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JLeslie's avatar

What do you think about some of the things Ben Carson has said lately?

Asked by JLeslie (61200points) October 9th, 2015 from iPhone

The media seems to be all over Presidential candidate Ben Carson.

He said something about people rushing in when a shooter is on the loose. Then tied in with that it seemed to go to gun control, and that if the German citizens had had more guns the Nazi’s would not have gotten as far as they did. The media turned this all into saying Carson blames the victims. He said he is trying to put the thought into people’s mind to fight back, so they are more prepared to react in a bad situation.

The media also dwelled on Carson’s comments about not wanting a Muslim for president, which he later tried to clarify.

Another was I recently saw someone ask him about evolution. He stated he believed in natural selection, and that organisms can change, but didn’t seem to believe in the Big Bang. He added that some people believe differently, and that’s fine with him. In that Q&A the person doing the asking didn’t really paraphrase that Carson’s answer really did allow for different opinions and the possibility of both a creator and evolution.

Is the media fair to Carson? Do they paint him farther to the right than he is?

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22 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

I don’t think the media roughs him up nearly as much as we’ve come to expect. And the reason is probably that the press like the rest of us, just doesn’t know what to make of the man and his answers to some of the deepest and most profound questions confronting us. So far, Carson’s answers to those questions have been so consistently the direct opposite of deep and profound that those asking the questions usually stand dazed thinking “huh?” It’s an interesting thing to watch. But it’s not going to work to his advantage for long. Once the initial surprise of the simplistic, shallow comments fades and that Forrest Gump view on world affairs moves to the realm of the expected, the brutal follow ups will be there waiting in ambush, and Carson will follow in the footsteps of Sarah Palin.

Pachy's avatar

Some brilliant surgeon needs to operate on his brain!

elbanditoroso's avatar

Some comments:

1) I think that the press is going easy on him because of his race. The media doesn’t want to go against a black republican (going against a black Democrat was OK, though) because he might be in power some day.

2) It’s terribly disappointing to hear some of the drivel that comes out of his mouth. Either he is insanely stupid, which I doubt, or he is pandering (most likely) or he has some of the worst speech writers on the planet.

In any event, I think he is living up to Mark Twain’s old adage = “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”.

DoNotKnow's avatar

It’s all a distraction. Imagine if the corporate media actually spent as much time covering candidates’ issues and proposals.

While it’s clear that Carson is scientifically-illiterate and quite religious, all of this chatter about Muslim presidents is a complete distraction. It’s completely safe to play “gotcha” and police language when it comes to things like this. But these fake controversies are safe because it keeps the discussions to topics that corporations are comfortable with.

People try to parse statements made by politicians to try to extract meaning, racism, sexism, etc. Just look at the stated proposals if want to find something truly appalling. Look at the candidate’s stances on trade policies, taxation (and the attempted destruction of programs to help people). Look into who is funding these candidates’ campaigns. Look at their records. Journalism isn’t about just trying to cook up fake controversies. And it shouldn’t be about letting candidates make false claims about trickle-down economics and have them go unchecked. A truly adverserial media (which it should be), would have plenty of real shit to discuss about these candidates and their positions.

As a side note: what possible reason could exist to call Ben Carson “Dr. Ben Carson”? Is this so that if he’s in a debate and someone needs immediate surgery on the stage, they’ll know who to go to? What possible relevance does the fact that this guy was a surgeon have to the job he’s currently applying for?

filmfann's avatar

First, he has to lead in the polls. Then the media destroys him.

elbanditoroso's avatar

And then there is this bit of wisdom (yes, it’s satire, but funny nonetheless)

link from New Yorker article

The ancient people who were buried by the volcanic eruption from Pompeii could have saved themselves by running…

zenvelo's avatar

I really don’t understand why some people find him at all worthy of consideration. He has never been elected anything, he has never demonstrated an ability to do anything except make outrageous comments.

Blaming the Jews for the Holocaust is a bit much. And I don’t understand his remark about Muslim Presidents; he is just as Muslim as Obama!

DoNotKnow's avatar

Please don’t put me in a position to have to defend Carson…

@zenvelo: “Blaming the Jews for the Holocaust is a bit much.”

Either I missed this, or you are greatly misrepresenting his statements here. Are you referring to “The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed.”? If so, please explain how any reasonable person can translate this as “blaming the Jews”.

zenvelo's avatar

@DoNotKnow Right here.

Blaming it on Jews not having guns.

DoNotKnow's avatar

Wow, @zenvelo – Read that article again. This has to be one of the most extreme examples of intentional misinterpretation I have ever seen.

Please draw the connection between Carson’s statements and your assertion that he is “blaming the Jews”. Be explicit.

zenvelo's avatar

@DoNotKnow Headline :Ben Carson says armed Jewish people could have stopped Holocaust.

First sentence: Ben Carson said the Holocaust may have been avoided if Jewish people had guns — the third straight day the GOP presidential candidate slammed gun control by blaming victims.

DoNotKnow's avatar

You are avoiding my question.

Make the connection between Jews not being allowed to have guns and “blaming the Jews” for the holocaust. Be specific. I’m serious. This matters. We need to be honest and not intentionally misrepresent people we may disagree with.

DoNotKnow's avatar

Edit: My bad, headline is fine.

zenvelo's avatar

@DoNotKnow You asked for explicit statements from the article, I gave them to you. I am not avoiding your question.

Ben Carson has been blaming victims on a variety of things, including mass shootings. His statements on UCC started this, he is saying if the Jews had been armed the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened. That statement places responsibility on the shoulders of the Jews.

He said if the people at UCC had been armed and rushed the gunman, the massacre would not have happened to the extent it did. Once again, he puts the responsibility for the extent of last week’s shooting on the unarmed victims.

DoNotKnow's avatar

@zenvelo: “That statement places responsibility on the shoulders of the Jews.”

It doesn’t do anything of the sort. Please, be specific.

I’ll help. Here’s a quote from Carson’s book, “A More Perfect Union”:

“German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s, and by the mid-1940s Hitler’s regime had mercilessly slaughtered six million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior… Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.”

Now, it’s quite clear what Carson is stating here. You don’t have to agree. I don’t. He’s stating that “The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed”. It’s an argument against gun control from the perspective of keeping the government in check and having some tools to be able to fight back. It’s incorrect, in my opinion, but couldn’t be further from “blaming the Jews”.

How could you possibly get from this likely incorrect but rational position to stating that he’s “blaming the Jews”?

_Seek_'s avatar

:: sigh::

Would someone call me when one of the republican presidential candidates say something that isn’t bigoted or stupid?

Jaxk's avatar

Maybe some sanity would help the discussion (but I doubt it). We celebrate the three Americans that attacked the shooter in Paris. Most of us would like to think we’d do that in similar situations. When the 9/11 passengers on flight 93 fought back and tried to regain control, we celebrated their actions. Why is Carson belittled for saying he would hope to be the kind of person to fight back when death was imminent? It is a cooked story designed to create an issue where none exists. As for the Jews in Germany, it is simply a matter of, it’s harder to slaughter an armed population than it is an unarmed one.

Whether Ben Carson is a good candidate for president is another matter entirely. The mainstream media wants to focus on ‘Gotcha’ questions and try to stir up controversy when ever possible. And it seems the sheep will follow them down the rat hole all too easily.

zenvelo's avatar

@Jaxk But this wasn’t a “gotcha” question, it was Carson writing his own book and speaking on what he had written.

And Carson wants to be the cheerleader at the back of the classroom or the back of the plane getting everyone else to rush the gunman.

DoNotKnow's avatar

^ What about the “blaming the Jews” thing? Can we put this behind us as you having misunderstood his position? There really are legitimate reasons to oppose a Carson presidency. So there is no need to build a straw-man Carson by making stuff up about him “blaming the Jews”.

Jaxk's avatar

@zenvelo – If you have to make stuff up and then assign a bad motive to it, you probably don’t have a valid point. What Carson said was “On Tuesday, Carson said he “would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me but he can’t get us all.’” ”. Sounds reasonable to me.

Cruiser's avatar

Admittedly Dr. Carson can’t keep his hands off of 3rd rail topics and although most of his comments are defensible with rationale, but he is hardly afforded it because it is almost always the liberal media that is blasting his comments out of context and doing a great job of making it into something it really isn’t. Harry Reid is so proud.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Well if you want to play devils advocate… One of the first things the nazi party did was reverse previous gun control laws and make it easier for Germans (but not Jews) to own weapons. So you could argue that a well armed population is more likely to commit genocide. Given the number of white cops in the US shooting unarmed black men with out being brought to trial how do you know it’s not happening again?

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