'Brainy’ and Conservative, Dr. Ben Carson bears watching
Dr. Ben Carson was in the email this morning, raising money for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). His letter conveyed intensity and concern about America. He wrote:“Before I served in President Trump’s administration, I spent three decades as a neurosurgeon helping people reclaim their lives. I’ve been blessed to reach my potential, but my story almost didn’t turn out that way.“You see, I grew up poor in the Detroit area and my parents divorced when I was young. Life was hard and at times we just barely got by, but my mother pushed me to excel in school and reach my potential.“I’ve lived the American Dream and want to ensure others enjoy its unlimited potential, which is why I am so concerned about the future of this country under the Democrats’ leadership.” With crushing inflation, he acknowledged “Times are so tough for so many right now. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in my life, it’s that you have to set big goals to make a big impact.“We’ve reached a critical turning point in America. If every conservative steps up today, I’m confident we can win back control in Washington and save our nation. But if we fail, you can expect some dark days ahead.” In a way, his message in an August email was even more personal, when he wrote: “I’m deeply concerned about the current trajectory of our nation. With the Radical Left in charge, we are heading toward disaster. Our nation sorely needs conservative leadership, which is why I’m emailing you today on behalf of House Republicans. I look back on my life and shudder to think of how I would have turned out in a socialist America.” Cncerning what his life might have been like in a “socialist America”, he continued with rhetorical questions for the reader: “Would I have risen from poverty to become a leading neurosurgeon? No! Would I have been free to develop treatments helping those most in need? No! Would I have been able to share my story with millions of people like you? No!” Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr., concluded his early August letter: “I thank God that I was born in America, where we have the freedom to achieve our dreams and live without socialist bureaucrats telling us what to do.=” A retired neurosurgeon, Dr, Carson ran for president in 2016. He served in the Trump Administration, as U.S. Sec of Housing and Urban Development, from 2017-2021. He and his wife Candy have been married since 1975. They have three adult children: Rhoeyce, Ben Jr., and Murray. Despite his impoverished youth (raised by a single mother) Carson’s life is the stuff of which dreams are made. Graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School in 1977, and a Yale University graduate in 1973. His writing has both passion and an academic tone – and he has written 13 books. His autobiography, ‘Gifted Hands” was the basis for an acclaimed film. His 2014 book "One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America" was a New York Times best-seller.So is his newest set of reflections, “Created Equal: The Painful Past, Confusing Present, and Hopeful Future of Race in America.” The Center Street Ebook edition of the new work costs $15, the print edition is $18.37. His marketing team touts the new book as “a hopeful and inspiring road map for how America can come together.” His distilled message: “External physical characteristics that are genetically encoded are things over which no individual has control. But rather than appreciating the gift of diversity, some have chosen to use it to drive wedges between groups of people. Some of these external characteristics are associated with the past moral failing of slavery. Though slavery in America formally ended in the 1860s, the vestiges of that evil institution are still with us today, and those vestiges often inflict guilt on some and facilitate feelings of victimhood in others.” In the new book, “Dr. Carson uses his own personal experiences as a member of a racial minority, along with the writings and experiences of others from multiple backgrounds and demographics, to analyze the current state of race relations in America. Instead of using race as an excuse to remake America into something completely antithetical to the Constitution, Dr. Carson suggests ways to enhance and bring great success to our nation and all multiethnic societies by magnifying America's incredible strengths instead of her historical weaknesses.” In the 2016 campaign cycle, Christopher Cheney wrote (in a Tulsa Today story shared with The Oklahoma City Sentinel), about Carson’s speech at the gathering of the the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, where he was a late addition as keynote speaker. Cheney described how the presidential aspirant “like many others, reflected on his back story, but Carson had the opportunity to detail it more than any other candidate. The ability to connect with the audience and his personal contact with attendees after his speech that night and before he spoke the next day endeared him greatly to any who wanted to approach. Dr. Carson brought a lot of supporters, but his willingness to speak to any who wanted to talk to him helped Carson win 1st place in the straw poll.”(( https://www.city-sentinel.com/news/a-volunteer-s-view-of-the-southern-republican-leadership-conference/article_7839ba3d-ccb5-5af4-b28e-c3998078b5ca.html ) These are indeed tumultuous times in America. And Ben Carson is both “brainy” and conservative. Whether or not he ever holds the nation’s highest elective position, he is a man who, as reporters sometimes put it, “bears watching.” Note: Pat McGuigan of The Oklahoma City Sentinel has reported about and commented on every presidential election since 1972. This is the first in a series of occasional stories about potential presidential and vice-presidential nominees.