When a reporter asked Dr. Ben Carson while he was still in the race to become the Republican nominee for president if he thought that voters would make Donald Trump their nominee Dr. Carson’s response meant ‘no’ but he was not that succinct. What he actually said was that voters are not that dense; they would not make a very, very bad mistake. Then, after he dropped out of the race, he endorsed Mr. Trump. That’s right; I said he endorsed Donald Trump. How congruent is that? And does it mean that he himself is dense?
Well, compared to his rhetoric what he did is incongruent (I will leave it up to the individual readers to determine the answer to the ‘dense’ question) but it is consistent: it’s consistent with the rhetoric from the rest of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates. During one of the Republican presidential debates the candidates said that Mr. Trump was a con artist who was unfit to hold the office of President of the United States of America. But when the moderator asked them if they would support him if he became the nominee, all of them said yes.
To put Dr. Carson’s decision to endorse Mr. Trump in perspective and shine a bright light on the difference in the path forward that Democrats are proposing and that which Republicans are proposing; and to illuminate the America that these Republican presidential candidates envision as opposed to that which the Democratic presidential candidates envision, I offer this comparison. While Senator Elizabeth Warren has given an impassioned speech chiding her fellow senators and imploring them to just do their job and hold hearings and any required votes to fill the vacant seat of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rather than use obstruction tactics, Dr. Carson has endorsed a Republican candidate for president, who is running his campaign based on a foundation of fear, hatred and divisiveness, shortly after saying that voters would have to be dense to vote for that candidate.
The path forward that Republicans see and the America that they envision is closely related to the path forward and future for America as seen through the eyes of their presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump. The path forward that Democrats see and the America that we envision is closely related to the path forward and future for America as seen through the eyes of our presidential frontrunner, Secretary Hillary Clinton and as reflected in the admonition of Senator Elizabeth Warren to her fellow senators during her speech urging them to move forward with the hearings to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat.
As hard as I try, so far, I have been unable to come up with any positive reason as to why Dr. Carson would do this especially when I juxtapose it on the type of campaign that he conducted while he was a 2016 presidential candidate. The only reason that I have been able to come up with is a negative one and that is that he is pandering to Donald Trump for a possible position in his administration should he win the nomination and the presidency.
Dr. Carson, like any other American, has the right to support any candidate to become president that he chooses. But it is beyond me as to why he would choose Mr. Trump. It is no secret that the Republican Party, for whatever reason, struggles to recruit and accept people of color into its ranks. Dr. Carson obviously is a person of color, he is obviously extremely intelligent and it appears that he wants all Americans to be treated equally but these things are totally incongruent with his actions as related to his statement regarding Mr. Trump and then his decision to endorse him.
Based on Dr. Carson’s campaign and how he conducted himself during it, that seems to make him and Mr. Trump polar opposites. In this case where he endorsed Donald Trump, the truth is without doubt stranger than fiction. And, even if his endorsement is not proof, it is strong circumstantial evidence that if you continuously dance too closely around the edges of fires you will eventually get burned. Dr. Carson’s background says that he knows this. Unfortunately, because he did not listen to that still small voice inside of him instead of blindly pursuing his political ambitions, he is now an inextricable part of history as it relates to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential run fiascos, which will abide with him in infamy.
Mr. Trump’s constant hateful and divisive rhetoric is stirring up anger and hatred in young and older people alike and is the catalyst at his rallies that creates situations that are reminiscent of those that occurred prior to the violence that was unleashed during the Civil Rights Movement. This is concerning and scary and should cause every civic leader and politician, especially Republican politicians since Mr. Trump is running to become their party’s standard bearer, to take pause and contemplate what it is that they can do to nip this potential problem in the bud. Then, they should address it and address it expeditiously.
I hope that a Democrat will win the 2016 presidential election and, unlike the Republican presidential frontrunner, will work as hard as needed to pull all American citizens together despite our differences, whatever they might be, so that we can make America whole again. I am among those who believe that America is still great and that all Americans simply need to work together to make her even greater and stronger. Together, we can do this; so we should get to work.
Even if a Republican is elected president I hope that that person will be reasonable and thoughtful in how they go about leading America forward. I hope that they will be cerebral when it comes to conducting domestic and foreign policy and that all of the tough guy negative rhetoric that is being spouted in the primaries will not somehow seep into the governance of our great country. And if it does, I hope that America’s new leader will completely spurn it and lead America forward with the dignity and respect that her dedicated citizens, despite our differences of opinion – political or otherwise, have worked so hard to acquire.
Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line