As Ben Carson continues to rise in the polls, ahead not just in Iowa but now nationally, there is one thing you can bank on. A round of attacks on Dr. Carson are about to begin and they will be vicious, not to the extent of Stalin’s famous plot against the doctors perhaps, but the plot against this particular doctor will be pretty bad. And as with Stalin’s plot, it will be filled with lies and innuendo aimed at destroying the subject.
Donald Trump has already given us a hint with his cheesy, supposedly innocent, question about Carson’s religion. But that’s only the beginning. The media will have a field day. They have already shown an eagerness to quote Carson out of context, thereby skewing what he is really saying (i.e. his comments about guns and the Holocaust and the presidency and Sharia law) in an obvious attempt to “get him.”
It will be interesting to see how Carson holds up against this barrage. Several factors are in his favor: his intelligence, his honesty and that these attacks were to be expected (even by a political neophyte like Carson). Although it will give him problems in the short run, his style of speaking, deliberate and thoughtful, rarely in sound bites, will also redound in his favor.
What will not is the intensity and bias of his opposition. Carson — a conservative Republican with an unparalleled record of professional distinction (at least for a politician) and one who believes in God, of all things — presses the most sensitive buttons of bourgeois liberals and progressives, questioning, as his story does, the lifetime narratives of so many of them. To protect themselves from reality, many are now chuckling, content in the belief that the Republicans are imploding with “amateur” candidates.
Possibly. But a Carson candidacy may constitute a far greater threat to a Hillary Clinton presidency than a Trump candidacy. Carson is better positioned than the billionaire to raise issues of integrity in the campaign that could so damage Clinton. He is also obviously the perfect person to question the traditional liberal approach to “lifting up” minorities that has, as is evident, failed completely, never more so than during the Obama administration. He is the living contradiction to their approach, the anti-Al Sharpton.
It’s hard to say what dent he would make into the black vote, but it could be substantial. The same could be true, if he is paired with Rubio, of the Latino vote.
So it’s clear why there will be blood on the tracks on a level that could be unprecedented. A lot is at stake, not a just an election, but long-held worldviews. Trump does not really call those to question, even if he wins. He’s an aberration — a successful businessman who decided to run for office, more resourceful (and entertaining) than Ross Perot, but much the same. Carson, quietly, is a more dangerous game-changer.
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