American Culture

Ben Carson: the GOP’s great black hope

It’s logical in its own crazy racist way. The Democrats won the White House with a black candidate, so the GOP has decided they need their own black candidate. And now the GOP has the next great black hope.

It’s a forum that isn’t known for making news – so Dr. Ben Carson says the buzz created by his speech at last week’s National Prayer Breakfast, including a Wall Street Journal staff editorial with the headline “Ben Carson For President” – came as a surprise.

“I don’t think it was particularly political,” Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, told ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl during an interview for ” This Week.” “You know, I’m a physician. I like to diagnose things. And, you know, I’ve diagnosed some pretty, pretty significant issues that I think a lot of people resonate with.”

With an audience that included President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Carson spoke out about political correctness, health care and taxes at the breakfast. In his roughly 23-minute address, Carson called for a private health care savings plan and a flat tax for all Americans. His address has since gone viral, racking up more than two million views on YouTube.

The speech isn’t Carson’s first foray into national politics. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded the successful brain surgeon the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Of course it won’t work.

Not because there aren’t plenty of black crackpots out there that will fit right in with the crazies in the Republican Party. Rich, entitled black people don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes either. Religious zealotry and superstition are just as virulent in black circles or white. Black people also stockpile enough guns to fight a small war. There are plenty of black bigots out there, too, and plenty of blacks willing to sell out to get ahead. That’s absolutely great–it is a sign of a healthy democracy to have a range of views in every sub-population, and a range of people associated with every view.

The problem of course is that the Republicans are not really looking for a black candidate, they’re looking for a shill for bad policies. They’re looking for a puppet who will stand at the podium with a Koch brother hand up his ass. So on goes the search for someone to stand up there and look black (Herman Cain) or brown (Mario Rubio) but espouse the policies of old, white men. It’s not the man behind the microphone, guys, it’s the message.

And what of the sensation of the moment, Ben Carson? He will fade away like all the black tokens, either unable to stand up under the withering scrutiny of big time politics (Herman Cain) or unable to handle real debate (Alan Keyes) or unwilling to stick to the script (Michael Steele.)

14 replies »

  1. Ben Carson is a lot brighter than this pseudo-confident journalist understands. Ideology plus solutions in a forum of open dialogue creates confidence. Add vision and smarts and you can make up for the cliche argument that he has no experience. Do a historical study of the great American politicians that were chosen with no experience and you will find that many were visionary pioneers of positive leadership. What have the “experienced” politicians done for us lately?

  2. My comments were addressing the last paragraph in particular and not really the whole article. There certainly isn’t a monopoly of brilliant political foresite encased in the minds of the seasoned veterans of Washington’s political circus. New straight forward thoughts that offer solutions based on sound principles that aren’t smothered by political correctness just makes sense. It’s about time a respected public figure is not afraid to call the king naked. Well done Dr. Ben Carson! Keep your phone handy. You may need to make a White House call doctor!

  3. Perhaps the greatness of Dr Ben Carson is that he may evolve to be a true statesman who not only happens to be black but has an uncompromising character in sync with a sound belief system.

  4. This post is really more about the GOP than Dr. Ben. Will he be a successful politician? It’s pretty unlikely. He has no experience and every other token put forward by the GOP has been a conniving buffoon, so there’s reason to suspect he’s just the latest in a line of jokes. But he is an unknown, and neither I (nor you) know how good he might be. You’re calling him great because he’s a successful black who prays. When you talk about values and sound beliefs, that’s it, he’s a Christian. We had a president who believed that prayer was a substitute for intellignence, W, and that didn’t work out too well, now did it?

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter a lick. If he’s the greatest statesman since Lincoln, the cleverest politician since LBJ, the most noble leader since Washington, it doesn’t matter. Because the GOP is peddling shit, and having the best salesman in the world doesn’t make it not-shit.

    • Is he just the latest knight on a white horse or is Dr.Ben the start of a new phenominum; it is still too early to know;

      • White horse? You’re joking, right.

        It’s phenomenom, I think, but I should probably look it up as well.

    • You seem to know nothing about Dr. Ben Carson. I’m as Black & as anti-Republican & anti-Conservative as they come. But before the Republican Party shot themselves in the foot and became, not just a scourge but eventually a joke, they were out smarting the Dems at every turn. Now look at Jesse Jackson Jr., there’s a joke we didn’t need. We’ve got to give Ben Carson a chance to articulate his arguments and decide if he truly is on our side. Don’t down the man because he’s on Fox..although I wouldn’t be caught dead talking to the likes of Shawn Hannity, look at what he does for us then make your judgements. Most of all be an independent mind!

      • Miguel

        There are fools and knaves on both sides and of all colors. For every Sanford, there’s a Greavey. The difference is when it comes to people of color, the GOP so far has only put forward fools and knaves. Yes, the Dems have given us Jesse, Junior, but they’ve also given us Obama. The GOP has given us no one but clowns–Watts, Thomas, Rice, Steele, Keyes, Rubio, Cain, etc. If there are any intelligent and principled Republicans of color (or women or gay,) then they need to step forward and wrest the microphone away from these goofballs. Might Carson be the guy? He might–we don’t know yet, but the fact that the GOP likes him and he is willing to go on Fox means probably not.


  5. To see what a rational black republican/conservative looks like, I would submit the name of Colin Powell. What exactly happened to him? Why isn’t the GOP peddling him now? I honestly do not know (I stopped following what he said after his famous speech at the UN where he described flight duration as being the same as flight range) but I suspect the reason he is not headlining their banner is the same reason why most of their current “leaders” sound bat-shit crazy.

  6. Don’t forget, the GOP gave us Colin Powell also. A well respected and intelligent man of color who has refused to be in lock step with a self destructive devisive party, which has zero clues aout how to meaningfully attrack any citizens who would dare be independent thinkers. Colin Powell, among others, who finally decided not to tow the conservative, rightwing line, has been labeled a RINO and disgarded like last week’s trash. Ben Carson will remain there great black hope as long as he does not miss a step. In a sense, to remain in the good graces of the GOP and their shot callers, one must be willing to sell their souls to that devil, called the Right wing extremist.