Dr. Ben Carson is respected for being an honest man. He is known to speak with frankness and is appreciated for his integrity. In just a short time, these attributes sparked a movement to push him to run for the Republican nomination for President in 2016. In early May, that objective was reached when Carson announced that he would definitely run for the nomination. His candidacy is not only a breath of fresh air, he is desperately needed in the White House.
From the start, he has said he would definitely run for the office of Chief Executive of the United States if one thing could be determined. Carson had to know that God was calling him to that decision.
Dr. Carson became a political interest after speaking a few years back at the National Prayer Breakfast. In his speech, he spoke of his distaste for politically correct conversation and his concern about the decline of morality in America. He decried the issue of the national debt. Then he had the fortitude to criticize Obamacare. With President Obama sitting not very far from the lectern from which he was speaking, he revealed a different plan to provide health insurance for all. In under two minutes, he presented an outline of a common sense approach to something he called health savings accounts. This idea would provide health coverage for all Americans without needing the government to intervene.
Ever since that time, he has had the media buzzing. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and other conservative media types have praised his bluntness in speaking the truth as he saw it. Not long after the speech, even the Wall Street Journal issued an editorial suggesting the retired neurosurgeon run for President. Since then, the former neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins University has become widely in demand as a commentator and speaker. His most recent book, One Nation, almost instantly rose to the top of the New York Times best-seller list.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, he saw his parents divorce when he was eight years old. By his own admission, he struggled academically for several years but says that changed after he developed an affection for reading. He would go on to study at Yale University and would earn his degree in medicine from the University of Michigan.
Carson was a professor of pediatrics, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, and oncology and served as head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1987, he made nationwide headlines as the leader of a team of seventy surgeons who successfully separated conjoined twins. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Prior to announcing the Republican nomination, he proclaimed himself an independent and said the only support he is concerned about is that of God. However, as he continues to speak on the value of education, the dangers of political correctness when it comes to freedom of expression, and personal responsibility, he is finding more and more support across the country from voters who have become increasingly frustrated with the current way the nation is headed.
Dr. Carson has warned of those who advocate politically correct speech and has also decried the bullies in mainstream media who, according to him, are overpowering the conservative voice in the public arena. He believes that Christians are being persecuted due to the rise of secularism and feels his mission is to help restore America to the principles upon which it was founded.
Even before announcing, Carson had already let it be known where he stands on certain issues. Here are some of them:
On the subject of climate change, Carson feels the subject is really not an issue and views changes in temperature as being cyclical. He is not convinced or intimidated by the idea of global warming nor does he believe that it has been proven to be a recurring situation. In Carson’s thinking, the global warming debate serves only to deter from more pertinent discussions about protecting the environment as a whole and the necessity of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Concerning education, Carson has said that Common Core is a horrible idea and that public schools do not need the government giving them advice on how to contend. He said there should be educational standards but they should not be set by the government. He has pointed out that many students in private, home, or charter schools often outperform those who are educated in public schools.
As a physician who has performed operations on victims of gunfire, Carson has advocating keeping semi-automatic weapons away from violent criminals and the mentally unstable, particularly in urban areas. Other than that, he wants to give American citizens the most possible access to such weapons. He also argues that ownership of guns is a constitutional right.
In a column for the Washington Times, Carson suggested that the United States government give every American citizen an annual allowance of $2000 in a health savings account. Citizens could choose to contribute more to their accounts and could also arrange for the money to be transferred to other members of their family. Carson admits that the Affordable Care Act did help some who were uninsured, but many others and the health care system overall paid a high price for it to happen.
As far as immigration, Carson has proposed a nationwide guest worker program. Under such a plan, Carson would allow current undocumented immigrants to apply for the status of guest worker provided they leave the United States and then show that there is a job awaiting them when they return to America. Carson also proposed an increase in penalties on any American employer who breaks immigration rules.
In 2014, Carson did acknowledge that there are some medical benefits to marijuana use. However, he also said he has concerns about state and federal attempts to legalize it for recreational purposes. He said that granting easier access to the drug could further harm all of society.
Carson is in support of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which would make having an abortion after more than twenty weeks illegal; only allowing exceptions for incest, rape, or if the life of the mother is in danger. It is not known what his position would be on the upholding of Roe versus Wade.
Concerning gay marriage, Carson has said that sexual preference is a personal issue and should not be debated publicly. Although he said he will no longer talk about it, in the past he stated being gay is a choice and that marriage is between a woman and a man. He also feels that there should be more discussion over discrimination against Christians and other faiths because of their beliefs on certain issues.
In the 2013 Washington Times, Carson voiced being in favor of a flat tax form of government in which every American would pay a set rate. He would eradicate corporate alternatives and also do away with laws that protect the poor from being taxed. This type of system would make the IRS unnecessary.
In one public address, Carson voiced concern that a Shia led rule in Iran could possibly be more dangerous than an Islamic State militant faction. In the public media, he has been critical of the President negotiating with Iran and said that Congress needed a stronger voice in the issue. Carson believes that the United States must strongly back Israel.
Carson has also said that America must increase its efforts in leading out to combat ISIS. He said the only option was for the military to destroy the militant group.
These are not the rantings of a novice, instead they are coming from a man who has grown up as a recipient of the principles on which this country was founded. This is a man who will not bow to polls or whimsy, but a man who will lead in the White House. Today, that is something that is desperately needed.
Opinion by Rick Hope
PBS:What does Ben Carson believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues.
New York Times: Ben Carson on the Issues
U.S. News and World Report:Where They Stand: Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on some key issues of the 2016 campaign