| A guide to|
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
“”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.
Dr. Benjamin Solomon "These Hands" Carson, Sr. (1951–) is the self-admittedly unqualified former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, a retired American pediatric neurosurgeon who was a 2016 presidential candidate and subsequently kissed the ring of power. When he was a practicing physician, Carson invented techniques that had previously been thought impossible (such as being the first to separate twins conjoined at the head). On the other hand, Candidate Carson 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.
Carson is a perfect example of how earned credentials do not necessarily imply the current use of scientific rigor or intellectual honesty. He certainly displays some narcissistic features and soft-spoken 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.
Between Carson and Trump, it was simply amazing to watch these two in real-time. He eventually joined Trump's transition team as Vice Chairman. Carson was later offered the position of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (see spoils system). Carson was an excellent pick because he fought for the right to discriminate against people who look like Carson.
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.
He is America's most famous brain surgeon, although whether he is the 'best' is debatable. Judging by the 8+ lawsuits filed against him, it's likely he's also one of the boldest surgeons—one who took on a lot of surgeries that other doctors wouldn't touch because they were deemed unethical interventions. He was okay with a few of them ending horribly wrong because he saw it as "God's will" and not any fault of his own. So yeah, he had a few extraordinary successes to his name that most others didn't, but how much of that is genuinely 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.
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.
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." In November 2014, he joined the Republican Party, hinting at the possibility of running for President in 2016. On May 4, 2015, Carson announced his candidacy for President.
“”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?
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 because, in his mind, he represents a direct threat to secular America.
On May 10, 2015, Carson expressed his ignorance of the law on Fox News Sunday, the premier venue for such expressions, saying that the Supreme Court's power to review laws passed by Congress needs to be revisited.
In August, 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.
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. Charlatan or vigilante? He's sort of damned either way, really. 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. 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.
“”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|
Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist. 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[note 1], which supposedly broke after hitting a belt buckle. Carson claims he left the bathroom a different person — with no temper. But on the campaign trail, he turned a blind eye to his church's teaching of pacifism to appeal more to Republican hawks.
He does not believe in the separation of church and state. He engages in the usual historical revisionism to justify his belief, saying that the Constitution was never intended to mean "separation of God and state". 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." 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 to test scientific theories because "maybe the science is just propaganda". 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. 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.
Although he was affiliated with no less than three of the United States' most prestigious universities from 1969 (when he commenced his undergraduate studies in psychology at Yale) to 2013 (when he retired from the faculty of Johns Hopkins), the attribution of an etching of Proverbs 22:4 in his living room is misspelled as "poverbs." One would be inclined to assess this as a rather conspicuous oversight when juxtaposed against his professed faith and election to the University of Michigan chapter of the selective Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society... but to paraphrase Robert Towne, forget it, Jake.
Vanity campaign for President
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. His many great quotes ("The fruit salad of their life is what I will look at." "Popeye's organization." "I was trying to kill somebody." "Can somebody attack me, please?") His laughing at his own jokes. His painting of himself with Klingon Jesus. 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 astounding for a man who got into the whole thing to sell books (available in paperback!) and raise his speaking fees.
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.|
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:
- The Affordable Care Act is the worst thing to happen to the country since slavery. Why? Because his misquote of Lenin says so.
- Also, like the usual wingnuts, Carson compares abortion to slavery. How he came to that conclusion is anyone's guess.
- Astoundingly, he then compares slaves to immigrants who "had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity in this land [America]".
- Carson, quoted literally, lumps hompresumablyosexuals, NAMBLA members, and bestiality practitioners as being against his idea of marriage. Why can't blacks realize that actual oppression is being forced to look at gays?
- Dependence on government programs for the poor creates dependence... like the food stamps Carson admits his childhood family couldn't have done without. Handouts for big business, on the other hand, don't create dependence, of course.
- Abortion is a form of human sacrifice. But somehow, the Crucifixion wasn't, somehow.
- Teaching about America's past mistakes, such as Japanese American internment, will make students "sign up for ISIS". Don't worry; students totally won't mind being lied to about their country's history and act out in inappropriate ways like joining terrorist organizations.
- "Every signer of the Declaration of Independence had no elected office experience." This is an absurd claim, as at least 28 of the 65 signers held office. Many others had experience in law or the military as well. He later backtracked and claimed "Every signer of the Declaration of Independence had no federal elected office experience". This still doesn't make sense because the Federal government didn't exist yet.
- Carson blames police shootings (particularly the events that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri) on feminism.
- Apparently, prison sex/rape between inmates is not about power/domination, but proves that being gay is a choice. Eureka.
- America under Obama is like Nazi Germany because of political correctness.
- Black Americans who vote Democratic don't think for themselves. Only voting the way Carson does constitutes thinking for oneself, apparently.
- Muslims should not be President because it is "against the Constitution". The irony that a black man uses the same logic as white supremacists talking about a black President was not lost on the media or black Twitter commenters. On the ensuing uproar, he blames "PC culture."
- The Holocaust could have been prevented if it wasn't for gun control. Because Warsaw worked so well.
- He wants to turn the federal Department of Education into an "investigatory body" that would monitor college campuses for "extreme political bias." If such "extreme" political bias was found, the school would lose its federal funding, he says, because it isn't right for public funding to "indoctrinate students in one direction." However, not realizing the obvious double standard, he reassures Republicans that only liberal political bias would be regulated since "conservatism could never be considered an extreme ideology". Especially in the aforementioned Nazi Germany.
- Believes that "Joseph built the pyramids to store grain" (because he read about it on a blog) (Perhaps a closet civilization fan?).
- Rebuts criticism of his political inexperience by saying "Amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic".
- Says "We'd be Cuba without Fox News".
- Is terrified that Muslims want to make GoldenEye a reality.
- "Wrote" an autobiography full of 'born again' tripe and historical revisionism. His excuse is that for autobiographical events, "it was not possible to be '100% accurate.'" Or even 10%, perhaps?
- Caused a goofy backstage pileup during a February 2016 debate by ignoring frantic pleas from the stage manager to go onstage because, "They said go out when you hear your name and I didn't hear my name."
- In an interview, Ben Carson claimed Barack Obama was raised white, while Carson said he was raised in extreme poverty. Hence why he wants to end welfare laws to end dependency. Barack Obama, supposedly, is then not representative of African Americans. Carson also said he did not encounter racism in the Republican Party, but he did sense it on the left, because "you're black, you have to think a certain way, and if you don't think that way, you're Uncle Tom...". When questioned on his stance that Muslims cannot be President, he defends his position by saying Syrians do not respect the Constitution; when asked what if someone went and told him the same thing, Ben Carson said it has nothing to do with ethnicity.
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 November 13, 2015, when voters began seeking someone who could keep them safe from terrorism in the wake of the Paris Massacre. Within a few days, a New York Times article revealed the true extent of the problem:
“”“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 fickle religious voters' affections 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." 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."
On March 11, 2016, Carson announced he was endorsing Donald Trump for President. Trump promised that "I'm going to have Ben very involved with education, something that's an expertise of his." 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.
He has risen
The moment a real estate developer nominates Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, you know he isn't picking anyone for their skills. (According to Carson, it's because he owned a house in an urban area.) 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. 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 couldn't really renege on.
Single-handledly knocking out 1/40 of US debt!
An audit of the HUD found $500b in irregularities. Ultimately, this did not mean that they found $500b in misplaced dollars, just that someone filled out paperwork wrong. The audit found only $40m in misplaced dollars. Fox took this news and credited it to Ben Carson, neither understanding what the story meant nor that the audit was completed before Ben Carson was appointed secretary of the HUD. The usual snowball trash fire.
The HUD Inspector General's office warned Carson that he appeared to be using his public office for his family's private gain. Specifically, he went on a "listening tour" in Baltimore in 2017, where he allowed his son, Ben Jr., who is the president of a Maryland construction company, to plan the event. HUD records indicate that Carson allowed his son top-level access to the department and other cabinet-level officials. HUD records also suggest that Carson Jr. directly recommended companies to the department. Department officials recommended that Carson leave his son out of the tour for the appearance of propriety; however, he overruled them.
- Clarence Thomas - Oh, my, what's this doing here?
- Herman Cain
- Argument from authority
- Ben Carson is stuck in an elevator — Maybe he was using it to store grain.
- He's Ben Carson and he approved THIS message! — This one goes out to all those young, urban voters...in Iowa and New Hampshire.
- "Camping knife" sounds like a bland outdoor utensil, until you actually see one.
- Drew Magary, "Fuck Ben Carson", GQ
- DelReal, Jose A., "Ben Carson channels biography ‘Gifted Hands’ in new Iowa ads", WaPo 12.8.15.
- Ben Carson made it clear that he was too inexperienced for a Cabinet job. Now Trump says he's considering Carson for one by Evan Halper (Nov. 22, 2016, 9:59 a.m.) Los Angeles Times.
- Schwab, Nikki, "So Much For Golf and Organ Lessons, Says Dr. Ben Carson", U.S. News (5/28/14, 4:59 p.m.).
- Staufenberg, Jeff, "Ben Carson has picture of Jesus (with Ben Carson) hanging in his home", Independent 9.8.15.
- Maloy, Simon, "Ben Carson should embarrass the GOP: How the Tea Party hero is making a complete dunce of himself", Salon 5.11.15
- 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.
- Andy Borowitz, "Ben Carson Shattering Stereotype about Brain Surgeons Being Smart", The New Yorker
- Jan, Tracey, "Ben Carson’s surgeries separated twins, didn’t always save them", Boston Globe11.13.15.
- Pam Belluck and Steve Eder, "With Ben Carson, the Doctor and the Politician Can Vary Sharply", NYT 11.22.15.
- Weigel, David, "Ben Carson: No apologies for 1992 fetal tissue research", WaPo 8.13.15.
- Ben Carson’s Troubling Connection: For ten years, he interacted with a medical-supplement maker accused of false advertising.
- National Review, sighs
- Well, duh!
- "Carson says West Point questions, others about his past are bias, amount to 'witch hunt'" Associated Press 11.7.15.
- 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...")
- 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.
- Ben Carson: U.S. should rethink Supreme Court review of laws by Charles Babington (May 10, 2015) The Baltimore Sun.
- Ben Carson’s tortured defense of his fetal tissue research by Amber Phillips (August 13 at 12:45 PM) The Washington Post.
- Ben Carson's house: a homage to himself – in pictures (7 Nov 2015 10.00 EST) The Guardian.
- Why Ben Carson has no business near the Oval Office
- What Is Ben Carson's Religion? The Seventh-Day Adventist Church Believes Jesus Is Coming
- Open Letter to Ben Carson From Fellow Seventh-day Adventist: Stop the Islamophobia
- Bad Prescription: The Religious Right’s Favorite Doctor Misdiagnoses The State Of Religious Freedom In America
- Ben Carson on Evolution: 'Life Evolve From Non-Life? Incredible Fairy Tales' by Michael W. Chapman (May 13, 2015 | 7:29 PM EDT) CNSNews (archived from September 26, 2016).
- Live Leak: Ben Carson: Religion is needed to interpret science because 'maybe it’s just propaganda'
- Raw Story: Ben Carson: Religion is needed to interpret science because ‘maybe it’s just propaganda by David Edwards
- What you need to know about Ben Carson’s economic plan
- Borchers, Callum, "Ben Carson’s amazing excuse for taking a break from the campaign trail: He needs ‘fresh clothes’", WaPo 2.1.16.
- "Ben Carsons' Fruit Salad of a Debate", WaPo 2.25.16.
- LaCapria, Kim, "Ben Carson's Popeye's Robbery Claim Questioned" Snopes 10.9.15.
- Scott Glover and Maeve Reston, "A Tale of Two Ben Carsons", CNN (11/7/15, updated 9:14 AM ET).
- 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).
- Ballhaus, Rebecca, "Ben Carson Reports Big Earnings From Books, Speeches", WSJ (6/4/15 12:06 am ET).
- Benjamin Carson, M.D.; Candy Carson. America the Beautiful. Zondervan. p. 34.
- Video of speech at 2013 Values Voters Summit
- From the Baltimore Sun: Carson is quoting Lenin to criticize Obamacare. Is the reference bogus? Answer: Yes.
- Ben Carson would ‘love’ to see Roe v. Wade overturned, compares abortion to slavery by Dylan Stableford (October 25, 2015) Yahoo! Politics
- Ben Carson compares slaves to immigrants
- Video of Carson interviewed by Sean Hannity. Later, Carson would apologize, making more conciliatory statements.
- Alexandra Jaffe, "Carson: Gay rights aren't the same as civil rights", CNN.
- Dr. Ben Carson's baffling vitriol against President Obama
- Right Wing Watch: Ben Carson Says That Legal Abortion Is Human Sacrifice
- Fox News' Ben Carson Thinks New AP U.S. History Course Will Make Students Join ISIS
- "Ben Carson on the Founding Fathers". Herald-Review.com. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
- "Ben Carson's Pants on Fire claim that no signer of the Declaration of Independence held office". @politifact. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
- Slate: No, Feminism Is Not the Cause of Police Shootings by Amanda Marcotte
- Salon: Ben Carson suggests feminists are partly responsible for Ferguson by Luke Brinker
- Ebony: Ben Carson Blames Ferguson on… Feminism by Michael Arceneaux
- CNN interview with Ben Carson
- Ben Carson: I won't back down from Nazi Germany, slavery comparisons — Salon.com
- Dr. Ben Carson: "There Are A Lot of African Americans Who Do Think for Themselves" — Breitbart
- Ben Carson claims Jewish people might have stopped Holocaust if they had guns — The Guardian
- Carson sketches out plan for monitoring campus speech
- Ben Carson trolls Twitter: Amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic
- Ben Carson: "We'd be Cuba without Fox News"
- Sottek, T.C., "'Did Ben Carson just watch GoldenEye?", The Verge (1/14/16 10:14 pm EST).
- Ben Carson explains the botched debate intro
- The Paris Massacre Sunk Ben Carson
- Ben Carson, Seeing No ‘Path Forward,’ Signals End to Candidacy New York Times, March 2, 2016
- Ben Carson ends campaign, will lead Christian voter group CNN, March 4, 2016
- Ben Carson backs Trump, saying combative billionaire has ‘cerebral’ side
- "Carson targeted President Obama again Thursday night, this time for not “declaring war on Islam.”
- "Dr. Ben Carson: ‘If Christianity Disappeared’ Many in the Mainstream Media ‘Would Be Just Fine With That’"
- Griffiths, Brent, "Carson says he's been offered HUD secretary job", Politico (11/22/16 05:22 PM EST).
- 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.
- 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?