2016 Election

Who is @RealBenCarson?

Doctor Ben Carson, known on social media as RealBenCarson, is a very accomplished man. Doctor Carson was a neurosurgeon, is a best-selling author, and is a philanthropist. Dr. Carson performed the first surgery that was able to separate twins who were conjoined at the head and was one of the key figures in the possibility of a hemispherectomy, a drastic surgical procedure that removes one hemisphere of the brain to control severe pediatric epilepsy. Nobody would ever doubt the depth of his skills in the medical profession, but this man is running for President, so let’s talk about his politics.

Dr. Carson gained notoriety in 2013 when he gave a speech in front of President Obama espousing very conservative ideas. Conservative television and news broadcasters complemented him on his chutzpah and for espousing philosophy in front of president Obama that goes against his agenda, with some calling for him to run for President.

On November 4, 2014 Dr. Carson joined the Republican Party in what he called a “pragmatic move” since he was considering running for President in 2016.

This would be a different article, but the truth is it is very difficult for a candidate outside of the major parties to receive funding, TV airtime, debate space, or to even be placed on the ballot. Dr. Carson’s pragmatism is the same pragmatism that Bernie Sanders has, and why he is running as a Democrat.

Dr. Carson, to me, is a man of contradictions. In 1996 he stated that the “concept of profits for insurance companies” was absurd, and that we need to make the government responsible for catastrophic healthcare. Yet, in 2014 he wrote that health care should be out of the political arena and up to the free market.

He has stated that he believes homosexuality is a sin, has equated it to bestiality, and on other occasions states that he believes in civil unions. Whatever makes him popular he seems to flip-flop toward.

On his website he focuses on a few key issues:

1) Creating an amendment that requires Congress to balance the budget–fat chance that will ever happen but it sounds nice;

2) Education, stating that Common Core must be overturned;

3) Keeping Guantanamo Bay open, in other words, let’s keep these people hidden so that the criminal justice system will go even slower;

4)  Healthcare. As a retired doctor, one would hope he would have something to say about this. Dr. Carson suggests Health Savings accounts, allowing patients to do whatever they wish with the money provided to the citizen at birth. This puts healthcare strongly in the free market. Dr. Carson believes that his would strengthen the relationship between patients and doctors;

5) “Keep faith in society.” He basically states that the founding fathers were men of faith, that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and it should stay that way. He seems to forget the facts that Thomas Jefferson was the founding father who first noted the separation between church & state and that our national anthem didn’t have the words “under God” in it until the 1950s–to make us different from the USSR.  He is a man of faith and wants to make sure you remember that while looking at his website;

6) Abortion. He calls it “protecting innocent life” on his website, but basically you get the gist: he is pro-life.  He doesn’t give details on his website as to how pro-life he is. He has stated that birth control benefits are a symptom of an entitlement societyHe has stated a lot of things on this issue that he has later retracted, but it’s pretty easy to find quotes about him and this issue;

7) The Second Amendment. No candidate running as a Republican would ever say that he wants to limit the Second Amendment, even if it doesn’t make sense for citizens to have military-grade weapons;

8) Russia. On his website he says we should go after Putin;

9) Israel. We should always stand by Israel, because it’s the only “democratic ally” in the Middle East;

and

10) Reforming our tax code. He wants to make it so simple that it only takes a person 15 minutes to file taxes.

Some of Dr. Carson’s ideas are interesting, but overall doesn’t really have a chance. He doesn’t have the money and he flip-flops too much on major issues. He’s going to have a hard time going up against a major player. But who knows?  Let’s see what happens next.

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