Carson’s rise in GOP pollings sparks alarm, not relief

So far, Donald Trump has pretty much dom­inated all talks about the 2016 presidential campaign. Spewing incredibly brazen rhetoric from building a wall to keep out Mexican im­migrants to claiming that global warming was created by the Chinese to make U.S. manufac­turing non-competitive, Trump became such a hurricane of vulgar noise that even Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked him to “turn it down.”

However, tens of thousands of his support­ers saw his unfiltered words as a breath of fresh air and applauded his brash attitude and vehe­ment opposition to political correctness.

As unimaginable as it was, Trump led the polls for months as he defiantly marched to­wards the presidency. But suddenly, his mo­mentum just…stopped. Now, GOP candidate and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson is the new frontrunner, and that’s not a good thing.

Think back to the first Republican Debate in August. Donald Trump was still making head­lines with his extreme opinions, and countless people were tuning in just to see him wreak havoc against the other candidates. During the chaotic squabble that occurred, Ben Carson stood patiently, largely ignored during the de­bate.

When he did finally get a chance to speak, he joked, “I wasn’t sure I was going to get to talk again,” (The Hill, “Carson at debate: ‘I wasn’t sure I was going to get to talk again,’” 08.06.15). Always chuckling, always soft-spoken, Carson seemed like the only friendly, reasonable can­didate among an angry, ravenous mob.

Fast-forward to today, and we have Trump mourning the loss of his lead. “Carson is low­er energy than Bush! I don’t get it!” exclaimed Trump at a recent rally (CNN, “Donald Trump on poll slump: ‘I don’t get it,’” 10.28.15).

Some may say that this shift is obviously for the better, as there are more than a handful of reasons to dislike the billionaire businessman. Others believe Carson should be in the lead since he is the best candidate in the election and can resonate with both Democrats and Re­publicans. However, as warm and charming as Ben Carson may be, he is no different than the garish, ignorant Donald Trump.

The question to address is exactly why Carson took the lead. It could be just because Trump’s outright brazenness has gotten old, but according to The Washington Post, Carson pulled through thanks to his enormous follow­ing of evangelical voters.

As a deeply religious man, Carson made it clear that America needs to return to its Chris­tian roots, stating in a recent forum, “It is time to bring God back into our country.”

In regards to social matters, Carson is more than just simply opposed to issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion.

In fact, he has made many alarming, cal­lous statements on these topics. In 2013, he compared homosexuality to bestiality and pe­dophilia on national television, causing Johns Hopkins to withdraw him as a commencement speaker (ABC News, “Ben Carson Apologizes For Comment on Homosexuality,” 04.05.13). He once compared abortion to human sacrifice and found it “interesting” that Americans call other ancient civilizations “heathen.”

In his latest 2015 book, “A More Perfect Union,” Carson compares same-sex marriage to the “abnormal situation” of requiring cars to accommodate for conjoined twins.

Earlier this year, Carson stated that straight people coming out of prison gay proved that homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice and chuckled about how Christian bakers might poison a cake for homosexual couples to an au­dience who wasn’t laughing (Huffington Post, “Ben Carson Apologizes For Saying Prisons Prove Being Gay Is A Choice,” 03.04.15).

Based on his past, Ben Carson would proba­bly appeal to a certain demographic of voters, the same who supported Senator Rick Santo­rum.

Yet Dr. Carson’s rather extreme remarks are not limited to these issues either. After the re­cent mass shooting in Roseburg, Ore., Carson commented, “I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away,” (Rolling Stone, “Ben Carson: ‘Body With Bullet Holes’ Prefera­ble to Gun Control,” 10.06.15).

In 2014, he called President Obama a psycho­path and compared his supporters to Nazi sym­pathizers (GQ, “What If Sarah Palin Were a Brain Surgeon?” 03.23.15). Less than a month ago during NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Carson stated, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” and later stated that he could never support a Muslim president.

At the Values Voter Summit, Carson stated that Obamacare is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery” and then later added that Obamacare is even worse than the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Aren’t these the extreme statements that one would expect someone like Donald Trump to blurt out in a fervent frenzy? What’s going on?

Additionally, the most unsettling informa­tion is that for almost every criticism against these extreme remarks, Carson blamed the situation on political correctness. For attacks against his comparison between same-sex mar­riage and bestiality, he blamed political cor­rectness.

For attacks against his comment about not advocating for a president purely because he or she is Muslim, he blamed political correctness. He criticized the “PC police” for pouncing on his every remark.

At a March 2014 event in New York, he com­pared modern times with a Gestapo Age, where he stated, “[America is] very much like Nazi Germany–and I know you’re not supposed to talk about Nazi Germany but I don’t care about political correctness. You know, you had a gov­ernment using its tools to intimidate a popula­tion. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe, and it’s because of the PC police.” He despises political correctness, and he’s not afraid to remind peo­ple. Just like Trump.

So what, some may ask. Those are just his personal preferences. Who cares whether he hates political correctness? His policies are what matters. Granted, policies are important, and Carson’s focus on education is not a bad one. However, here’s my biggest problem with Carson: he’s committing the same enormous mistake as not only Donald Trump but also Mitt Romney.

In other words, he is going out of his way to alienate a significant population of people in the country.

Just like Mitt Romney with his 47 percent speech and Donald Trump with his speech about Mexico, Ben Carson is purposefully cast­ing out a large number of the people he’s sup­posed to represent without a single thought or care.

He makes off-the-cuff remarks that promote hostility, he chuckles off serious issues in a friv­olous manner, he shuts his eyes and puts both hands over his ears when someone disagrees with what he says and when he’s faced with criticism, he uses the great bogeyman of politi­cal correctness as a scapegoat to dodge respon­sibility for his actions.

Yes, people should have the freedom to think and do what they want. However, being a lead­er is an entirely different story. A leader has the terribly difficult job of looking after everyone in the country and caring about them equally.

A leader is someone who can unite, someone who refuses to throw people aside or give up on them. If Ben Carson divides people with his words, then how can he ever hope to unite a nation with his actions?

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