The myth that the reason Blacks and many minorities voted for President Obama may be dispelled if Conservative Neurosurgeon Ben Carson becomes the opponent of Hilary Clinton or whomever the Democrats put up (based on candidate lists, unlikely to be a black person). I put this in racial terms because many Republicans & Democrats are of that belief inasmuch as there is ample evidence that like any other voters, blacks vote their perceived interest (e.g., Artur Davis loss to Ron Sparks in Alabama).
Ben Carson is likely the world’s leading neurosurgeon. He is Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom by George W Bush in 2008. Dr. Carson grew up poor, the son of a single mother and began to excel in school when his mother began requiring him to do a lot of reading instead of too much TV watching. He graduate high school with honors and received a Psychology degree from Yale. He attended the University of Michigan Medical School. His stellar biography does not lend itself to the type of Conservative he has become.
The media has been going heads over heals over new visibly politically active Ben Carson. I became aware of Ben Carson after watching the documentary of his life “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story”. Make no mistake; Dr. Carson is a medical and surgical genius second to none. His adoption of the current Right Wing ideology makes him seem like a political and sociological neophyte.
Dr. Carson made national headlines by going to the National Prayer Breakfast and making a Right Wing speech. It was immediately evident he went with an agenda as he immediately began his speech with a supposed disdain for political correctness. That was his cover to speak up against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), support for a flat tax based on religious tithing of 10%, and support for other Right Wing policies. The problem is not that he was not politically correct; it was that he gave a political speech in the wrong venue. What is dangerous is he did it in a non-confrontational and passive manner unlike the standard fire brand Right Wing. For the politically and economically uninformed much of what he said sounded plausible.
Ben Carson used his speech to plug his books, his website, and his scholarship program (plugging his scholarship nationally is fine for the good it does however). Even Right Wing Conservatives Cal Thomas and Rich Lowry objected to what Carson did at the Prayer Breakfast.
What was wrong with Dr. Carson’s speech is that he allowed a Right Wing and Evangelical ideology to cloud his intrinsic intelligence. In supporting a flat tax based on tithing levels he forgets basic arithmetic. He speaks about concern for a budget deficit and debt yet supports a policy that will make it worse. He forgets that he was on government provided healthcare which during his poverty was the springboard to his health maintenance. He forgets that a flat tax hurts those he purports to want to help by taking more of their disposable income, in effect a tax increase on the poor. He forgets that health savings account only work if you have disposable income to save, something the middle class lacks more and more.
Ben Carson is in the process as of destroying his legacy. He shows that even an intelligent mind can be co-opted. He speaks about having self-esteem problems earlier on in his life. One can only wonder if that seed remains. The platform given him by the Right Wing may just be that filler as his great neurological work is not giving the notoriety it rightfully deserves while intellectually inferior hacks like Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, & Herman Cain are giving the spotlight.
Ben Carson hinted at interest in a Presidential run at CPAC. In a national campaign where there is a debate, the policies Ben Carson support as well as his basic ideology will again be rejected by most Americans. Right Wing Conservatives think in Ben Carson they can get an Obama figure that will garner the minority vote in large numbers and the Black vote specifically. They continue to fundamentally misunderstand that Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and most others did not vote for Obama because he was black. They voted for him because of the policies he articulated. Blacks, Latinos, and others do not vote for Republicans in general because of a hostility they have to minorities and policies that give minorities equal access to success.