Ben Carson, the new hero of the Right

Ben Carson, pediatric neurosurgeon

Just a little over a month ago, pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson stood at the national prayer breakfast getting ready to deliver his keynote address. Ben Carson is probably the most famous surgeon in the United States. Doctor Carson gained national notoriety back in the mid-1980s when he separated conjoined twins who were joined at the head. It was a 22-hour operation. Since then, he has written many books and even started his own foundation. On February 7, 2013, he became a darling of the Right. He attacked Obama’s healthcare plan. (It really wasn’t his plan, but was more an amorphous piece of legislation that he signed.) He attacked taxes on the rich. He also attacked political correctness. The right wing went wild. Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked Doctor Carson if he would run for president because Hannity would vote for him “in a heartbeat.”

I have no idea if Ben Carson is interested in running for president. I have no idea whether he is interested in a career in politics. I do know that the political landscape is a pit filled with landmines. Although you can get attention by speaking out, nobody in this country really wants to do anything. Sure, people say they want to do X or Y but when you actually propose the ideas they don’t want to get it done. Getting things done in this country requires finesse. As I mentioned last week, we are an oppositional society. We will oppose almost anything. We love clean air and clean water but we oppose any legislation that is designed to achieve those goals.

Ben Carson got himself into some trouble.

From TPM:

Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, on Tuesday called hetero-sexual marriage “a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality — it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition.”

Students at Johns Hopkins have since circulated a petition to replace Carson, who’s retiring this year, as the university’s commencement speaker. He told Mitchell that he’s willing to honor those students’ wishes.

The only advice that I have for Doctor Carson is that it is very easy to give a speech to a small room of like-minded individuals. It is even pretty easy to give a speech to a large room of like-minded individuals. It is really difficult to give a speech to America. Somebody is going to be offended. Somebody is going to take that offense to their core. Whether it is Mitt Romney with his 47% comment or Barack Obama with his cling to their guns comment, right now it is difficult to find consensus on almost any subject in the United States. Even if you have an “overwhelming” majority, that means 70% of Americans agree with you. It also means that 30% of Americans disagree with you. That is somewhere over 90 million Americans. That’s a lot of people.

All I can do is wish Doctor Ben Carson well in his future endeavors.

7 Responses

  1. Sure it’s easy to preach to the choir, it’s to the Gentiles, non-believing Jews and worse; the Pharisees and the Sadducees that it is hard to preach to. Because they don’t believe what you’re selling and are of the hardened hearts (or is that term reserved for those of us in the middle and leaning toward the conservative?). When did it become wrong for the average American to have their own opinion and not baa like the rest of the PC sheep. Last time I looked it was still ok to voice an opinion whether it agreed to what everyone else believed or not. Don’t believe me? Look at radical Muslims in this country, look at a certain rally in Memphis TN this weekend. Believe it or not its not just the radicals who get to voice their opinions.

  2. Mo Rage I would remind you that the Right has been looking for the anti-Obama since somewhere around 2006. They trotted out Michael Steele. That didn’t quite work out. They tried to polish off JC Watts. That didn’t quite work out either. They really thought they had something with Allen West. A war hero. A true conservative. That didn’t really work out either. They would love Ben Carson to work out.
    thanks for your comments.

  3. ecthompsonmd Mo Rage   You’re welcome, of course, and we all totally remember all these men–and their fates.
    The thing is, it seems the Republicans are seemingly clearly trying to get a token black conservative and it just keeps not working out. It’s pretty desperate and pathetic, it seems.
    I would respect Dr. Carson if his opinions weren’t so mistaken.
    Mo Rage, the blog

  4. Mo Rage ecthompsonmd Thanks for your thoughtful comments. 
    We need leaders that understand progressive ideals and truly push a progressive agenda.

  5. ecthompsonmd Mo Rage    I couldn’t agree more. An agenda for people and the people, the working people and far less exclusively for the wealthy and corporations.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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