Should Dr. Carson Become President Carson?

For a few years now, I have been dodging Ben Carson supporters at political conservative events. I’m talking about long before this primary season started—it seems that wherever I went there were perky young people encouraging me to join the, “Run, Ben, Run” movement. 

I wasn’t very interested. Not only did I really not want to start focusing on the next Presidential election immediately after the debacle of 2012, but while I valued Dr. Carson’s personal story immensely (who doesn’t?) I didn’t see why competence in the medical field, overcoming a disadvantaged childhood and even a willingness to speak out courageously  in front of President Obama, translated into presidential potential. 

Clearly, I was wrong. As both Carly Fiorina and Dr. Carson have shown, lack of political experience can be viewed as a plus this time around. The courage to buck political correctness is a basic necessity and after two terms of a president who encourages victim mentality it would do our country good to be led by someone who values individual ability and potential. 

At this point, the Republican candidates fall into a few categories in my mind. I might define them as those I could enthusiastically support, those who make me think less of the Republican Party even as I vote for them (but do not speak positively about them to my neighbors, put a bumper sticker on my car or do anything beyond that one action in the voting booth) and those for whom I won’t vote if they are on the ballot. My past record suggests that I represent a lot of people, much as a teacher knows that one student asking a question usually represents many more confused kids. My voting record is certainly as accurate as polling data. I was enthusiastic about Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush, I voted for a third-party candidate when the senior President Bush ran for his second term, left the presidential spot blank when John McCain ran and dispiritedly voted for Bob Dole and Mitt Romney, expecting them to lose and feeling more annoyance and anger at the Republican machine than any desire to see either of those men win. I must make clear that in all these cases, I wasn’t commenting on the decency of these men—a world with more people of Bob Dole’s caliber, for example, would be a better place—but on their ability to be successfully elected and/or govern.

Recognizing that the election is still in the distance, Dr. Carson and Ted Cruz are the only two candidates in my ‘enthusiastic even if concerned’ column while a Jeb Bush candidacy could lead me to give up membership in the Republican Party. I want to like Marco Rubio but I worry that he is an establishment candidate in the making. I need reassurance about his principles and also that his eagerness to be liked and seen as a consensus candidate won’t lead him to betray things in which I believe. More than any other candidate, I want to know whether his wife is a staunch conservative thinker on both economic and social issues or if she will fall prey to the liberal social milieu in Washington and move him leftward so that she will fit in. Each time I begin considering Rubio in a positive light, he does something that pushes me away, most recently his talk of tax credits for family leave. Right now, I expect to be disappointed by him. I’d be delighted if he changes my mind. 

Donald Trump is the candidate about whom my feelings are most mixed. I would be embarrassed to have him represent my country and seeing him as the heir of George Washington makes me cringe. (I know that many of my readers are Trump or Rubio enthusiasts. I’d be disappointed if only people who agreed with me read what I wrote.) Yet, I’m not sure that Trump might not be an effective counter-measure to Hillary Clinton in a weird, almost ridiculous way. The American people overwhelmingly think that Hillary is deceptive, a liar and untrustworthy. Many of these people still plan to vote for her. Any new revelations about her tend to bounce off, because they simply confirm what people already know. Donald Trump has not betrayed the American people in the same way, but there is an assumption that he is a blowhard, prone to outrageous and sometimes contradictory statements with a less than exemplary life. Could he possibly be a good bet because of these things? No one expects him to be an upright statesman, conferring dignity on the proceedings. Yet, many people will vote for him anyway, some after great consideration, others because he’s a TV star and that’s the extent of their thought processes. Maybe he is the man who matches the moment as many think. Maybe he will be able to match the Clinton machine. Even so, I am hoping that whether or not to vote for him is a choice I will not have to make. 

I think that Carly Fiorina shines on the debate stage. For whatever reason, she isn’t gaining traction. Consequently, she and some of the other candidates, many of whom I admire, don’t seem to be formidable opponents to the Democratic Party. 

This brings me back to Dr. Carson and Ted Cruz. Ben Carson has not spent decades of his life immersed in political minutiae.  He has spent years in the real world, one where emotion, fact, money, success, failure and spirit intersect. He represents millions of Americans who want to get on with their lives but see the America they love crumbling. Dr. Carson is a throwback to the citizen-statesman, those men who after the Revolutionary War wanted nothing more than to go back to their lives but sacrificed that wish because a country needed them. That’s rather a different picture from a professional politician who has planned, schemed and lived his or her entire life with the ultimate goal of becoming president. 

I see Dr. Carson’s soft spoken manner as an asset rather than a liability. Parents and teachers often discover that screaming is less effective than whispering. The same child who tunes out your shrieks will lean in to hear what you have to say when you speak calmly and softly. Personally, I’m tired of being yelled at and of dialogue conducted in shouts and insults. I think many Americans will find Dr. Carson’s manner soothing especially compared to Hillary’s shrill and mean-spirited style.

I want to know who Dr. Carson sees as examples of the people with whom he wants to surround himself. It’s just fine with me if he does not know as much as someone who has jaunted around the world at taxpayer expense, as long as he assembles a team that shares his principles while being immersed in the necessary facts. I’d be fine if he answered a question about an area that he is not expert in by saying, “I am studying to learn more about this topic. As you know, I haven’t been in Washington for years where taxpayers paid me to do so. I was busy living life like my fellow Americans. I promise to work hard and learn whatever I need to know, including finding experts in whatever fields are necessary. What I bring is knowledge of how the real world works outside Washington and deep convictions about this country needing to regain her greatness. You asked a good question. Here is the principle behind my response but I commit to spending more time on the details. It would be inappropriate for me to answer it now before I have learned more.” 

Would you accept an answer like that? And yes, while I would no more vote for Dr. Carson because he is Black than I would vote for Hillary because she is female, I think his race would be a factor in confusing and demoralizing staunch Democrat voters who have been trained to equate racism and the Republican Party.  

I have appreciated Ted Cruz for years. What I want to see from him is the ability to turn people who think they know and dislike him, into supporters. He is undoubtedly principled and intelligent. Can he be charming and welcoming to those who think the Tea Party is made up of kooks but if given the chance to actually listen to concerns and ideas might start nodding in agreement? I appreciate his years of standing up for my values as a lonely voice, but at this point, I want less “red meat” and more sizzling steak wafting tempting aromas to those who think differently. I’d like to see how he expects principle to meet practical. 

Months before any voting starts, this is my thought process. I’d love to hear yours. 


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30 thoughts on “Should Dr. Carson Become President Carson?”

  1. All good points. I think of myself, today, as a social and economic conservative. In other times, I might be a social and economic liberal. I try to keep ancient Jewish teachings as my lodestone. When policies fall close to or in sync with that, I’m on board.

  2. Susan,
    Thanks for writing this muse and starting this particular discussion. One of things that interest me most is not what people say but why they say it. I love trying to look at issues through the lens of other peoples eyes. In regards to this discussion I was interested in understanding your definition of conservatism and what values your ideal candidate would espouse. Also is the general disdain among like-minded conservatives towards Obama mainly his positions on social issues (i.e. gay marriage, abortion…) or economic issues (in terms of actual policies I don’t really know the difference between a Republicans and Democrats)?

  3. Hi,Susan,
    Have never seen your blog before, but will be paying closer attention to it from this point on. Your logic and choices are amazingly close to mine. Let us all pray that Cruz and Carson rise to the top with the best “cream of the crop”. I believe that what would be a really excellent team would be Cruz/Carson. By putting Cruz in the top spot it would give Carson (likely) eight years to prepare for being the next President ensuring conservative principle prevail for nearly a generation. Perhaps the best hope for returning our country to constitutional principles and Religious Freedom as it was long ago.

  4. I’m honored by your words, Lora. I’m also feeling a glimmer of hope and hoping that this isn’t Charlie Brown going to kick the football and have it pulled away at the last minute. I do believe that prayer makes a difference, so along with other things, that is definitely on the table.

  5. Where will I be able to listen to it? I have been having difficulty listening to you of late. Are the podcasts still on The Blaze? I can’t seem to maneuver thru what I need to to find it. Tech savvy does not describe me!

  6. Your posts are always so enlightening and uplifting. Thank you for that and may God continue to bless you, and by blessing you, bless us!
    As for presidential candidates, I can only say a few small points of all the things in my mind:
    1- If neither Cruz nor Carson make it through the run for candidacy, I will be upset.
    2- I have a glimmer of hope this time around that I have not had in a decade or more.
    3- I find it so interesting that many outspoken people mistake Carson’s quiet nature as weakness. Meek does NOT equal weak. His personal approach to life seems to be a good solid moral one that would serve as a shining example throughout out nation. I remember just how much Clinton tore down our culture with his excuses and immorality. We desperately need fresh clean air. The president is one of many individuals who can sway huge parts of our culture, even in things like tastes for food or sales in candy.
    4- America, if you don’t think one vote can make a difference, do you also sometimes think that one prayer can’t? We need to bend our hearts and knees in prayer. If I may say so in your comment section of your website.
    Thank you again for being such a solid presence online, Susan.

  7. All these wrapped up in a smart little package (the good and bad), my candidate is apparently custom fit to me. This is why I hold on to the possibility even though his chances are dismal. Having taken a political compass assessment, I was found to be plotted, slightly right and authoritarian of Francios Hollande, and just about bullseye on the political map’s crosshairs. Hence, my inability to let go of the possibility that Senator Graham remain a feasible consideration for presidency even with a less than 1% chance in “hill.” I looked for reasons to dismiss him and so allay the disappointment of his poll standing. I do see why he is not popular, although I do not see good reason, that I do see from him. I notice a peculiarity that his initials are an anagram for “log”, which is perhaps quite appropriate, if I were a nation of one, it would go just fine with me to get the very decisive log rolling, as soon as possible, from day one.

  8. This is how i’m tending as well. We just taped an Ancient Jewish Wisdom TV show for Thanksgiving and I read Abraham Lincoln’s call for a Day of Prayer and Humiliation (I think we would say humility). If only we had a president who would do the same, but we can all do the same in our homes.

  9. I feel the same as you about her post. Perhaps we could extend that back. Do we have the president we deserve now because we didn’t pray enough for GWB? I’m not sure why anyone who loves this country and the freedom we have, that is unique to the US, would pray that we get a president who they believe would be detrimental to the future of the US.

  10. I think a Cruz/Carson ticket would be my dream ticket. A Constitutional scholar and a non-political man of the utmost integrity. Both men are brillant. I have such hesitations with Mr. Trump. He has no problem saying horrible things about people and then backtracking. We’ve had a man with no principles and no love for our country with Obama. I want someone whose ego is behind him not what is leading him. Would I accept that question you ask Susan? Yes. It would show me someone who is not going to rush into a situation but will study and weigh all possible strategies for action. That is what Dr. Carson did as a surgeon prior to all his surgeries.
    Cruz/Carson or Carson/Cruz. 2016. But tons of prayer and asking for forgiveness for our country, needs to happen from now to November of next year.

  11. I don’t know that much about Rand Paul. I was impressed with some of his comments at the debate the other night. I do think we have a major problem with Islamic fundamentalism and the barrier between ‘over there’ and ‘over here’ is almost non-existent today. As such, I would need to hear more about how he sees keeping America safe without intervening in world affairs.

  12. Hi Susan,
    Let me start by saying that I’ve liked and respected your husband since I first saw him on TV years ago. I also listen to his weekly podcasts. When his FB post about your latest popped up I clicked over here.
    For me, your comments are reasoned and thoughtful and not dissimilar from mine. I haven’t made up my mind yet as I have four months before my primary.
    I’ve cross-linked it on my blog.
    Thank you for your thoughts. This is the first time I’ve been here and I will be back again.

  13. I really thought Trump would be sinking away a bit by now..I am still thrilled he shook things up…. now I am sure hoping people aren’t serious about him. I have liked Ben Carson so much , but have begun to like Cruz better with every debate .Doesn’t the media still seem to hold Jeb up as the Republican candidate ? It is as if they just can’t believe that things aren’t going as planned. If I had to vote right now , I believe I would vote for Cruz .I cannot believe I was an atheist, Democrat, liberal for so many years …who was I ? ha ha . Karen

  14. I have been a fan of Donald Trump for quite a while, I think he would make a good president…He didn’t become rich because he was stupid, a good leader knows how to appoint the right people to the right positions, this aspect I find to be highly favorable….and I do believe that Donald knows when to “play” nice…I don’t think that he would be the “loose cannon” that people might think he is, but I could be wrong…
    Ted Cruz is my second pick although he is gaining ground to be come my number 1 pick. He is one of the few candidates that answer every question with an answer instead of reciting his accomplishments, I like that….he is the only one that has brought up the fact that Socially Security wouldn’t be in trouble if the government would quit stealing the money out of it, yes the Social Security has a stack of IOU’s but if those are never paid back that is the same as stealing…I believe that Ted Cruz would make an excellent president…
    Ben Carson is a nice man, but to me he is too much of a pacifist, and I am not sure that is going to work with the mess that the current POTUS is going to leave behind…
    Also other than being a nice man, I am not sure that he would make a good president considering the “times” that we are living in…
    I am sorry but Carly puts me to sleep, when she answers a question I’m never sure what the answer was, I guess that’s just me….
    All of the candidates are good, definitely better than anyone the other party is offering….we need to be praying that the right person for America gets elected…

  15. James, I agree that the ability not to let the media and Democrats set the terms of the conversation is crucial. Mitt Romney played an entire losing campaign of defense that drove me crazy.

  16. Thanks, Donna. One of the gifts of the internet is being able to ‘meet’ people we might never run into otherwise. That’s one of the reasons I appreciate comments. It introduces me to new folks.

  17. Naima, I read your comment three times because I wanted to make sure I understood what you are saying. I think you are saying that you see Donald Trump as a punishment that America deserves. Is that right? I certainly agree that we should pray, but I’d rather pray for mercy and a president who can help guide America back on the right path. Thanks for writing.

  18. Thanks for a dream Musing! Your thinking is rock solid, and I say so because it largely echoes my own! I think Huckabee would make a fine president but fear he has the chances of an Arctic snowman in the equatorial rain forest. And I don’t know why. Trump is so independently wealthy, perilously autocratic and accustomed to ejaculating ‘You’re FIRED!’ with such gusto that I also worry that he at times may turn ‘ungoverned’ and perhaps ‘ungovernable.’ Rubio’s manner and articulate glibness are in the right direction and his head seems in the right place, but yes, in practice he might be more of an Establishment man.
    My own ‘triumvirate’ actually contains a woman: Carson, Cruz and Carly Fiorina are my picks. C3 (cubed)! Carson has that rare ability to stick to his guns admirably when challenged and not to turn snarky like so many other candidates. His quiet, reasoned approach is what we need. Carly seems similarly talented at turning the tables on those who would attack and diminish her, and maintaining focus. Cruz is the independent thinker who can shift the focus back to basics when the moderators are turning the debate into a travesty of pointless innuendo and ‘he-said-she-said.’ And Cruz is THE anti-establishment candidate to capsize those gravy-train Republicans who will never, EVER rock the boat. Carly may be cut from the same cloth. I am keeping both eyes open.

  19. I have liked Dr. Carson for a lot longer than u but the rest of what u have said I totally agree with! I just love reading ur blog! I’m not Jewish but u and I think a lot alike! I can’t convey to u how refreshing it is to read ur thoughts and know that there are others that have the same outlook as I do. There r a lot from my church that think like me but I mean in different geographical areas.

  20. Hello Susan Lapin:
    As an African American, I say you are still wrong. He is weak in his projection of himself as a man and a leader. I applaud him for his accomplishments in the medical field. As a leader for this great country, he will not get my vote. Nor would I vote for Donald Trump.
    I do strongly wish that Donald Trump does become President. I believe that the United States deserves a Donald Trump. After the great disrespect and non support from the various arenas of God’s children, even though God has commanded us to pray for our leaders.
    1 Timothy 2:1-3(The Message)
    1-3 The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.
    Our Religious Leaders have not walked us through or commanded that we follow this Word of God to pray for our President and our leaders. So I do pray now in these last days that America gets exactly what they deserve and that is Donald Trump!!

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