Saturday, October 31, 2015

9 Of Ben Carson’s Controversial Quotes

Demagogic innuendo masquerading as political insight.

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9 of Ben Carson’s Most Controversial Quotes

The pediatric neurosurgeon enters the race with a dedicated group of loyalists at his back””and a long history of tough, unpopular talk.
It’s all fun and games un­til someone loses the White House.
Ben Car­son checked in­to the pres­id­en­tial race Monday, bring­ing with him a well-or­gan­ized fun­drais­ing ma­chine, a fan­at­ic­al fol­low­ing, and a con­ser­vat­ive celebrity status that’s worth mil­lions in word-of-mouth ad­vert­ising. Part of that celebrity status comes from a ca­reer as a pe­di­at­ric neurosur­geon, part from his hard-line con­ser­vat­ive world­view, and part from his 2013 na­tion­al polit­ic­al in­tro­duc­tion when he lam­basted Pres­id­ent Obama at the Na­tion­al Pray­er Break­fast while the lead­er of the free world sat just a few chairs away.
And then, of course, there’s his long re­cord of bom­bast­ic polit­ic­al quotes, full of ref­er­ences to Nazis, slavery, and up­com­ing to­tal­it­ari­an takeovers. For Car­son, those are state­ments he can make be­cause, in polit­ic­al terms, he has little to lose. Bar­ring a mir­acle shakeup of the polit­ic­al sys­tem, he won’t be­come pres­id­ent, and he won’t be the nom­in­ee. And as he has already made clear: “I don’t care about polit­ic­al cor­rect­ness.”
But for more vi­able Re­pub­lic­an con­tenders, Car­son’s quotes have an un­com­fort­able spillover ef­fect: One mo­ment they’re try­ing to talk tax policy and a plan to beat IS­IS””the next they’re get­ting asked about a rival can­did­ate’s dis­cus­sion of pris­on sex and ho­mo­sexu­al­ity. And in re­sponse, they have to find an an­swer that toes the con­ser­vat­ive line needed to keep pace with the party base without ven­tur­ing in­to ter­rit­ory that threatens their vi­ab­il­ity in the gen­er­al elec­tion. And in a primary race as com­pet­it­ive as the GOP’s 2016 scramble, a small slip is enough to send one to the back of a long line of skilled con­tenders.
Car­son has said he won’t be drawn in­to the types of so­cial-is­sue con­ver­sa­tions that have landed him at the cen­ter of past con­tro­ver­sies, but if past is pro­logue, he’ll find the tempta­tion hard to res­ist. Here are the quotes at the cen­ter of his biggest dust-ups:
1) On wheth­er be­ing gay is a choice: “Be­cause a lot of people who go in­to pris­on go in­to pris­on straight””and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something hap­pen while they were in there? Ask your­self that ques­tion.”
2) On polit­ic­al cor­rect­ness: “I mean, [our so­ci­ety is] very much like Nazi Ger­many. And I know you’re not sup­posed to say ‘Nazi Ger­many,’ but I don’t care about polit­ic­al cor­rect­ness. You know, you had a gov­ern­ment us­ing its tools to in­tim­id­ate the pop­u­la­tion. We now live in a so­ci­ety where people are afraid to say what they ac­tu­ally be­lieve.”
3) On the IRS: “You know, we live in a Gestapo age, people don’t real­ize it.”
4) On Ad­vanced Place­ment his­tory class: “I think most people, when they fin­ish that course, they’d be ready to go sign up for IS­IS.”
5) On vet­er­ans dy­ing wait­ing for med­ic­al care from the De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs: “I think what’s hap­pen­ing with the vet­er­ans is a gift from God to show us what hap­pens when you take lay­ers and lay­ers of bur­eau­cracy and place them between the pa­tients and the health care pro­vider. And if we can’t get it right, with the re­l­at­ively small num­ber of vet­er­ans, how in the world are you go­ing to do it with the en­tire pop­u­la­tion?”
6) On Obama­care: “You know, Obama­care is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this na­tion since slavery. And it is, in a way””it is slavery in a way be­cause it is mak­ing all of us sub­ser­vi­ent to the gov­ern­ment.”
7) On Obama’s ap­pear­ance: When a col­league said the pres­id­ent “looks clean. Shirt’s white. The tie. He looks el­eg­ant,” Car­son re­spon­ded: “Like most psy­cho­paths. That’s why they’re suc­cess­ful. That’s the way they look. They all look great.” He later said: “But he knows he’s telling a lie! He’s try­ing to sell what he thinks is not true! He’s sit­ting there say­ing, ‘These Amer­ic­ans are so stu­pid I can tell them any­thing.’”
8) On sim­il­ar­it­ies between the Found­ing Fath­ers, who were “will­ing to die for what they be­lieved,” and IS­IS: “They’ve [IS­IS] got the wrong philo­sophy, but they’re will­ing to die for what they be­lieve, while we’re busily giv­ing away every value and every be­lief for the sake of polit­ic­al cor­rect­ness.”
9) On the im­port­ance of the GOP win­ning the Sen­ate in 2014: In Au­gust, Car­son said he couldn’t be sure “there will even be an elec­tion in 2016” if Re­pub­lic­ans didn’t go on to win that fall. (His wife also said they were keep­ing their son’s Aus­trali­an pass­port handy if the elec­tion didn’t go their way.)

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