyers, labor and business leaders, politicians, and lobbyists as phonies seeking their own gain.
If Doctor Carson heard God's call to run for president -- and it would have to be that, I am certain, to move him -- then he will be an healer who has always been a healer, a man of faith whose life is a modern-day Horatio Alger story, running against the next boring, self-obsessed political insider in the Democrat Party to snatch the party's nomination from sibling sharks.
Very likely it would be a black Republican running against a white Democrat. It would be a true expert in health care detailing the failures of ObamaCare to a pompous policy wonk who doesn't live in the real world. It would be a patriot in love with America running against the latest leftist to snicker at the rubes of "Flyover Country."
Is Carson too old to serve two terms? He would be four years younger than Reagan when the Gipper won in 1980. Is there a downside to Benjamin Carson? It is the same downside that every strong conservative in America politics owns: the left will hate him. Carson, though, has learned to overcome bile and bigotry and rise above it all.
No, it appears, at least for now, that there is no downside at all to a candidate Carson or a President Carson. Everything in his life, including this last duty of honor to his country and his faith, has been real. He is, too.