Enough about Trump, it’s Time to Talk about Carson

From the beginning of Trump’s campaign for the Presidency, his name and his outlandish statements have been plastered on every news channel multiple times a day. However, there is another Republican candidate who makes equally, if not more, bizarre claims and, with the exception of this week, has not received as much media criticism. This candidate is Ben Carson. It seems that almost weekly I see another statement from Ben Carson that causes me to question his competency to be President. While these claims certainly garner some media attention, it certainly does not receive the same amount as Donald Trump’s. Through Carson’s calm, cool, and collected mannerisms, which are a stark contrast to Ben Carson as a young boy who admittedly had severe anger management issues, Ben Carson offers statements that could top even Donald Trump’s original claim that America needs to build a wall to keep Mexicans out because they rape and steal.

   I am not going to dwell on the fact that Dr. Carson is a brain surgeon who has been quite forthright about his ignorance to science, such as his belief in creationism and his comment that climate change is irrelevant, because I have no desire to offend anyone’s religion and ignoring climate change is characteristic of most, if not all, republican candidates. I will also not dwell on the fact that Carson fabricated his acceptance to West Point on a full scholarship, though that is certainly not something to be ignored. Instead, let us take Ben Carson’s claim that if the Jewish people of Nazi Germany were armed then the Holocaust could have been prevented. This theory of Ben Carson’s has been disproved by Jewish groups, Holocaust scholars, as well as the Anti-Defamation League, yet Ben Carson has confidently stood by his statement. Exploiting the Holocaust in an attempt to pander to certain voters is offensive and rather abhorrent and comparing Nazism to our modern society after a mass school shooting is wrong both morally and factually. When Hitler first became chancellor, .75% of Germany was Jewish and more than half left the country by 1939, when the war began. So, Ben Carson’s theory is that arming less than 1% of a population is an adequate force compared to Adolf Hitler’s massive army. Need I say more?

    Dr. Ben Carson also compared another horrific and sensitive part of history to a modern controversy for his presidential campaign. Carson said that abortion is similar to slavery and that women who have abortions are like slave owners. Once again, the two are nothing alike. During slavery, white citizens enslaved an entire race due to the color of their skin. They claimed ownership of those people and subjected them to horrendous treatment. Abortion is not this equivalent. The majority of women who consider abortions do so in dire circumstances, such as if their life were in danger or the pregnancy was a result of rape, both of which Carson does not excuse for abortions.

   Another statement of Ben Carson’s is that a Muslim should never be president. Carson ignores the numerous other factors that go into the office, political experience, leadership capabilities, foreign policy experience, legislative experience, a voting record, and many more, to focus on one single religion. Carson supports this claim by saying that the United States constitution conflicts too much with the religion for a Muslim to ever be president. Dr. Carson must have missed the part where the constitution states, “no religious test shall ever be required as qualification to any office or public trust under the United States” or the first amendment to the constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” I think a more fitting argument is that no one who has absolutely no political experience should ever be President.

   The most recent of Ben Carson’s unusual claims is regarding Egyptian pyramids. In a commencement speech in 1998, Ben Carson remarked that the pyramids were not built to honor pharaohs but to store grain. Recently, Carson has reaffirmed that he still believes this to be true. His evidence? The Bible. Despite the numerous archaeologists who have actually studied and made it their life’s work to investigate the Egyptian pyramids who say that their purpose was to honor pharaoh’s, Dr. Carson has invented his own theory on them based on the Bible.

In an attempt to erase the criticism that Carson is unfit to be President because he lacks political experience, Carson authored a Facebook post where he stated that, “Every signer of the Declaration of Independence had no elected office experience.” Did Dr. Carson even bother to do even the tiniest of Google searching to see if this claim was true? More than half of the signers had political experience by the time they signed the Declaration. After this claim was disproved, Carson edited the post to read the signers had no federal elected office experience, which is true only because there was no federal government at the time. Overall, Carson’s attempt to prove that political experience is not necessary to produce historic governance was factually incorrect.

   For a very long time you could not watch the news without hearing, “we’re gonna build a wall!” and seeing the orange tint and golden toupee that characterize Donald Trump. Yet, these five quotes which are either offensive or lack any substantial evidence have not been so largely magnified. Until this week, where media has unabashedly criticized Ben Carson for lying about his acceptance to West Point, the media has almost glazed over Carson’s ludicrous remarks. Thus, I encourage you all to look past the title of “brain surgeon,” look past the soft tone of voice known to Carson, and do not rely solely on the media to bring attention to what should be attended. These statements are indicative of what kind of president Ben Carson could be, ignorant to facts, the knowledge of experts, and history.