Dr. Ben Carson was not going to win the Republican nomination, but if you asked around conservative circles about Ben Carson, likely you would hear what a good man he was. A Christian, a conservative, a man of virtue, unity, and kindness. “Not my choice, but a good man.” Everyone said, everyone agreed. He has an inspiring story. Raised in poverty, Carson worked his way to become a respected and talented neurosurgeon. He seemed to exemplify the American Dream. He caught attention at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, openly criticizing Obama’s ACA. When he announced his run in 2015 everyone admired the simplicity of it. Small donations, fun, silly promos on Facebook. “Pets for Ben Carson, post photos of your pets and we will share them!” Run Ben Run. There was gentleness to his demeanor and a warmth to his approach. He was likable, calm, and civilized. His debates weren’t the greatest. He never seemed to gain enough time, but that didn’t stop him from leading in the polls. Run Ben Run.
As Carson overtook Donald Trump in the polls, Trump launched an attack, infamously calling Carson “pathological” and even likening him to a child molester. But Carson’s calm was still the polar opposite of Trump, and seemed to keep him afloat. The media piled on too, but Republicans defended him. He was a good man, Ben, and no one was going to let him get pushed around. With an electorate that seemed to favor and enjoy an outsider, Carson definitely seemed in the running.
Then, there was Iowa, when the Carson Campaign foolishly sent out mixed messages about Carson taking time off, that other camps used to their advantage. The Cruz Camp was singled out the most, and as Ted Cruz finished first, Carson was suddenly unforgiving and even hostile. Cruz apologized both privately and publicly, but Carson seemed resistant to accept. As the debates rattled on, Carson had fewer minutes and even less impressive moments. He once stumbled through the preamble of the Constitution as he recited it from memory, which came off inauthentic and sounded like a high school presentation. His biggest highlight was asking “Can someone attack me please?”, citing his desperation for speaking time. It got a few laughs and some pity, but ultimately Ben was going no farther. He dropped out in March, leaving the question of endorsement.
The anticipation was high and confusing, and though many wished it hadn’t happened, Carson announced his endorsement of Donald Trump. The motivation was unclear, as to why he would endorse the man who basically called him a pedophile, but hints of appointments were made, admitted, and then recanted by Carson himself. Impossible to say exactly, but one can be sure that Carson never forgave Ted Cruz, and blamed him for Iowa.
The endorsement was cheered and jeered. Many people felt betrayed that Carson, their “good man,” would endorse a man of ill repute, and even more, a man who was not a conservative. But Carson believed there were two Donald Trump's; one was a tough, angry man with nasty insults, but the real one was a sweet, gentle soul. As time went on, and Carson was forced to defend Trump’s absurdities, it seemed, the people were going to find out there were two Ben Carsons. The virtuous, always principled and calm Carson was slowly turning more into an unvirtuous, unprincipled Carson. Sure Trump lies, nobody’s perfect. Sure Trump is irrational, but who cares, this is about the country. He insisted he knew the real Trump, and blamed the media for the distortion. He even stepped in to offer a defense to Trump’s thug campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, after he was arrested for battery.
The pressure of selling out seemed to hit its peak during the most recent allegations of sexual assault against Trump, as Carson once again rolled out his integrity for Trump to walk on. Where was the “good man” conservatives had been defending? Where was the virtuous man exhibiting Christian values? It is unclear. It appears the Ben Carson we thought we knew is no longer present, and now there is only a man asking to put the conversation about values to the side so that the presidency can be handed to Donald Trump. It’s a shame about the Ben Carson we thought we knew. We need men like him now.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.