Moral Low Ground

US Government

Neurosurgeon, Author Ben Carson is Running for President

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon turned conservative author known for his anti-LGBT and anti-science statements, has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for president.

In a Sunday night interview with Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the famed former pediatric neurosurgeon said he was running for the nation’s highest office.

“I’m willing to be part of the equation and therefore, I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States of America,” Carson said, adding that his Washington outsider status appealed to many Americans.

“Many people have suggested to me that I should run for president, even though I’m not a politician,” he said. “I began to ask myself, ‘why are people clamoring for me to do this?’ I represented a lot of the same thoughts that they have. I’m not 100 percent sure ‘politics as usual’ is not going to save us. I think we are in a severe problem…a problematic situation.”

Carson made it official before a packed audience at Detroit Music Hall on Monday.

“I’m Ben Carson and I’m a candidate for president of the United States,” he said. “I’m not even asking people to vote for me. I’m just asking people to listen. The real pedigree we need to heal this country is someone who believes in our constitution.”

“If God ordains that we get into White House, we’re going to change the government into something more like a well run business,” he added. “People tell you can’t do this, you don’t have any experience. But I also don’t have a lot of experience busting budgets.”

During his Sunday interview remarks, Carson called himself a “reluctant warrior” and stressed the need for “humility.”

Carson will be a highly controversial and divisive candidate, due mostly to views on homosexuality that critics have called bigoted. In 2013, he appeared on Fox News’ Hannity and compared gay marriage to pedophilia and bestiality. He has repeatedly written or stated that same-sex marriage equality could destroy American society and that those who fight for LGBT equality are “directly attacking the relationship between God and his people.”

In response to critics, Carson has alternately apologized for his remarks and blamed the criticism on political correctness run amok, a situation he once compared to Nazi Germany.

Other critics have noted the peculiarity of a man of science not believing in evolution, the theory of how life developed on earth that is accepted by nearly all (97 percent) scientists and even the Pope. But nearly half of Americans believe an omnipotent deity figure they worship as ‘God’ created modern humans sometime within the last 10,000 years, and among the conservative Evangelical Christians likely to be some of Carson’s biggest supporters, there is often more belief in the supernatural than the scientific.

Carson also does not believe that humans are causing climate change, which many scientists and policymakers believe is the greatest threat facing our planet today. His position places him squarely at odds with the 97 percent of climate scientists around the world who believe the earth is warming and that human activity is directly responsible.

Carson brushed off these criticisms and instead focused on his rise from childhood poverty in Detroit to one of the world’s most renowned neurosurgeons, the first to successfully separate conjoined twins at the head and at age 33, the youngest director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

“The main thing I’m hoping is that a lot of young people will recognize themselves in me, recognize that they themselves are the most influential factor in achieving their goals,” Carson told the Free Press. “Know that it is not enough to just wish, that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but it can be done.”

Carson lamented that many young people have “lost hope” and blamed the social safety net for keeping poor people from working.

“Some people actually find it easier to collect benefits than to work a minimum wage job,” he said. “So can you really blame someone who decides to take that. But what it is doing is extinguishing the can-do attitude.”

In addition to being a famed neurosurgeon, Carson has also published six best-selling books, Gifted Hands, Think Big, The Big Picture, Take the Risk, America the Beautiful, and One Nation. He was caught plagiarizing 12 times in America the Beautiful.

In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Carson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

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