An early look at Ben Carson

Posted on Jun 25 2013 - 7:31am by Tim Abram

The next presidential election is three years away, however as soon as one election ends the rumblings begin about the potential candidates for the next election. One person being discussed for a presidential bid in 2016 is Ben Carson.

Currently, he is a professor of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, oncology and pediatrics and the director of pediatrics neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Dr. Carson’s academic pedigree certainly does not make him the type of candidate we have come to expect. However, after listening to his speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, I began to take notice of Carson.

I watched the biopic “Gifted Hands” which depicted the life of Carson and his rise from poverty to Yale to becoming the first doctor to separate conjoined twins at the head without losing either baby. Carson’s life and work ethic are truly admirable. After watching the movie on his life, I wanted to know more about Dr. Ben Carson, so I ordered his book “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great.” I will provide my interpretation of his book, which is basically a general platform for a presidential bid, so that you all may begin taking notice of him.

Before I provide my interpretation of the book, it is important to note that Carson is a scholar of American history and many of his solutions stem from a strict interpretation of the Constitution as our Founding Fathers intended. He is unwavering in his Christian faith and some of his ideas and his positions on controversial issues are a reflection of his faith.

To begin, Carson self-identifies as an Independent. However, after reading his book, I feel confident in saying that if he were to run for political office, it would be as a Republican. Carson’s tax policy as presented in the book is a duplication of the “tax” that God requires of people of faith, tithes. Like the Bible suggests, Carson would advocate for a flat tax of 10 percent of all earnings. In the eyes of Carson this tax is fair and proportionate. Carson’s ideas on healthcare reform are quite interesting. Carson mentioned a “health stamp program” for the individuals in our country that are uninsured. Carson believes this will ameliorate the expensive services that are performed in emergency rooms. He believes that if people are given a set amount of money per month to use towards health related costs, they will be less prone to utilize or abuse the emergency rooms and seek clinical help. He ended his health care section of the book with a suitable proposition. He said, “(I)f the Golden Gate Bridge fell down, who would you get to rebuild it — structural engineers or people who like to talk about building bridges? In like fashion, we would be wise to put health care reform in the hands of the people who know the most about health care–those providing the care and those receiving it.”

In all fairness, I have not given the potential platform of Dr. Ben Carson more than a superficial retelling in this article. However, I hope the introductory to Dr. Ben Carson I have provided will entice you all to begin researching Dr. Carson for yourself. I believe he will be a game-changing candidate if he decides to run for president in 2016.

Tim Abram is a public policy major from Horn Lake. Follow him on Twitter @Tim_Abram.