Dr. Ben Carson is a conservative who, between his speeches, books and news commentary has earned the respect and admiration of conservatives across the nation. Since his 2013 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, Carson’s name has been brought up by conservatives and in the media as a potential contender for the 2016 presidential election despite his lack of political experience. Conservatives who have criticized President Obama for his policies have been vociferously branded as racists by liberals and in many cases the mainstream media. This “attack and brand” behavior against those who disagree with Obama’s policies has done nothing to improve race relations. If Carson, a black conservative runs for office in 2016, will liberals who disagree with his policies brand themselves as racists? Of course not because that would be as ridiculous as their labeling of conservatives as such and it would not serve their purpose.
President Obama was elected in large part because he wooed voters with his oratory charm (now much faded) and because liberals wanted to break the proverbial glass ceiling when it came to race – as long as their chosen candidate was also a Democrat. The sentiment by liberals about an enlightened America electing a black president would never have seen the light of day had the black candidate been a Republican.
In fact, those who voted for Barack Obama for president, both in 2008 and 2012 simply because of the color of his skin are as racist as those who voted against Obama because of the color of his skin. In both of those cases, the reasoning to vote for or against Obama was in no way enlightened and disregarded the pure fact that skin color is benign.
Character, experience and political ideology should be the defining variables that garner voter support – not race nor, as may be the case with Hillary Clinton and the potential for another glass ceiling in 2016, gender. Glass ceilings are meant to be broken and race and gender discrimination have no place in America. However, the office of the president demands more than just the aspects of race or gender, it demands quality of leadership.
Ben Carson, who is a respected author, public speaker and an emeritus professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics from Johns Hopkins Hospital has been quoted as saying that running for president has never been on his “bucket list.” However, as more and more people have come forward and expressed their support for Carson he has, as he recently told The Weekly Standard, “started to feel it.” He has let it be known that he has been offered, “support from around the country” and that that support includes “tremendous financial resources.”
Carson has also acknowledged that he will be the target of vociferous attacks by liberals for his conservative views but states that the left will have won if “everybody runs for the hills” under pressure because they are in fear that somebody “is going to attack them or their family.” As evidenced by the content of his new book, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future, Carson’s vision of America mirrors that of many conservatives. It is his views, rather than political experience or the color of his skin that have been the driving force behind the push by conservatives for Carson to run for president in 2016.
In his most recent book Carson states, “I have endeavored to propose a road out of our decline” and he appeals to “every American’s decency and common sense.” Liberals who have played the race card to defend the failed policies of the Obama administration have shown their disdain for decency and common sense all for the sake of political gain.
While liberals have had no qualms about branding conservatives as racists any time they disagree with President Obama’s policies, it is doubtful that conservatives will use the race card the same way. More likely is that if Dr. Ben Carson were elected president in 2016, it would have nothing to do with the color his skin and everything to do with his conservative values and the content of his character.
Opinion By Alana Marie Burke