Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ben Carson's Resume

Dr. Ben Carson is applying to be the President of the United States. He has acknowledged that his resume for the job is a bit different than what most people have come to expect. But in a post on Facebook, he highlighted the  experience he believes qualifies him for the job.
I do not have political experience, I have a life journey. A journey that not only made it possible for me to relate to so many different people, but also one where time and time again I was told I would fail, only to succeed. My candidacy is different, that I grant you...

What I have is a lifetime of caring, integrity and honesty. I have experienced the American Dream. No where in the world, other than America, could a man whose ancestors were slaves, rise to become a leading brain surgeon and one day seek the Office of President.
Of course, now that members of the media are combing through that "life journey" and find that his claim about a lifetime of integrity and honesty doesn't always stand up, Dr. Carson is pretty angry.

One reporter who has done the legwork of examining that journey by reading five of Dr. Carson's books is Carlos Lozada. Here is what he learned:
Ben Carson became convinced of two things during his teenage years. First, that he was uniquely talented, “one of the most spectacular and smartest people in the world.” Second, that God would answer his prayers, however specific they might be...

Little has occurred in Carson’s life and career since then to counter those impressions, and much has happened to confirm them. That may help explain why, during his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, the retired neurosurgeon has appeared at times indifferent to or uninformed about matters relevant to the office he seeks, such as the federal debt ceiling or natural disasters, and has expressed little regret over his controversial comments on the Holocaust, mass shootings, slavery and Islam. After reading five of his autobiographical, self-help and political books...I find this attitude more understandable. Why stress over policy details or gaffes when you’re the brightest person in the room, and when the Big Guy will show up if you ever need a hand?
It is that second part that I find most concerning. Here are some examples Lozada provides:
Once you have God on speed dial, well, it’s hard not to press that button. At one point, Carson requests God’s help to find his stolen passport; it is retrieved...And in a particularly unnerving intercession, Carson asks God for help in dismissing his incompetent, alcoholic secretary without hurting her feelings...Two weeks later, the secretary doesn’t show up for work. “We never did find out what happened to her,” Carson writes. “She simply disappeared.”
While I hesitate to step on anyone's toes when it comes to theology, this is a particularly troubling understanding of faith that Kim Knight described as an assumption that God is a cosmic vending machine.
See, I have a very hard time with the theology of folk who claim that God gives away touchdowns, Bentleys and control of Congress as rewards for the pious but allows/causes millions of people to suffer from hunger, disease, disasters and diabolical dehumanization.
I have no problem if that is the way an individual wants to live their life. But I have a serious problem with the idea that a leader of the free world would avoid doing his own work on developing a deep understanding of the challenges that face us and simply call on the magical thinking of assuming that God will take care of it. If this guy needs divine intervention to fire a secretary, that's an immediate disqualifier for the job.


  1. The secretary anecdote is particularly telling since it boils down to Carson saying he didn't have the nerve the fire the secretary himself and needed God to do it for him.

    1. And lacks the basic compassion to at least find out if she's okay.

  2. There are many people who say..."I will put it in God's Hands"...

    that is not my issue with issues are the lies that he has built his story upon...i think that is where we should keep our focus... our complaints ....and concerns with Carson...and of course his incredulous statements like saying the pyramids were built to hold grain or that obamacare is worse than slavery

    1. I disagree. As I said, I'm fine with an individual saying that they'll put things in God's hands. But that is not what I'm electing a POTUS to do. That is a BIG issue for me.

    2. I don't have a problem with a doctor who believes in God, or who prays before performing surgery. I DO have a problem with a doctor who doesn't know what he's doing but trusts that God will guide his scalpel.

      But yeah, his lies are a problem too. Unfortunately, his side of the aisle is so used to dishonesty that they consider it a feature, not a bug. To them, bending / stretching / obliterating the truth is a sign of commitment to conservative ideals, not a red flag that maybe there's something wrong with those ideals.

    3. I was certainly not suggesting that I have a problem with a POTUS who believes in God. My critique of Carson has nothing to do with God and everything to do with Carson's brand of magical thinking. Read the article I linked to by Kim Knight for a profoundly different view of a relationship to God.

    4. Caron seems to be lost in remembrance of a life that didn't happen. He's fully identified with his poorly constructed mythology. Whatever leads he had now will disappear by the convention--- none of these crackers are going to elect a black POTUS. Carson is just a useful tool--- a black man to serve as a strange opposite of PBO--- a black man who blames blacks and blackness for the predations of white supremacy.

      He's one sad talisman.

  3. Ebola outbreak spreads to four Western states. President Carson says "I'm leaving it to God to deal with this."

  4. Ebola outbreak spreads to four Western states. President Carson says "I'm leaving it to God to deal with this."