By Guest Contributor Deborah Wiseman
I think it’s safe to say that Ben Carson probably isn’t the best speaker, and I haven’t really seen any conservatives rushing to his defense at any point in the last few months. The people who I have seen be his strongest supporters (and really, I only mean strongest when comparing to other critics) are people who support Trump, and by supporting Trump, seem to support every decision that he makes without much more thought than “he made the decision, so he must be right.” (This is a slight overgeneralization on my part, but Carson doesn’t have fierce, die hard supporters the way that Senator Cruz did and still does.)
So, when the left is willing to crucify him, it seems like the right takes on the mantle, and joins in, jumping onto the bandwagon of “look at the dumb neurosurgeon,” which, to someone like me is a little frustrating. These are people who believe that HUD is a throwaway position not worthy of acknowledgment. By extension, they believe that Dr. Carson is worthy of derision, and not a second glance. I doubt anyone can even name the last HUD secretary, or who Dr. Carson is replacing, without having to do a Google search. (Julian Castro, former mayor of SF.)
I work in the mortgage industry and have written many FHA loans in my time, due to the first company that I ever worked for, and the type of clientele they were best at helping. FHA, or Federal Housing Administration, is one of the main departments under HUD, but not the only department. (FHA loans are fun to do, and not as scary as everyone seems to think they are.)
Dr. Carson is in charge of a federal agency that employs at least 9,000 people, and their goal is to help US citizens with their housing and urban development. Dr. Carson’s philosophy is crucial to the role that this organization will play in Trump’s administration, and his philosophy, which he expounded on in his Senate hearing, is what won me over to him.
Before I go into his philosophy, I will detail the Right’s philosophy and the Left’s. The Right doesn’t really care about this Federal Agency, they consider it unimportant, and they don’t want it to suck away too much in the way of federal funding in the way of entitlement programs. The fewer people who take advantage of this agency, the better, because the less money is being spent, the better. The right would prefer this agency to be largely forgotten, the Secretary to be quiet, and out of sight.
The Left sees the potential in such an organization, and has much more ambitious and insidious plans. The more people who are in need of federal help or agency, the more people they can trap in a social net of entitlements. They want it to be continuous, as once you are receiving some type of public assistance, you are not supposed to ever stop. The more people you have depending on social programs and entitlements, the more people you have voting for you, because voting for the other person cuts off that entitlement program and leaves you in the cold. (Literally.)
Dr. Carson is a uniquely qualified individual, not because he is a renowned neurosurgeon, but because he recognizes what the Left’s plan is, and what they are trying to do with this federal agency. In fact, one can even make an argument that he is “engineered” to be the Left’s worst nightmare in turning this agency against them.
To best understand Dr. Carson’s unique perspective, you should first understand him. He grew up on public housing assistance in Detroit, went to college and medical school on scholarship, and then became a successful neurosurgeon. He was the first man to successfully separate conjoined twins.
What’s truly important, and is the basis of his philosophy, is that he broke out of the Leftist pattern of being and staying on public assistance. He was able to go from being on public assistance to being a renowned neurosurgeon. It’s the success story of success stories. What’s important about Dr. Carson is that he believes, very strongly, that he does not have to be the exception to the rule. He wants to be an example of the rule.
When he was talking about the potential of a human brain, how he could take the oldest person in a room, drill a hole in their head, and have them recall a book word for word that they read 60 years prior – that wasn’t him blathering on in an incoherent mumble.
He was trying to point out that the human mind and spirit is truly limitless, that our potential is so great, that there is no obstacle that will be able to stop someone from achieving their goals, as long as they have the drive and ambition. This is completely antithetical to the left – because their whole philosophy is based on the idea that people are not capable of achieving their goals, that they need government intervention to exist and will always need government intervention.
Another thing that people took issue with, and raked Dr. Carson over the coals over, was his “immigrants on a slave ship” comment. OK, basic comprehension skills and possible reasons he used that unfortunate phrasing. One, he was trying to point out that you could come to America with literally nothing, less than nothing, and one day issue a renowned neurosurgeon who successfully performed a “what’s probably a really difficult surgery” on infants.
To grow from nothing into something is to encapsulate the American dream. Two, he probably chose the word ‘immigrants’ because, gee, I don’t know, that’s a really hot button issue on everyone’s minds, and he was trying to be relevant to the issue of our time. Here’s another reason he didn’t use the word slaves in his speech, and this one is really important. Think of who he was speaking to, and who his target audience was. Hint: Not the American people. Especially, in a GOP administration, we are supposed to forget that this agency exists. He was speaking to the 9,000 employees, most of whom were hired under the Obama administration, with stated goals contrary to his goals. Dems want to continue to enslave people by making them dependent on federal government. Dr. Carson wants to free those people by helping them realize their own potential and break out of the cycles created by Dems. He needed to distance the Democrats from their philosophy and remind them that they like to enslave people in order to maintain the status quo, and keeping voters on their side wasn’t really the best way to do that. Using the word immigrants, though, and expressing the idea of helping immigrants, which they say is very important to them, that’s a better way of winning employees to his vision without indirectly encouraging insubordination in the process.
What Dr. Carson wants to do with HUD is fantastic, because he truly wants to use it as a force for good. He wants to ensure that if you are forced into a position of using public assistance that you don’t have to stay on public assistance. Also – he wants to open it up to private investors to have a chance to put their own money into this – instead of solely depending on federal funding. This is great on many different levels, one, less government money – so GOP should be happy. Next – fresh and creative ideas. Then, it’s a way for private companies and organizations to give back to a community without being forced into it. Think of the potential ideas that can be created: internship programs, school and trade fellowships in industries that have job shortages but huge public needs. (It’s been awhile since I checked, but I’m pretty sure we need more nurses.)
Based on some of the appointments that are being discussed, they’re talking about a major Illinois Builder being brought in for FHA commissioner. Construction, since the recession in 2008, has been severely restricted. Think of all of the areas in the US that are currently experiencing housing crises, rising rent costs, and the mini bubbles appearing all over pockets of the US mainly due to lack of inventory. Having a competent and aggressive builder in this position is a breath of fresh air. Part of what will make homeownership more affordable overall, for everyone, is having more inventory.
Dr. Carson isn’t the best speaker. I will give you all that. But he’s a brilliant and earnest individual, with the belief that people can and will be able to live up to their personal potential.
I also want to point out that even though Senator Warren did not end up voting to confirm him as Secretary of HUD, she has made it her personal mission to malign and villainize every one of President Trump’s picks. She couldn’t say a single thing wrong with him, and her base blew up at her. “In his written responses to me, he made good, detailed promises, on everything from protecting anti-homelessness programs to enforcing fair housing laws.” This woman, who is the queen of baseless attacks and maligning the character of her opponents for the fact that they have different philosophies than her, couldn’t say anything bad about Dr. Carson.
So when I see people on the right act exactly like people on the left, and poke fun at him without bothering to try to understand or care about him, his role in this administration, or the force for good that he is going to be – I’m upset.
I wasn’t a Carson fan at the beginning, I didn’t support him for President, and when Trump declared him for HUD, I was confused. But after his hearing, I was sold. I want him to be successful in his mission.