The Carson Craze

Dr. Ben Carson is slowly but surely encroaching on Trump’s comfortably leading poll numbers as the campaign season only just begins. Very recently a no-name, quiet figure tucked away behind scrubs, the neurosurgeon has climbed his way up to a path that could very possibly lead him to the presidency.

If you were fortunate enough to attend Carson’s speech at Cornell last spring, you would have gained some insight to his dynamic personality, sharp wit, and unique background that set him apart from many other candidates. Ben has been up to a lot since his campus visit in an attempt to claim the GOP nomination.

His numbers have been soaring since the first Republican debate, and despite Carson’s minimal airtime, he was a winner in the eyes of many. The few words he could get in, as well as his clever closing remarks seemed to capture a great deal of attention from the media and viewers alike. The polls have surely suggested so.

Most recent polls have Carson in the number two spot, but a poll recently released by Monmouth University shows the two candidates tied. Monmouth also reported that Carson had an 81% favorability rating, compared to Trump who came in at 52-33.

Fox News commentator and author Charles Krauthammer (who also spoke at Cornell recently) hit the nail on the head: “His [Carson’s] strength is not just anti-establishment,” he said on a Fox panel. “He’s a completely wonderful guy that is hard not to actually like.”

Carson at the first GOP debate in August.

Ben is doing so well in the race that he recently had to relocate a scheduled rally in Phoenix, Arizona to an even larger venue due to an overwhelming crowd. Only scheduled to address a crowd of 2,000 people, the doctor ended up speaking to over 12,000 according to AZ Central. Carson spoke about his faith, values, and his uncommon approach to politics.

Nearly polar opposites when it comes to personality, the loud and obtrusive Trump and polite, eloquent Carson are narrowing in the polls. One of the few, but important similarities they share is a lack of political background, which may explain why they are both doing so well.

Trump has yet to harshly criticize Carson, which could very well change within the coming months as Carson continues to soar in the polls. On the other hand, Trump has mentioned that Carson could be a possible pick for his VP, to which Carson responded, “All things are possible.”

On The Affordable Care Act: If there is anyone to trust about Obamacare, it’s the doctor. Carson explained his advocacy of health savings accounts, calling the Affordable Care Act a “looming disaster,” even drawing comparisons to Nazi Germany and the horrors of an ignorant populace. In 2013, Carson said that Obamacare was the “worst thing since slavery.”

“…It is making all of us subservient to the government,” Carson said, “and it was never about health care. It was about control.”

“You have control over your savings account, not one that has six bureaucrats in it,” Carson said in an interview with Dave Ramsey. “And you give people flexibility so that if you were $500 short for a minor procedure, your wife could give you it out of hers, or your daughter, or your uncle, or your cousin, or your grandfather. It makes every family essentially their own insurance company with no middleman.”

These accounts would be funded with the same money that is used for traditional health care but would massively increase savings due to their flexibility. Carson has discussed the benefits of health savings accounts extensively.

Ben seems to have few major secrets or scandals, which makes it all that much more frustrating if you are looking for some. Recently, an OB/GYN blogged about a 1992 study that Carson co-authored that involved the use of tissue from two fetuses, aborted at nine and seventeen weeks. Opponents are calling Carson a hypocrite, as he has been critical of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue harvesting and revealing undercover videos.

“Killing babies and harvesting tissue for sale is very different than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it,” Carson told Buzzfeed in defense, “which is exactly the source of the tissue used in our research.”

Trump and Carson are currently in the lead for the GOP nomination.

He’s a nice guy for sure, but is one of the least politically correct at the same time. In the news along with Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, Carson has resisted the media backlash against the term “anchor babies” and has been dismissive of the hubbub surrounding the term.

“We need to talk about the actual issue and stop getting pulled off into the weeds and saying, ‘you can’t use this term, you can’t use that term,’ ” Carson said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It’s silly.”

It will certainly be an interesting few months ahead for Carson. Hopefully wherever Ben ends up he won’t forget us Cornellians, and maybe, one day, he will even return to Call Auditorium as President Carson.