Donald Trump Nominates Ben Carson for HUD Secretary
Before joining Trump's campaign, Carson was one of the many Republican candidates for president. Carson powerfully denounced President Obama at a National Prayer Breakfast in 2013, which propelled him to prominence. He enjoyed a surge of enthusiasm in his presidential campaign in late 2015 and early 2016, dropping out of the race after a disappointing finish on Super Tuesday.
During the campaign, Carson came under fire for previous comments he had made about having a violent childhood (he almost stabbed a fellow student, and that led him to realize learning, not violence, was the answer), and about his belief that the Egyptian pyramids served as grain silos for the biblical figure Joseph (rather than tombs for kings, as has been decisively proven by archaeology). This led Trump to unleash a Twitter firestorm against the retired neurosurgeon, and to call him "super low energy" in a debate.
In one particularly nasty tweet, Trump hit on all these issues, asking, "With Ben Carson wanting to hit his mother on head with a hammer, stab a friend and Pyramids built for grain storage - don't people get it?"
Trump tweeted that on November 6, 2015. What a difference a year makes!
This appointment has met with a great deal of criticism from the left. The New York Times's Trump-blaster in chief Charles Blow penned an article entitled "Trump's Agents of Idiocracy," which asked, "What if Trump has shown himself beyond doubt and with absolute certainty to be a demagogue and bigot and xenophobe and has given space and voice to concordant voices in the country and in his emerging Legion of Doom cabinet?"
"In that reality, resistance isn't about mindless obstruction by people blinded by the pain of ideological defeat or people gorging on sour grapes," Blow triumphantly declares. "To the contrary, resistance then is an act of radical, even revolutionary, patriotism. Resistance isn't about damaging the country, but protecting it."
Blow declared (without evidence) that "Trump and his agents of idiocracy are now engaged in an all-out crusade to exaggerate the scope of his victory, rewrite racial history, justify their vendettas and hostilities and erase the very distinction between true and false." Oh, and they're bringing hell on Earth as well, believe me.
This kind of hyperbole over decisions which are — to a large degree — sensible should strike many as desperate. Indeed, some have noted that attacks on Carson, were they to come from the right, would be dismissed as racist.
But criticism on Carson's appointment is not limited to the left. Amanda Carpenter, who served as communications director for Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, attacked the decision as "Cronyism. Patronage. Swampy."
Carson is a true American success story, whatever he believes about the pyramids, and he will bring a real-life experience of the inner city to his work at HUD. There is reason to believe that, despite his inexperience in government, the good doctor will be more than up to the task.