Bronze-level articleBen Carson

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Carson meditating in New Hampshire, 2015.
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Donald Trump, for all of his bluster, is at least authentically stupid... All these other guys are clown posers. Trump is the genuine article. And, God help me, I think I’d rather have him sitting in the Oval Office, getting stupidly out-maneuvered by the politicians under him, than bringing in a guy like Carson who is willing to shred every last bit of his intellectual credibility in order to lord over a citizenry he doesn’t seem to have much respect for.
—Drew Magary[1]

Dr. Benjamin Solomon "These Hands"[2] Carson, Sr. (born 1951) is a retired American pediatric neurosurgeon who was a 2016 presidential candidate. When he was a practicing physician, Carson inventing techniques that had previously been thought impossible (such as being the first to separate twins conjoined at the head). Candidate Carson, on the other hand, had a yen for incredibly stupid pronouncements, some of which contradicted science at the base of the medicine he practiced. He's retired. What the hell else is he going to do? Before he decided to run for president, he considered taking up organ lessons. Not human organs. The pipe organ.[3]

It's impossible to narrow it down to a single moment, because the man was the complete package. His general sleepiness and aloofness. Getting lodged in the debate entry tunnel like a deer in headlights. Flying home to Florida for a change of clothes.[4] His many fantastic quotes ("The fruit salad of their life is what I will look at."[5] "Popeye's organization."[6] "I was trying to kill somebody."[7] "Can somebody attack me, please?") His laughing at his own jokes. His painting of himself with Klingon Jesus.[8] Not to mention he has an ASMR-inducing voice, possibly putting himself to sleep.

The fact that he still has so much support, and was actually leading in Iowa for a while, must have been deeply surprising for a man who got into the whole thing to sell books (available in paperback!) and raise his speaking fees.[9]

Carson later joined President-elect Trump's transition team as Vice Chairman. He was later offered the position of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (see spoils system). Carson is an excellent pick because he will fight for the right to discriminate against people who look like Carson.[10]


[edit] Where did they dig him up?

Brain surgeons, long burdened with the onerous reputation of being among the smartest people in the world, are expressing relief that the Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson is shattering that stereotype once and for all.
—Andy Borowitz[11]
Carson on the set of General Hospital in 2007.

He is America's most famous brain surgeon, although whether he is the 'best' is pretty debatable. Judging by the 8+ lawsuits filed against him, it's more likely he's one of the boldest surgeons—one who took on a lot surgeries that other doctors wouldn't touch because they were deemed unethical interventions. He was fine with a few of them ending horribly because he saw it as "God's will" and not any fault of his own.[12][13] So yeah, he had a few extraordinary successes to his name that most others didn't, but how much of that is truly superior skill and how much is just playing the odds in ways that most surgeons would deem unethical? Dr. Carson also did research on fetal tissue, and then wrote papers about it. Almost as though his belief in the sanctity of the fetus is an utter sham.[14]

From 2004 through 2013, Carson touted quack treatments in the form of "glyconutrient" products manufactured by Mannatech, a multilevel marketing company. Mannatech claims that the supplements can treat everything "from cancer to multiple sclerosis and AIDS." Mannatech and its similar predecessor company have been the subject of (yet more) lawsuits.[15]

He attracted the attention of the Republican Party after making a variety of wingnut statements at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast hosted by President Obama. Carson himself claimed no political affiliation, commenting that "If I were part of [a political party], it would be called the Logic party, and it would be dedicated to commonsense approaches we all should be able to see.”[16] In November 2014, he joined the Republican Party, hinting at the possibility of running for president in 2016.[17] On May 4th, 2015, Carson announced his candidacy for president.

He certainly displays some narcissistic features and softspoken insanity; however, he's also caught up in that GOP bubble where facts are irrelevant, but faith and appeals to magical thinking define him as some kind of upstanding man of God.[18]

Cosby Carson is clearly averse to criticism, as evidenced by him and his supporters actually believing that all the recent revelations about his fictive past are nothing more than an intentional hit job by the libtard media bent on destroying him[19] because in his mind he represents a direct threat to secular America.[20] Between Carson and Trump, it was simply amazing to watch these two in real time. It doesn't speak well of the GOP; then again, neither do most of the other candidates who suffer from a similar grandiosity, but they aren't quite as head-slappingly dumb.[21][22]

[edit] Amnesia

Humans have big frontal lobes because we, alone, were created in the image of God, who also has a pretty big frontal lobe, you know?

On May 10, 2015, Carson expressed his ignorance of the law on Fox News Sunday, the premiere venue for such expressions, saying that the Supreme Court's power to review laws passed by Congress needs to be revisited.[23]

In August 2015, Carson admitted to using fetal tissue in his medical research during the 1990s, but then he apparently also claimed that fetal tissue was worthless for medicine, shouldn't be banned for research, and shouldn't be taken from abortions at Planned Parenthood.[24]

He's been criticized for his violent past, immortalized in Death Wish VI a book about his exploits, and therefore is unfit for the presidency. He's sorta damned either way, really.[25][26] Charlatan or vigilante? (Smooth move, Ex-lax.) Because this is the 2016 Republican primaries, where logic is forbidden, rather than his opponents using this to claim he shouldn't be President, the problem arose that it might not be true. [27]. What commenced was a candidate desperately trying to convince the world he did in fact have a violent past, while his opponents tried to prove he didn't. You'll recognize this as the exact opposite of how things are supposed to work.

[edit] Religion

In his books, [Carson] often mentions incidents in which God intervened in his life. When he neglected to study at Yale, God showed him the answers on a chemistry exam. When he fell asleep while driving home one night, God spared his life. When he used new surgical techniques on children's brains, God saved some of his patients. And when he was on a safari in Africa, God answered his prayer for plenty of photogenic wildlife. Now that he's running for president, Carson sounds as if he's counting on divine intervention to pull him through again.
—Los Angeles Times[28]

Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist. It should be noted that Seventh-day Adventism necessitates a belief in young Earth creationism. Carson has said he made the decision to be baptized in the church at the age of 8. He says that at the age of 14, he spent three hours in the bathroom reading the Bible and praying after he tried to stab someone with a camping knife. Carson claims he left the bathroom a different person — with no temper.[29] But on the campaign trail, he turned a blind eye to his church's teaching of pacifism in order to appeal more to Republican hawks.[30]

He does not believe in separation of church and state and he engages in the usual sort of historical revisionism to justify his belief, saying that the Constitution was never intended to mean "separation of God and state".[31] Exactly how, as chief executive, he would go about putting God back into America is left unexplained, but we do have some hints.

Like many Christian fundamentalists, Carson does not believe in Darwinian evolution, which he claims rests upon "incredible fairy tales."[32] He believes that no transitional species have ever been discovered, and considers the human brain (with its billions of neural connections) evidence for an Intelligent Designer. Further proof that Carson leans heavily on scripture is his notion that religion is needed for testing scientific theories because "maybe the science is just propaganda".[33][34] And at least one of Carson’s policy positions is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible: his tax plan. He explains, “What we need to do is come up with something simple. And when I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the universe, God, and he’s given us a system. It’s called a tithe”. Carson advocates a universal flat tax for citizens, where 10 percent of income is paid in taxes.[35] Carson’s Biblical tax plan has been roundly criticized, since any flat tax rate would need to be well above 20 percent to keep the government running without sweeping budget cuts.

[edit] "It ain't brain surgery."

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.
—Dr. Ben Carson, who would then go on to ignore that idea.[36]

Carson's candidacy reveals the extent to which an individual can demonstrate remarkable smarts and skill in one field while still being able to come across as an idiot. Some choice pronouncements that call Carson's basic intelligence into question include:

[edit] Rise and fall

After months of relative obscurity among lower ranked Republican presidential contenders, Carson was unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight in late October 2015 when Iowa polls briefly showed Carson outdistancing front runner Donald Trump by a slight margin. The most often asked question among pundits was "why?", although most political analysts attributed Carson's rise to conservative Christian voters who saw the Bible-quoting candidate as their (literal) salvation.

However, the gentle but weird Carson -- prone to spouting conspiracy theories, anti-science gaffes and linguistic puzzlers -- did not do well in the glare of sudden media attention. Carson's political stock started its decline on Nov. 13, 2015 in the wake of the Paris Massacre when voters began seeking someone who could keep them safe from terrorism. Within a few days, a New York Times article revealed the true extent of the problem:[64]

“Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” said Duane R. Clarridge, a top adviser to Mr. Carson on terrorism and national security. He also said Mr. Carson needed weekly conference calls briefing him on foreign policy so “we can make him smart”.

By the end of December, the affections of fickle religious voters had swung to Ted Cruz and Carson had dropped from first place to second, then third. In February 2016, he'd slipped to fourth place, with the inevitable exodus of campaign staffers and advisors quickly following.

After a dismal performance on Super Tuesday, Carson more or less ended his bid for the Republican Presidential nomination on March 2, saying that he "saw no path forward" and would not bother to attend the next scheduled Republican debate. Carson's characteristic lack of clarity prompted the New York Times to observe, "By not declaring definitively that he is suspending or ending his campaign, he can continue to raise money."[65] He officially ended his campaign on March 4, 2016 saying he intended to chair a group "focused on getting out the Christian vote in November."[66]

[edit] He has risen

On March 11, 2016, Carson announced he was endorsing Donald Trump for President. Trump said, "I'm going to have Ben very involved with education, something that's an expertise of his."[67] Carson's failed presidential candidacy seemed to have little effect on his habit of issuing a steady stream of bizarre opinions and oddball pronouncements on just about everything.[68][69]

[edit] Trump administration

The moment a real estate developer nominates Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban DevelopmentWikipedia's W.svg, you know he isn't picking anyone for their skills. (According to Carson it's because he owns a house in an urban area.)[70] Carson himself admitted that he is not qualified for a cabinet post in the Trump administration; he was supposedly offered and declined Secretary of Education, Veteran's Affairs, and Health & Human Services—and two of those positions are related to the health care field. His field.[71] So it makes perfect sense to keep trying to put Carson into a different role. After all, promises were made on the campaign trail that Trump can't really renege on.[72]

Fortunately, Carson makes more sense as a sacrificial lamb. It's not a big blow to Trump's agenda if Carson gets voted down, so long as Tillerson, Devros, Kelly, et. al. are fast-tracked.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

He's Ben Carson and he approved THIS message!

[edit] References

  1. Drew Magary, "Fuck Ben Carson", GQ
  2. DelReal, Jose A., "Ben Carson channels biography ‘Gifted Hands’ in new Iowa ads", WaPo 12.8.15.
  3. Schwab, Nikki, "So Much For Golf and Organ Lessons, Says Dr. Ben Carson", U.S. News (5/28/14, 4:59 p.m.).
  4. Borchers, Callum, "Ben Carson’s amazing excuse for taking a break from the campaign trail: He needs ‘fresh clothes’", WaPo 2.1.16.
  5. "Ben Carsons' Fruit Salad of a Debate", WaPo 2.25.16.
  6. LaCapria, Kim, "Ben Carson's Popeye's Robbery Claim Questioned" Snopes 10.9.15.
  7. Scott Glover and Maeve Reston, "A Tale of Two Ben Carsons", CNN (11/7/15, updated 9:14 AM ET).
  8. Boggioni, Tom, "Bill Maher mocks portrait in Ben Carson’s home of candidate posing with ‘Jesus in a bathrobe’", Raw Story (11/21/15 at 08:55 ET).
  9. Ballhaus, Rebecca, "Ben Carson Reports Big Earnings From Books, Speeches", WSJ (6/4/15 12:06 am ET).
  10. Ben Carson, Trump’s HUD Pick, Once Called Fair Housing 'Communism': The retired neurosurgeon turned Trump adviser has little direct experience with fair-housing issues, but that didn't stop him from once likening the discrimination laws to communism by Gideon Resnick (11.27.16 10:05 PM ET) The Daily Beast.
  11. Andy Borowitz, "Ben Carson Shattering Stereotype about Brain Surgeons Being Smart", The New Yorker
  12. Jan, Tracey, "Ben Carson’s surgeries separated twins, didn’t always save them", Boston Globe11.13.15.
  13. Pam Belluck and Steve Eder, "With Ben Carson, the Doctor and the Politician Can Vary Sharply", NYT 11.22.15.
  14. Weigel, David, "Ben Carson: No apologies for 1992 fetal tissue research", WaPo 8.13.15.
  15. Ben Carson’s Troubling Connection: For ten years, he interacted with a medical-supplement maker accused of false advertising.
  16. National Review, sighs
  17. Well, duh!
  18. Staufenberg, Jeff, "Ben Carson has picture of Jesus (with Ben Carson) hanging in his home", Independent 9.8.15.
  19. "Carson says West Point questions, others about his past are bias, amount to 'witch hunt'" Associated Press 11.7.15.
  20. Macneal, Caitlin, "Carson: I'm In 'Danger Because I Challenge' Secular Progressives", TPM 10.23.15. ("I’d prefer not to talk about security issues...")
  21. Maloy, Simon, "Ben Carson should embarrass the GOP: How the Tea Party hero is making a complete dunce of himself", Salon 5.11.15
  22. Campbell, Colin, "Ohio's governor just went on an epic rant against Donald Trump's and Ben Carson's 'crazy' policies", Business Insider 10.27.15.
  23. Ben Carson: U.S. should rethink Supreme Court review of laws by Charles Babington (May 10, 2015) The Baltimore Sun.
  24. Ben Carson’s tortured defense of his fetal tissue research by Amber Phillips (August 13 at 12:45 PM) The Washington Post.
  28. Why Ben Carson has no business near the Oval Office
  29. What Is Ben Carson's Religion? The Seventh-Day Adventist Church Believes Jesus Is Coming
  30. Open Letter to Ben Carson From Fellow Seventh-day Adventist: Stop the Islamophobia
  31. Bad Prescription: The Religious Right’s Favorite Doctor Misdiagnoses The State Of Religious Freedom In America
  32. [1] Incredible fairy tales
  33. Live Leak: Ben Carson: Religion is needed to interpret science because 'maybe it’s just propaganda'
  34. Raw Story: Ben Carson: Religion is needed to interpret science because ‘maybe it’s just propaganda by David Edwards
  35. What you need to know about Ben Carson’s economic plan
  36. Benjamin Carson, M.D.; Candy Carson. America the Beautiful. Zondervan. p. 34.
  37. Video of speech at 2013 Values Voters Summit
  38. From the Baltimore Sun: Carson is quoting Lenin to criticize Obamacare. Is the reference bogus? Answer: Yes.
  39. Ben Carson would ‘love’ to see Roe v. Wade overturned, compares abortion to slavery by Dylan Stableford (October 25, 2015) Yahoo! Politics
  40. Ben Carson compares slaves to immigrants
  41. Video of Carson interviewed by Sean Hannity. Later, Carson would apologize, making more conciliatory statements.
  42. Alexandra Jaffe, "Carson: Gay rights aren't the same as civil rights", CNN.
  43. Dr. Ben Carson's baffling vitriol against President Obama
  44. Right Wing Watch: Ben Carson Says That Legal Abortion Is Human Sacrifice
  45. Fox News' Ben Carson Thinks New AP U.S. History Course Will Make Students Join ISIS
  46. Slate: No, Feminism Is Not the Cause of Police Shootings by Amanda Marcotte
  47. Salon: Ben Carson suggests feminists are partly responsible for Ferguson by Luke Brinker
  48. Ebony: Ben Carson Blames Ferguson on… Feminism by Michael Arceneaux
  49. CNN interview with Ben Carson
  50. Ben Carson: I won't back down from Nazi Germany, slavery comparisons —
  51. Dr. Ben Carson: "There Are A Lot of African Americans Who Do Think for Themselves" — Breitbart
  54. Ben Carson claims Jewish people might have stopped Holocaust if they had guns — The Guardian
  56. Carson sketches out plan for monitoring campus speech
  58. Ben Carson trolls Twitter: Amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic
  59. Ben Carson: "We'd be Cuba without Fox News"
  60. Sottek, T.C., "'Did Ben Carson just watch GoldenEye?", The Verge (1/14/16 10:14 pm EST).
  62. Ben Carson explains the botched debate intro
  64. The Paris Massacre Sunk Ben Carson
  65. Ben Carson, Seeing No ‘Path Forward,’ Signals End to Candidacy New York Times, March 2, 2016
  66. Ben Carson ends campaign, will lead Christian voter group CNN, March 4, 2016
  67. Ben Carson backs Trump, saying combative billionaire has ‘cerebral’ side
  68. "Carson targeted President Obama again Thursday night, this time for not “declaring war on Islam.”
  69. "Dr. Ben Carson: ‘If Christianity Disappeared’ Many in the Mainstream Media ‘Would Be Just Fine With That’"
  70. Griffiths, Brent, [ " Carson says he's been offered HUD secretary job"], Politico (11/22/16 05:22 PM EST ).
  71. Wannabe president Ben Carson says he isn't qualified to serve in Trump's cabinet by Jarvis DeBerry (November 16, 2016 at 1:05 PM) New Orleans Times-Picayune.
  72. Trump, Donald J., 11.22.16 Tweet, 9:10 AM. In 70 years, surrounded by real estate developers, you didn't meet a single person more qualified for the job, Donnie?
United States 2016 presidential election articles on RationalWiki
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Candidates: Bush (R) - Carson (R) - Christie (R) - Clinton (D) - Cruz (R) - Huckabee (R) - Jindal (R) - Johnson (Lib) - Kasich (R) - Paul (R) - Perry (R) - Sanders (D) - Stein (Green) - Trump (R) - Walker (R) - Webb (D) Running mates: Kaine (D) - Pence (R)
Winner: Donald Trump
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