A Critique of Carson: Why the Good Doctor would be a Disaster

By Megan Gramlich

Source: Life News

Source: Life News

Recently, Dr. Ben Carson surpassed Donald Trump in an NBC poll as the leading Republican presidential candidate. Carson is a retired neurosurgeon, well known for his separation of conjoined twins and his work on developing techniques to control brain seizures. Carson’s popularity among conservative voters is likely attributable to the fact that he is a complete outsider to politics. This strikes a chord with voters who are disillusioned with the current state of Washington. Further, there are many voters who share his views.

Dr. Carson’s social and economic stances are clearly very conservative. In the realm of foreign policy, Carson supports strengthening the U.S. military and having our country take even more of a “leadership position” in the international arena. This often translates to unprovoked unilateral military action and unnecessary foreign entanglement characteristic of the Bush Doctrine.

At a time when Americans face many hardships, particularly with regards to economic inequality, we need to focus on domestic rather than international issues. Indeed, the best thing that the United States can do for the international community is to focus on improving our own domestic conditions before increasing our international presence. While it is true that our country has a moral obligation to give humanitarian aid to countries in need, such an obligation must be fulfilled with multilateral efforts. Further, it is immoral and contrary to international legal norms for a country to implement first-strike policies. What’s more, such policies are likely to place the United States in a very deep quagmire. This is a lesson we should have learned from the Iraq War. It is also important that we decrease rather than increase our military spending. We need to instead be spending more money on programs such as Social Security and Medicare, which are essential to the well-being of millions of Americans.

Carson also maintains that welfare perpetuates poverty, indicating that he lacks an understanding of the realities of poverty in this country. Most economists agree that economic mobility is limited in the United States, and many conservatives like Carson try to blame Americans who suffer from poverty for their own conditions. The truth is, many hard-working Americans simply earn low incomes or are unable to find work at all. In most cases, it is unfeasible for individuals to lift themselves out of poverty. However, conservatives like Carson try to argue that this lack of economic mobility is an issue of laziness rather than of social contingency —  they would rather distort reality than admit that the well-off have a moral obligation to give to those who are less fortunate. Conservatives such as these refuse to admit that income redistribution is necessary for true equality of opportunity to be realized in the United States.

Carson has also attacked a woman’s right to control her own body. In fact, Carson compared abortion to slavery. This analogy is not only disgusting — it is inaccurate. A person is an autonomous being, and thus possesses the right to not be controlled by another’s wishes. A fetus, by contrast, is not an autonomous being. Until a fetus is viable, it is dependent upon its mother for survival. Thus, a fetus does not possess the rights of an autonomous being. Many conservatives like Carson attempt to argue the very opposite: they argue that a fetus has the same rights as a born individual. Yet, this is completely illogical. It is true that a fetus has the potential to become a born individual, but that does not give it the rights of an autonomous being. Likewise, a child has the potential to grow into an adult, but we do not give children the same rights as an adult. This is made evident by the fact that we do not allow children to purchase alcohol or guns. Carson’s opposition to abortion is an odious attempt to impose his religious beliefs on others.

Clearly, Carson is an undesirable candidate from a liberal perspective. However, even conservatives who agree with many of his views should refrain from supporting him due to his lack of political experience, trustworthiness, and sensibility. While many voters are anti-establishment, it is overly pessimistic to believe that all Washington insiders are corrupted by their experience in government. This mentality results in political experience actually disqualifying candidates for the presidency. In reality, a presidential candidate needs experience in the White House and/or Congress in order to be able to effectively lead the national government. How else would a president-elect know what they will be doing once they get to the Oval Office?

In addition to lacking political experience, Carson has also proved that he is not a trustworthy individual. For example, Politico revealed that Carson lied about being admitted to and receiving a scholarship from West Point. Further, Carson has made a barrage of gaffes and other absurd comments. For example, in response to the recent Oregon shooting, Carson wrote on Facebook, “I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking our right to arm ourselves away.” It is one thing to argue that the right to bear arms is essential for personal protection, but what Carson said is that the right to bear arms takes precedent over human life. This is only one of many ludicrous statements he has made throughout his campaign. Carson would clearly make an ineffective president. Hopefully, a more qualified Republican presidential candidate will soon surpass him in the polls.

3 comments on “A Critique of Carson: Why the Good Doctor would be a Disaster
  1. Hello Megan,

    I liked your piece to a certain extent. However, I found it very passionately biased towards your views, but I’m not sure how DPR works in that regard. I plan on joining your magazine soon. I love politics and believe in many of your statements. But, I feel like there will be someone one day to who will be accepted by all, just not in this election at least.

    Best,
    David

  2. this argument is highly unsupported… the media’s recent accusations are entirely false, and it is disappointing that you failed to realize that. additionally, carson’s position against abortion is not disgusting. very narrow minded article.

  3. Dear Ms. Gramlich,
    I would like to compliment you on the title of your article “A Critique of Carson: Why the Good Doctor would be a Disaster.” Great tag line: it prompted me to read your article!
    First off, I’m not writing as a supporter of Ben Carson. I am writing because it struck me right away, that after just reading to the third paragraph of your “article” that this writing is simply a “blog post”.
    I take issue with what you have written in terms of style, content, the absence of effective persuasion and well researched facts, along with an abundance of broad, biased and loosely based personal opinions. To illustrate, I will touch upon the following items that stood out in particular.
    First, you simply say that Carson “compared abortion to slavery” and that you found his “comparison” to be “disgusting.” Carson’s statement was in reference to slave owners having the right to do anything they wanted to the slave and the slave having no rights (hence, having things forced upon them). I wonder, is it the concept of slavery that you found to be “disgusting”, perhaps the concept of the powerful controlling the weak? – I hope so.
    One can deduce from his statement, he is referring to a woman who decides to end the life of an unborn child (she has rights and the unborn child has no rights). It doesn’t matter if the unborn child (you refer to as fetus) is not “autonomous”. The unborn child is a human life completely dependent on its mother for survival. Your attempt to support your pro-abortion position by stating that we “we do not give children the same rights as an adult …. we do not allow children to purchase alcohol or guns” (what does this have to do with a right to live?) is ridiculous. How can you compare the rights of children (autonomous beings) with the rights of an unborn child (not an autonomous being) in order to substantiate your argument?
    Best use a different argument to substantiate your belief. Such as comparing apples to apples instead of apples to a loaf of bread?
    With regards to your statement about Carson’s Facebook post, he did not imply nor say that the right to bear arms takes precedent over human life. Where did you get this from? It seems easy for you to take one sentence out of the context of his 354 word Facebook post and slant it to your position. Read his post. The right to bear arms is for individuals to protect their (human) lives. He was speaking from the point of view of a surgeon performing a countless number of procedures on victims of gang violence. He was speaking from his experience as a child who grew up in the slums of Detroit and saw plenty of gun violence as a child. Both of his cousins were killed on the streets. He provided this information in his Facebook post to illustrate his firsthand knowledge and to substantiate his passion for his pro-gun position.
    You also state that Carson has proved that he is not a trustworthy individual. I find that to be a very dangerous and naïve statement to make in the area of politics. Shall we talk about Hillary, Bill, Richard and the rest?
    You state that the US “needs to instead be spending more money on programs such as Social Security and Medicare, which are essential to the well-being of millions of Americans.” Throwing money at a program that the government has mismanaged is not the solution. Cutting or eliminating excessive spending on government programs would be a good start. Even better, eliminate programs that enable folks to remain complacent and programs that are a waste of taxpayer dollars. There are a total of 1607 Government Funding Programs that cost a total of $1,974,042,215,000. How about eliminating the government run Abstinence Education Fund that has $40,895,000 of total funding. If that program was successful, we wouldn’t be here talking about abortion.
    Your statement to increase spending on programs (Social Security and Medicare) that are funded by folks who work hard for a living, makes it obvious that you do not know much about Government programs, Social Security or Medicare.
    Lastly, your statement that “conservatives such as these refuse to admit that income redistribution is necessary for true equality of opportunity to be realized in the United States.” Really? I would love to see a well written fact based article about the current state of the US Economy and reason why this Country is now struggling (economically, educationally, socially, and morally). Could it be due to the fact that in the history of the United States of America we find ourselves in highest amount of debt – ever? Also, consider a well written fact based article about “income redistribution” (aka Socialism) that illustrates how this will benefit the citizens of the United States.
    Thanks for listening.

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