Ben Carson (1951- ), an American brain surgeon, ran for US president as a Republican in 2016. He dropped out on March 4th, soon after Super Tuesday. He now backs Donald Trump for president. He was the only Black person to run for president in 2016 in either of the two main parties.
Carson was best known as a brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins, one of the top hospitals in the country. He is famous for separating twins joined at the head.
He was also known for writing “Gifted Hands” (1990), his story of how he came up from poverty in Detroit to become a famous brain surgeon. It has led to nine other books, two documentaries, a film starring Cuba Gooding, Jr, a play in Baltimore and Carson travelling the country as a motivational speaker.
He seems to be strangely calm. He says it is a gift from God: at age 14, after stabbing someone with a knife, he prayed to God to take away his angry, violent nature. The press doubts that.
In 2013 he left medicine and went into politics. John Philip Sousa IV, the great grandson of the famous band leader, raised millions for him to run for president – even before Carson said he would run.
Carson on ObamaCare, President Obama’s health care reforms:
“ObamaCare is the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. In a way, it is slavery, because it is making all of us subservient to the government.”
On same-sex marriage:
“My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s 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.”
He is also against gun control and birthright citizenship. His position on abortion is more extreme than that of his church (Seventh Day Adventist).
Although scientifically literate, he does not believe in evolution or climate change.
Race: As a self-made millionaire, he is a big believer in bootstraps. But he also knows that Black people are not imagining racism.
He is good at public speaking and raising money. He is not good at dealing with the press.
As a serious, right-wing Christian – the kind who certainly would never say “Two Corinthians” – he appealed mainly to White Evangelical Christians, a big part of the Republican voter base.
His height in the opinion polls came in November 2015 on the eve of terrorist attacks in Paris. A fourth of Republicans supported him, making him tied for first place with Donald Trump. Since then his numbers dropped, never to recover, presumably because he seemed lost on foreign policy.
On Hillary Clinton becoming president:
“She’s going to get two to four Supreme Court picks. Now, that’s going to, I think, ruin the future for our children, our grandchildren, all of our progeny. I think that’s just as bad as taking a knife and stabbing them with it.”
On Donald Trump: Carson says that offstage Trump is a serious, thoughtful person who loves his country.
– Abagond, 2016.
- The 2016 election for US president
- Black endorsements in the 2016 election for US president