The Watering Hole, Monday, October 26, 2015: Why Is Ben Carson Still Running For POTUS?

He is Dr. Ben Carson. He is running for President of the United States of America. He doesn’t believe in Evolution.

Listening to him talk about it it’s clear he doesn’t understand how Evolution works, which might contribute to why he doesn’t believe in it. I guess to be more accurate, I should have said that Ben Carson doesn’t believe in Evolution as he understands it. He might be pleased to know that most scientists don’t believe in Evolution as Ben Carson understands it, either. Carson thinks that species changed into other species, which then changed into other species, and so on. Of course that’s not how it works. They didn’t “change into” other species, they were born of other species but with slight genetic variations that gave them advantages over others of their kind born without it. I’m not going to waste good intelligent people’s time with a defense and explanation of how Evolution works and why the vast majority of scientists still recognized as scientists by their peers believe that Evolution is how we came to be the creatures you see standing before you in the mirror each day. And I’ll never convince those who argue that because we can’t as yet explain how it all works right down to the tiniest detail that it can’t possibly be true and so we must have been created just as we are just like the Bible says. Those people do not wish to engage their critical thinking skills and, you know, think critically about something. I believe Ben Carson to be one of those people. We’ll see why later.

About a week ago, Carson suggested that we could have caught bin Laden sooner if we had declared that we would be energy independent. Not, as our good Friends at Raw Story put it, if we had been energy independent, but simply if we declared we would be energy independent within five-ten years. And I know this because he said the Arab countries would be come so concerned they would have…I won’t spoil it. Read what he said:

“Declare that within five to 10 years, we will become petroleum independent. The moderate Arab states would have been so concerned about that, they would have turned over Osama bin Laden and anybody else you wanted on a silver platter within two weeks.”

Pressed on how that would work in real life, Carson added:

“Well, I think they would have been extremely concerned if we had declared — and we were serious about it — that we were going to become petroleum independent, because it would have had a major impact on their finances,” Carson offered. “And I think that probably would have trumped any loyalty that they had to — to people like Osama bin Laden.”

When it was pointed out that the Saudis had no loyalty to bin Laden and had kicked him out of their country, Carson countered with that standard Conservative tactic of denying Reality:

“Uh, well, you may not think that they had any loyalty to him, but I believe otherwise,” Carson said without further explanation.

I know Carson doesn’t like those who think critically because a couple of days ago he told Glenn Beck he would use the Department of Education to “monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists.” You can listen to him give rapid fire yes or no answers that prove he’s on the wrong side of most issues.

He explained to talk show radio host Dana Loesch (who has joined Chuck Todd, Erick Erickson, Eric Bolling, Liz Cheney, Dana Perino, and Sean Hannity as Famous Conservatives Who Have Blocked Me On Twitter) that he would only block Liberal speech on campuses because he believes only Liberals engage in “extreme” speech. (If that doesn’t tell you how extreme his conservatism is, what will?) He says, “And it’s not appropriate for public funding to be used to indoctrinate students in one direction.” First of all, education is not “indoctrination.” Any candidate for POTUS who refers to education this way is unfit to be POTUS, for they are saying they wish the American people to remain ignorant and not learn new things. Second, Liberalism is not “one direction,” but rather the expansion of the mind to look in many outward directions where things don’t have the sameness that looking inwardly only shows. It’s called being “open-minded” and it is the very definition of being Liberal. You don’t go to college to be told what you already knew. You go to college to expand your mind and learn things you never knew before. For example, I went to college to learn why one plus one equals two. Not to learn that one plus one equals two. I mastered that the year before. But why does it equal two? Why doesn’t it equal three or four or some other number? I’ll save you several thousand dollars in education costs and reveal the answer: One plus one equals two because “two” is what we call the number you get when you start with one and add one to it. And “three” is what we call the number you get when you start with “two” and add one to it. And “four” is what we call the successor of “three.” And so on. Rather anticlimactic, I suppose. I bet you were wishing it was some really cool story about word origins or something but, no, it’s simply a matter of definitions. We had to call these numbers something, so we called them what we did. One was going to be the first number after Nothing. And Two was whatever came after One. And Three whatever came after Two. That’s also why they’re in the order they are. Two follows One because Two is what we call whatever follows One. I won’t get into how we’re actually referring to symbols, because that would only confuse the matter. The point is I never would have learned that had I not gone to an institution dedicated to opening my mind and teaching me things I didn’t already know. And to hooking me up with people who could get me LSD.

And if religious extremism, foreign policy naivete, and a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of an education don’t convince you he’s unfit for any public office, perhaps his paranoia will. Buzzfeed is reporting that Carson has been told (and therefore believes) that he is “in great danger” because, and pardon me if I am unable to get through this because it’s so absurd, he challenges “the secular progressive movement to the very core.” How is? What is? Where the? Why would he think he is “in great danger” from the “secular progressive movement”? I can’t speak to whether or not there are threats that pose a great danger to him, but I hardly think any such threats would come from the “secular progressive movement” (whatever that is.) I’m atheist (secular) and a Liberal Libertarian (sort of progressive), but no form of opposition to his political views I take would involve physical harm to his person or family. Whoever told him that was projecting his own framework of the world onto the suggestion. He told Carson this because he believed that’s what he would do if he were on the other side. But he has no idea how the other side would think or else he would be ON the other side. They simply don’t get this. I can’t speak for any racist or white supremacist groups, but I won’t dispute he may be in danger. But let the experts in law enforcement who know more about what’s going on than we’ll ever know pinpoint the source of the dangerous threats. I’m sure it will surprise you, Ben.

“But, Wayne, you incredibly handsome and intelligent guy,” you say, “Carson is a man of medical training who must surely understand the medical reasons why an abortion might be necessary. Might he be open-minded enough about that to see why a woman should ultimately be the one to decide if she will have an abortion?” Well, I’d say you were right about me but wrong about Carson. No, he opposes abortion and wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned (never going to happen.) As he said just this past Sunday, he doesn’t even think there should be an exception for cases of rape and incest. The problem is his internal framing of the issue. He likens the collection of cells that is on its way to probably being a human to being a slave, and equates the slave owner’s right to do whatever he wanted to with his property to a woman deciding to kill her own baby (which is not what it is at the point in the pregnancy of which we speak.) Remember the little talk before about Evolution? He doesn’t believe in that, so he doesn’t believe it’s possible that the pregnancy could produce the next species after Homo sapiens sapiens. Or it could produce a mutation that isn’t genetically beneficial to survival of the species, such as the inability to breathe oxygen into your bloodstream. If you believe in Evolution, it is arguable that we’re not necessarily talking about a “human” baby, since we’re talking about something that is only weeks along in its development. And if you believe Women are equal citizens under the law, and if you believe that Everyone should have the right to decide what to do with his or her own body, and if you believe that these choices are just that – choices – that you have the right to make, then you cannot believe Ben Carson would make a good President. Not for this country. Take it from a handsome, intelligent guy. So why is he still running for POTUS?

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Ben Carson, Ben Carson’s fitness or lack thereof to be POTUS, how much less handsome and intelligent Ben Carson is than me, or anything else you wish to discuss.

72 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, October 26, 2015: Why Is Ben Carson Still Running For POTUS?

  1. Carson is following a recent tradition of the Iowa winner, by appealing to the Fundamentalists, loses the nomination handily. First Huckabee, then Santorum, and now Carson?

  2. Excellent summation, Wayne.

    Carson as POTUS would be, I do believe, that which a certain percentage of Americans desperately crave: a theocrat as our top dog. He’s the Christer version of an Iranian Ayatollah, the mirror image of a jihadist. Demand everyone believe, follow, and worship YOUR version of god and keep the world safe from science and intelligent thought in the process. Carson presents himself as the ultimate tool to all of those who ” . . . wish the American people to remain ignorant and not learn new things. Mass ignorance is the dream of Christers and Conservatives everywhere — it’s their most prized means of mind control, hence obedience. Let rational and creative thought — liberalism — be damned. Suppress it, lest we all be doomed!!

    A nonexistent “God” in any version is the tool of the tyrant. One might think that an “intelligent” species would simply laugh and turn away from such nonsense. The fact that so many ‘humans’ succumb to ignorant myth suggests we need a new definition of ‘intelligence’, one that does not include human pasture bulls (aka, in this country, Republicans).

    • Thankfully, the blade broke when it struck the boy’s belt buckle, and Carson’s friend fled the scene terrified but unharmed. Left alone, Carson was suddenly overcome with shame, and locked himself in a bathroom to process. He turned to the thing he believed would comfort him the most — the Bible — and read from Proverbs 16:32: “One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city.”

      I certainly (don’t) believe this fable)

  3. A good read with my morning tea, Wayne…. and it makes me shudder to how much nominal support this idiot savant has.

  4. And from the outside world – local elections in Ukraine – same old same old, vote-buying, fake candidates, etc etc, which is why my friend is leaving to join her husband in France as soon as she can….. but here – a moment of comic relief:

      • I saw that too and thought “Really dude?” – but he is a diplomat and he sees TPP as an agreement binding the region closer together (with Russia on the outside) …. its geopolitics not the economy at home he is paying attention to.

  5. On the subject of reversing Roe v Wade, Benny the Carson chimes in with this nonsense:
    “Think about this. During slavery — and I know that one of those words you’re not supposed to say — but I’m saying it,” Carson said. “During slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave, anything that they chose to do. And what if the abolitionists had said, ‘You know, I don’t believe in slavery, I think it’s wrong. But you guys do whatever you want to do.’ Where would we be?”

    “Ultimately, I would love to see [Roe v. Wade] overturned,” the candidate insisted.

    • Frankly, I think it would be a whole lot more sensible to leave Roe v. Wade alone and instead overturn the second amendment, get rid of guns and ammo, and make it safe to live AFTER one is born.

      • What would happen if a pregnant woman 2nd amended herself in the stomach because she was afraid that when the baby was born it would harm her? This might work in Florida, might be worth a try.

        What would happen if a woman said God had spoken to her and told her she needed to kill her baby? To those who say God guides their decisions this should be totally acceptable, shouldn’t it? Perhaps say a couple angels delivered the message!

        • I think in Florida, both of those possibilities would fall under “stand your ground” — hers first, the second one god’s — and would be OK with the gubmint. Right? Even if RvW was overturned by Carson. Right?

  6. Dr. Carson’s vision for this nation is the creation of the society portrayed in “The Handmaid’s Tale”..
    From Wikipedia..
    Set in the near future, in a totalitarian Christian theocracy which has overthrown the United States government, The Handmaid’s Tale explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain agency.

  7. Donald Trump knows what it’s like to work his way up from the bottom: “I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars.”

    Yes, that’s an actual quote.

    • Did he pay it back before pop died, or did his inheritance just overlook it? Maybe one of his bankruptcies ate it?

      I always wondered where the name ‘Trump’ came from. Not from a card game, apparently, but from when his grandfather, German immigrant Friedrich Drumpf anglicized the surname. I wish he hadn’t done that. “Drumpf” is more fitting, somehow.

    • I think that Bill Clinton put Trump up to this candidate thing maybe consciously, maybe by stroking the ego….. Trump is going to run a bunch of the Clown Car off the road, poison the debate in the Clown Car and make Hillary (and Bernie by association) look like the only adults in the race and … well there you go.

  8. Ben Carson Is Too Crazy And Completely Unfit To Be President

    No matter how hard I try, I just do not get Ben Carson’s rise within the Republican party. I get why conservatives support Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or even Jeb Bush – but not Carson. It’s not because he’s a conservative who I disagree with on just about every issue – it’s because he’s an idiot.

    But he’s a well-respected neurosurgeon, he can’t be an idiot!

    Yes, he can be; there are different levels of intelligence. Clearly he’s book smart, but it’s entirely possible to be brilliant in one area of life and completely clueless in just about every other. That’s exactly the type of person I believe Carson is.


    • The thing to keep in mind with rightwhiners is that it’s all about the messenger rather than the message. It doesn’t matter that Carson is a blithering idiot because he fills a niche in the GOP. He’s black, so they can claim a “big tent”, and despite the fact that he’s a blithering idiot he is a doctor so they can call him “smart”. The funny part is that he is trying to appeal to a group that largely believes black people can’t be smart.

      • I think the center of difficulty is that when Carson rails against scientific FACT, the scientifically ignorant flock to his side. When he wallows in religious mythology, the religiously “inspired” (read: scientifically ignorant) flock to his side. Together they represent, sadly, a hefty percentage of Republican voters (see: Iowa). I doubt it’s enough to get him the nomination, but I might be wrong (read: overly optimistic) on that point. Time will tell.

        I do, frankly, *almost* hope that he gets it, mainly because I think he would be smacked bigtime in an election where people with a functioning mind vote (as opposed to Iowa Republican Caucuses). And something I’d really like to see (before I am summoned to my heavenly afterlife) is for a religious nut to get totally whupped and SMACKED bigtime by the informed corner of the electorate, and put the religious politic to sleep “that soundest time, without the weariness.”

        That would, at the very least, save me the cost of one way tickets outta here. Although Tahiti and the Society Islands don’t sound all that bad, actually.

    • To me, intelligence is not a matter of how many trivial pursuit cards you’ve memorized (which is, in effect, what is needed to become a medical practitioner) but your ability to inquire about an unfamiliar situation and reach a logically justifiable conclusion. (“Logically justifiable” does not necessarily mean “true” or “correct,” merely defensible within the bounds of reason.) This does not require a lot of schooling; training to become a medical practitioner requires that. But intelligence is *cultivated* by genuine education, which Carson entirely lacks.

    • This is in response to China building new islands then adjusting their territorial boundaries, which includes a busy sea lane. The USS Lassen is an Arleigh Burke Class DDG with some bad ass weapons and lots of support nearby along with eyes in the sky. Computers coordinating combat tactical information, weapon systems armed – what could possibly go wrong?

      Remember the Bedford Incident?
      “What would you do Captain, would you fire one?
      On edge crew member, “Fire 1.”
      Scene shifts to ASROC launcher as missle is launched.

  9. Guatemala just elected a comedian to president. So there ya have it: if the US elects Trump or Carson, we’re officially a banana republic.

      • I was 8 when I learned not only to change diapers on my new baby sister but also how to prepare and administer middle of the night bottles. My education in all stages of child development and care – feeding, bathing and dressing, continued with 3 more new siblings, the last arriving when I was 13 (the sister currently living with me.)

        Being experienced with babies did not bode well with both my wives and our children. My first wife was the youngest of 3, her closest sibling was 18 years older and my 2nd wife was an only child. My experience with babies intimidated them and my inexperience with women doomed the relationships!

        • Pachy, the man of many talents!
          I, too, learned all about changing diapers and bottle feeding babies at a young age.
          (those days it was cloth diapers that need to be cleaned out before washing)

          • Fortunately my mother always had a diaper service until the yellow and green stages were over. A very important lesson was learning to pin the diaper in such a way that you would prick your own finger instead of stabbing the baby. I think I reacted badly when #1 stuck our first baby after I had TOLD her how to do it the right way!

      • I have changed both, and continue to change litter boxes because (1) they are way less gross, and (2) who’d be retarded enough to have a baby with me anyway? (Previous diaper incidents were while staying at my sister’s place, many years ago.)

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