Is Ben Carson a Politician?


Filed Under Latest News on May 6 

Ben Carson says he is not a politician and never wanted to be a politician “because politicians do what is politically expedient and I want to do what´s right.” Now that he’s officially announced, a logical question to ask is: what in the world is Ben Carson doing running for president if he doesn’t want to do what is politically expedient? There are two answers to this. The easy one is: he’s exaggerating like any candidate and trying to present himself as a force of renewal and hope in Washington. The other answer is: because he really means it and he wants to change politics in the beltway in a big way. Over the next months, and perhaps longer, we will find out which answer is closer to the truth when it comes to Ben Carson.

Dr. Carson will now have to show that his complete lack of experience in any sort of political office is not a hindrance to his ability to govern America. That he has the intellect and the passion is a given. That he could actually govern in today’s world is an unknown. That to some voters, his lack of time in any political office is a shining virtue, must also be acknowledged. But he will have to turn his ideas into a doable platform of policies that GOP voters, conservative ones and others in the Republican tent, can say ‘yes, that works for me’. His faith as a Seventh Day Adventist will be brought under the harsh and cynical scrutiny of a post-modern media. One can almost hear a MSNBC reporter asking, “Doctor, do you believe in evolution?” As if a great contradiction, not to say implied hypocrisy, has been revealed by that question. And Dr. Carson will have to respond, once more. That an astonishingly gifted physician – is there a more useful applied science than medicine? – can prosper in part precisely because of his faith, never mind co-exist with it, is a reality for many but certainly not all scientists or physicians. But it is a reality that Ben Carson personifies. How comfortable will voters be with Ben’s faith however? Will the media and rivals try to turn his faith into another Mitt Romney show? Or do Ben Carson’s rock solid conservative credentials mitigate that possibility? At least from his GOP rivals.

It will be up to Ben Carson to explain, he certainly doesn’t have to show, how his faith and his life and his career all nurture each other. How he does it, and how the media and voters react, will help define his campaign. Because his successes are not what interest the public now, as inspiring and marvelous as they are. He has to show his faith in himself as every cheap shot imaginable gets thrown his way. And he will have to rise above them and offer both a clear and an inspiring vision for the country’s future. No small mountain to climb for the good physician. Especially one with no job experience in the ambitious and unforgiving world he has now officially entered.