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Ben Carson on Principles & Values

 


Important experience is having a brain, not being politician

Q: You admit that you have had to study up on foreign policy, saying there's a lot to learn. You've suggested that the Baltic States are not a part of NATO, just months ago you were unfamiliar with the major political parties and government in Israel, and domestically, you thought Alan Greenspan had been treasury secretary instead of federal reserve chair. Aren't these basic mistakes, and don't they raise legitimate questions about whether you are ready to be president?

CARSON: Well, I could take issue with all of those things, but we don't have time. But I will say, the thing that is probably most important is having a brain, and to be able to figure things out and learn things very rapidly. Experience comes from a large number of different arenas, and America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians, but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, creativity & innovation.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Secular progressives cause our problems; Hillary is epitome

Q: If Hillary Clinton is the nominee and she comes at you, how do you respond?

CARSON: If Hillary is the candidate, which I doubt, that would be a dream come true. She is the epitome of the secular progressive movement. And she counts on the fact that people are uninformed, the Alinsky Model, taking advantage of useful idiots. Well, I just happen to believe that people are not stupid. And the way I will come at it is to educate people, help people to actually understand that it is that progressive movement that is causing them the problems. You know, you look at the national debt and how it's being driven up. If I was trying to destroy this country, what I would do is find a way to drive wedges between all the people, drive the debt to an unsustainable level, and then step off the stage as a world leader and let our enemies increase while we decreased our military capacity. And that's what she's doing.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Our brain makes us who we are, not our skin

Q: What would you do as president to help heal the divide about race relations?

CARSON: Well, I think the bully pulpit is a wonderful place to start healing that divide. You know, we have the purveyors of hatred who take every single incident between people of two races and try to make a race war out of it, and drive wedges into people. And this does not need to be done. You know, I was asked by an NPR reporter once, why don't I talk about race that often. I said it's because I'm a neurosurgeon. And she thought that was a strange response. I said, "you see, when I take someone to the operating room, I'm actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn't make them who they are. The hair doesn't make them who they are." And it's time for us to move beyond that. Because our strength as a nation comes in our unity. We are the United States of America, not the divided states. And those who want to divide us are trying to divide us, and we shouldn't let them do it.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

I'm the only one on this stage who separated Siamese twins

Q: Dr. Carson, your closing statement?

CARSON: Well, I haven't said anything about me being the only one to do anything, so let me try that. I'm the only one to separate Siamese twins. The only one to operate on babies while they were still in mother's womb, the only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it. But I'm very hopeful that I'm not the only one who's willing to pick up the baton of freedom, because freedom is not free, and we must fight for it every day. Every one of us must fight for it, because we're fighting for our children and the next generation.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Five doctors signed Declaration; we solve problems

Some people say, "Ahhh, you're overblowing it, things aren't that bad, and you're a doctor, a neurosurgeon. Why are you concerned about these things?" Got news for you: FIVE doctors signed the Declaration of Independence. Doctors were involved in the framing of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, & a whole bunch of things. It's only been in recent decades that we've extracted ourselves, which I think is a big mistake.

We need doctors, we need scientists, engineers. We need all those people involved in government, not just lawyers. I don't have anything against lawyers, but you know, here's the thing about lawyers--what do lawyers learn in law school? To win, by hook or by crook. So you got all these Democrat lawyers, and you got all these Republican lawyers and their sides want to win. We need to get rid of that. What we need to start thinking about is, how do we solve problems?

Source: One Nation, by Dr. Ben Carson, on National Prayer Breakfast , May 20, 2014

B/WA: Best/Worst Analysis for risk assessment

I explained to the parents [of Denise, an epileptic child requiring a hemispherectomy, removal of a brain hemisphere], "If we don't do anything, Denise is going to die. If we try this procedure, she may still die, but at least we have a chance."you're probably looking at the questions, shaking your head, and thinking, "Is it that easy?" I believe it is, and the remainder of this book looks at examples of how this simple risk-analysis approach can be applied in our personal and professional lives--and how the same prescription could be applied to some of the most complex and troubling issues facing our nation--and our world--today.
Source: Take the Risk, by Ben Carson, p.104-105 , Dec 25, 2007


Ben Carson on Personal Background

Raised in inner-city Detroit; poor student in grade school

Ben Carson was born in Detroit, Michigan, on September 18, 1951. The second son of Sonya and Robert Solomon Carson, Ben grew up in the hardened climate of inner-city Detroit.

His mother, though undereducated herself, pushed her sons to read and to believe in themselves. Carson went from being a poor student to receiving honors and he eventually attended medical school. Both Ben and his brother experienced difficulty in school. Ben fell to the bottom of his class, and became the object of ridicule by his classmates. The poverty he lived in and the difficult times he experienced in school seem to exacerbate the anger and rage.

Source: Carson biography on Biography.com , Mar 31, 2013

Neurosurgeon who specialized in separating conjoined twins

As a doctor, he became the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital at age 33, and became famous for his ground-breaking work separating conjoined twins. In 1987, Carson attracted international attention by performing a surgery to separate two 7-month-old craniopagus twins from Germany. Because the boys were joined at the back of the head, and because they had separate brains, he felt the operation could be performed successfully. On September 4, 1987, Carson and a team of 70 doctors, nurses, and support staff joined forces for what would be a 22-hour surgery. Carson applied a technique used in cardiac surgery called hypothermic arrest. The boys' bodies were cooled down so the blood flowed slower and bleeding was less severe. This allowed the surgeons to perform the delicate task of untangling, dividing, and repairing shared blood vessels. Although the twins did have some brain damage, both survived the separation, making Carson's surgery the first of its kind.
Source: Carson biography on Biography.com , Mar 31, 2013

DIRECT: Deny, Ignore, Resist, Exempt, Conform, Transform

The rebellion of the old Boston Tea Party has many similarities with the new Tea Party political movement. When the Patriots first began to resist, those in power DENIED there was any real resistance from anyone except extremist fringe individuals. But as the protests became more prolific, the powers-that-be decided to IGNORE the movement, but that gave it time to grow. Those in power fought back with more force than necessary; many of the regulations subsequently imposed were a part of this punitive RESISTANCE phase.

At some point, it becomes easier for a ruler to EXEMPT an unruly but powerful subject from punishment than to suffer defeat. As those formerly in power desert, they began CONFORMING to the ideology and actions if their previous enemies. The final phase is the TRANSFORMATION phase, in which the ideology of the resistance movement becomes the mainstream philosophy.

If one were to make an acrostic of the first letters of each of these phases, one gets the word DIRECT.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 20-22 , Jan 24, 2012

Naively committed plagiarism in college psychology course

Researching a paper for an advanced psychology course, I found some passages that seemed particularly appropriate, and I included them in my writing. I did not, however, indicate that this was the work of someone else; frankly, I had never even heard of the term "plagiarism."

When the professor asked me to make an appointment to discuss my paper, I was befuddled. When I stepped into his office, he pointed out that I had plagiarized and told me that the consequence for doing so normally included expulsion. I could see all of my dreams of becoming a doctor dashed by my stupidity. Even though I did not know the implications of plagiarism, I certainly should have known inherently that what I was doing was wrong. I had done it before without consequences and probably would have continued doing it if I had not been caught. Fortunately for me, the professor was very compassionate, realized that I was naive, and gave me a chance to rewrite the paper.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 98 , Jan 24, 2012


Ben Carson on Political Philosophy

President needs common sense understand of Constitution

Q: The author of this new book, "One Nation"--Are you considering a run for the presidency?

CARSON: I'm in about five states a week, with huge record-breaking crowds [at book events]--

Q: They tell you, "We've never had a crowd this big"?

CARSON: Yes, they say, "We've never had a crowd this big." And that is always what people want to say, "You've got to do it; you've got to run." It's just everywhere I go. And I think what people really are looking for is common sense and courage and somebody who understands the Constitution and the principles of freedom, innovation, social responsibility. And if someone can come along with those things & really gain a lot of traction, I would be delighted, and if they don't, I would certainly give it serious consideration.

Q: So are you saying you don't want to do it, but you might?

CARSON: I don't want to do it, but if we're left in a situation where there is not a lot of enthusiasm for anybody else, I would never turn my back on my fellow citizens.

Source: Sean Hannity, 2015 Fox News on 2016 Presidential hopefuls , May 21, 2014

PC police make us afraid to say "Merry Christmas"

It's not my intention to offend anyone. I have discovered, however, in recent years that it's very difficult to speak to a large group of people these days and not offend someone. People walk around with their feelings on their shoulders waiting for you to say something. "Ah, did you hear that?" and they can't hear anything else you say. The PC police are out in force at all times. Once I was talking to a group about the difference between a human brain and a dog's brain, and a man got offended. He said, "You can't talk about dogs like that!"

We've reached the point where people are afraid to actually talk about what they want to say because somebody might be offended. People are afraid to say "Merry Christmas" at Christmastime. Doesn't matter whether the person you're talking to is Jewish or, you know, whether they're any religion. That's a salutation, a greeting of goodwill. We've got to get over this sensitivity. You know it keeps people from saying what they really believe.

Source: One Nation, by Dr. Ben Carson, on National Prayer Breakfast , May 20, 2014

Our flag symbolizes one nation, under God, indivisible

In the War of 1812, the British were winning, destroying city after city. In Baltimore, at Fort McHenry, we had a large American flag flying in front of the fort. The British admiral was offended, and said "You have until dusk to take that flag down." There was a young amateur poet on board, Francis Scott Key, who overheard the British plans. As the sun fell, the bombardment started. Bombs bursting in air, all night long it continued. At dawn he ran out to look, straining his eyes, and he beheld the torn and tattered Stars and Stripes still waving. And that was the turning point in the War of 1812. We went on to win that war and to retain our freedom. And at Fort McHenry that day, you would have seen at the base of that flag, the bodies of soldiers who took turns propping up that flag! They would not let that flag go down because they believed in what that flag symbolized. And what did it symbolize? One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Source: One Nation, by Dr. Ben Carson, on National Prayer Breakfast , May 20, 2014

Raised a Democrat, but became a registered Independent

Growing up in Boston and Detroit, I had political views that largely reflected those of the adults around me. By the time I reached high school, the civil rights movement was in full swing, and the Democratic Party was positioning itself as the champion of civil rights. Like most young black people, I accepted the label of Democrat and endeavored to be part of the struggle.

[By 1976], although I was still a Jimmy Carter Democrat, the speeches of Ronald Reagan appealed to me. Even though I ultimately voted for Jimmy Carter both in 1976 and 1980, my political views were gradually shifting, and by 1984, those views were much more consistent with Ronald Reagan's and those of the Republican Party.

Over the years, I found that no political party really represented my views of fairness, decency, and adherence to the principles set forth by the United States Constitution in 1787. So I became a registered Independent and have remained so until this day.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.155-158 , Jan 24, 2012

Democracy was never intended as a spectator sport

Democracy was never intended as a spectator sport. The founding fathers of America were "the well fed, well bred, well read, and well wed." These men certainly feared having a government that was too big and too powerful, as they had experienced across the ocean.

Could a government's power truly rest in the hands of the people? Could such an experiment really work? By definition, in legislative- and decision-making processes, a democracy requires full participation of all the people. But most people are so involved and preoccupied with daily duties and routines, they have neither the time nor energy to participate.

Although the noble goal of democracy had been tried by other societies, power usually eventually shifted to some central authority and the dream of autonomy died. Therefore, they decided that a republic-type government would be much more efficient, in which elected representatives of the people would make decisions. Also, with a republic there is no limitation on expansion.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 30-31 , Jan 24, 2012

Wise voters look at their representatives' voting records

If everyone in the US Senate voted [on] principles and beliefs rather than on the party line, I believe we would all be shocked by how rational and reasonable the bills would be coming out of the congressional chambers. All voters would be wise to look at their representatives' voting records to see if they agree with their views or whether they are always consistent with the party view. If your views and their views coincide the vast majority of the time and the areas where they do not coincide are not deal breakers, then this is likely someone who represents you well. If, on the other hand, you find major disagreements with your point of view, you should do the responsible thing, which is to vote for the person who represents your views regardless of party affiliation. If we all made a concerted effort to do this, I believe we would be delighted with Congress and their actions instead of having a congressional body with an approval rating of less than 20%.
Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.159-160 , Jan 24, 2012

Tea Partiers & Independents reject spoon-fed biased media

There is perhaps more hope for our country than currently meets the eye. It would seem as if we are hopelessly gridlocked by Democrats and Republicans, each with very different ideas of government and its role in our lives. The ray of hope is found in the fact that there is an ever-increasing number of Independent voters who sometimes vote one way and other times vote another way, and therefore cannot be taken for granted by either party.

There is also the rise of the Tea Party. The very fact that so many people are joining the Tea Party or becoming politically Independent suggests that people are less willing to be spoon-fed by a largely biased media and are thinking for themselves again.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.160-161 , Jan 24, 2012

For eagle to fly straight, balance left wing & right wing

Some wanted a turkey as our national emblem. The bald eagle was chosen because it symbolizes strength, courage and freedom.

In "The 5000 Year Leap," W. Cleon Skousen writes that the founders had many other symbolic reasons for choosing the eagle. But the reason that impressed me the most is that in order for the eagle to fly straight, its two wings must be balanced. If either the left wing or the right wing is too heavy, the bird will veer off to one side and crash. The liberals represent the left wing and the conservatives represent the right wing. The liberals tend to have lots of great ideas that cost a great deal of money and, if left unchecked, would quickly bankrupt the nation. The conservatives simply want to maintain the status quo and are not very adventurous, and if our nation were left solely to their ideas, stagnation would occur. However, when you balance the right & the left wings evenly, the eagle is able to fly high and straight, and the potential for progress is tremendous

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.188 , Jan 24, 2012


Ben Carson on Religion

Bible study overcame youthful violence and anger

In a final incident [in a long series of angry violence as a young man], Ben nearly stabbed to death a friend after arguing over a choice of radio stations. The only thing that prevented a tragic occurrence was the knife blade broke on the friend's belt buckle. Not knowing the extent of his friend's injury, Ben ran home and locked himself in the bathroom with a Bible. Terrified by his own actions, he started praying, asking God to help him find a way to deal with his temper. He found salvation in the book of Proverbs in the passage, "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city."

Ben realized that much of his anger stemmed from putting himself in the center of everything. Once he took himself out of the equation, he could see that not everything was directed at him and that he wasn't the only one with troubles. He began to see things from other points of view. He soon realized he could control his anger, rather than it controlling him.

Source: Carson biography on Biography.com , Mar 31, 2013

Not running for office, but God may call on me

Carson, who told the Christian Post this month that he is not interested in elected office but that God may call on him to run in the future, was evasive in front of the audience of hundreds when he was pressed about his post-retirement plans. "I'm very dedicated to education of the next generation," Carson told the audience at the conference, held in Prince George's County. "Once we get that taken care of, who knows?"

Earlier in his appearance, after bringing the crowd to its feet by setting up a hypothetical with the words, "Let's say you just magically put me into the White House," Carson quickly reversed course: "OK, I take it back. Let's say somebody were there... ."

Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in Baltimore Sun , Mar 17, 2013

End the "war on God"

In a wide-ranging speech, Carson advocated for a flat income tax and called for an end to the "war on God." He also spoke passionately about the need to improve the American education system, the thing he attributed to leading him from an impoverished inner-city childhood in Detroit to a storied medical and writing career. "Education worked for me," Carson said.
Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in Baltimore Sun , Mar 17, 2013

2010: Vetted for Lt. Gov., but decision to run "up to God"

Setting aside the Wall Street Journal's hyperbolic call for a President Carson, does the doctor have a future in politics? He left the door open this weekend, saying, "That's not my intention, but I always say, 'I'll leave that up to God.'" In 2010, former Maryland Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich approached Carson about running with him in an attempt to reclaim the governor's mansion, but Carson declined, Fund reports. Carson says he's an independent, but assuming his views would push him toward the GOP, Maryland is generally tough going for Republicans. There's only one in the Congressional delegation. Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat, won't be up for reelection until 2016, and her fellow Democrat Ben Cardin has a term that ends in 2018. But Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley will have to step down in 2014 due to term limits. If Carson wants to make a run for it, it's clear he's got some fans in the conservative media to help him get started.
Source: David A. Graham in The Atlantic magazine , Feb 19, 2013

All religions provide beliefs that make us reasonable

As a Christian, I am not the least bit offended by the beliefs of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Mormons, and so forth. In fact, I am delighted to know that they believe in something that is more likely to make them into a reasonable human being, as long as they don't allow the religion to be distorted by those seeking power and wealth.

When I was asked to deliver the keynote address at the 1997 Presidential Prayer Breakfast, I contemplated the question, "Are we a Judeo-Christian nation or not?" I spoke about integrity, particularly in public office. I finished the speech with my philosophy for success in life, which includes strong faith in God and my Savior Jesus Christ. Out of the thousands of people at the breakfast, and millions of people who heard the address, I received only one negative response for using the name of Jesus. This tells me that the level of tolerance for religious differences is much greater than the politically correct crowd would have us believe.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 43-44 , Jan 24, 2012

National Day of Prayer is a suggestion, not a requirement

Undoubtedly, there are some in our country who are very uncomfortable with our government recognizing and encouraging prayer. In April 2010, a US district judge ruled that the government-sanctioned National Day of Prayer, established by Congress and supported with a proclamation from the president, is unconstitutional.

I believe the problem arises from misinterpretations of what our founders intended with respect to government & religion. They never wanted to see the government endorse a specific religion, but neither did they want to see faith and religion suppressed. There is nothing at all in our founding documents forbidding or denigrating religious expression in public life. The judge in this case was responding to a lawsuit filed by a group of atheists and agnostics called the Freedom from Religious Foundation. They complained that the government did not have the right to tell them to pray, but perhaps they didn't notice that prayer was not a requirement, but rather a suggestion.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 47-48 , Jan 24, 2012

God granted me a miracle in passing freshman chemistry

[In college] I wasn't doing well in freshman chemistry, which was a prerequisite for medical school. The night before the exam I poured out my heart to God, asking forgiveness for squandering such a wonderful educational opportunity. I asked him to show me what he really wanted me to do with my life, since I obviously wasn't going to get into medical school. Preferably, I asked him to work a miracle.

As I tried futilely to memorize my entire chemistry textbook, I fell asleep and entered a dream: I was the only student in a large auditorium, and a nebulous figure was writing out chemistry problems on the chalkboard. I awakened with the dream vivid in my mind. When I opened the test booklet during the chemistry final exam, I was flabbergasted when I recognized each of the problems in the booklet as one of the problems that the nebulous figure was working out in my dream.

I knew that God had granted me my miracle. I promised God I would become a diligent student and make him proud of me.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.114 , Jan 24, 2012

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