11 Aug '15     home | previous

Ben Carson and his Big Picture

Dr Ben Carson thinks big, and the world knows he is a man of exceptional intelligence. He is an honest man and without rancor. He has been attracting support in his run for the Republican party's nomination for president. A Fox poll yesterday, 10 August, had him third, below Donald Trump and Rubio. And yesterday, Public Policy Polling had him second.

A few who dislike his politics are calling him a liar, and some claim, absurdly, that he doesn't like poor people. In commenting on Carson's book, One Nation, What We Can Do to Save America's Future,someone else complains that "virtually everything in this book is boilerplate Religious Right-Wing Conservative."

Ben Carson has also written a book titled The Big Picture. Anyone aspiring to be President of the United States certainly needs a "big picture." But everyone has his o her own big picture, and valid conclusions about any issue requires focus on a collection of specifics.

Regarding education, Ben Carson knows the importance of applying oneself, a conservative value and parental input. In the fifth grade he had been a do-nothing student. His mother, raising two sons alone and working three jobs had only a third grade education. She turned her sons around by having them read two books from the public library each week and submit book reports to her. From a do nothing student he went to the top of his class. He acquired a BA degree in psychology from Yale. By his early thirties he was a leading brain surgeon. His mother also went on to get a university degree.

Carson's rise to the top involved his exceptional intelligence, his "can-do" attitude and competition. Accomplishing great things with a "can-do" attitude is a part of Carson's Big Picture. It fits with the conservative message of self-help, raising oneself up without government assistance and that society would be better if we all just applied ourselves more at being productive.

Another ingredient is Carson's faith. He says that when his mother saw her boys going wrong she prayed to God for wisdom and direction. Carson believes that God responded and gave her that wisdom.

Carson's Big Picture differs from others who have a picture. We all have our own big picture of the world we function in. Specific issues exist within the context of our Big Picture. The importance of specifics comes into play. Carson speaks of handling these issues with common sense and wisdom. Some believe that being a skilled neurosurgeon, having vast medical knowledge, being a great physicist or being most religiously devout does not assure wisdom regarding our political dealings. Lord knows the disagreements among neurophysicists about matters outside their field. Same with other physicists, medical doctors, dentists and preachers.

Ben Carson's differences include his describing the Constitution as "made only for a moral and religious people," and that "It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Some others believe that the Constitution applies to the whole nation.

Some people see Carson is a global warming denier. Carson told Bloomberg News that "There's always going to be either cooling or warming going on." He says that so far as he is concerned "that's irrelevant, that what is relevant is that we have an obligation and a responsibility to protect our environment." But there is controversy on how exactly we do that.

Economically Carson sides with the "trickle down" theory and the conservative economist Arthur Laffer. And he describes Obamacare as a lot like slavery because it aims to make all of us subservient to the government. "It was never about health care," he says. "It was about control." To substantiate his point Carson is reported to have quoted Lenin as saying "Socialized medicine is a keystone to the establishment of a socialist state." Those who have a more detailed picture of Lenin deny that Lenin ever uttered any such statement and that rather than medicine as a keystone he had other things in mind. They see irrelevance in Carson's mention of Lenin.

On the subject of politics, Carson has claimed something that sounds wise:

Disagreement is part of being a person who has choices. One of those choices is to respect others and engage in intelligent conversation about differences of opinion without becoming enemies.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.