Earlier last year, when I started hearing more about Ben Carson, I was intrigued. Here was a man – an African American – who had a long and distinguished career as a neurosurgeon. Now, if there is some task before you which you want to suggest is well within your abilities, you may dismiss it by saying “It’s not brain surgery!” But Ben could do brain surgery. Not a problem for Ben. So, we know Ben Carson must be a pretty smart guy when he wants to be.
So when a guy like that decides to run for the Presidency, that’s sort of interesting. Because usually the people we get running for high office are people whose biggest accomplishment is that they raised the “Most Campaign Contributions Ever in Hicksville County, Arkansas.” But not Ben. He actually achieved a lot …and saved lives and stuff.
And here is why I was excited about Ben Carson at first. A doctor cannot get to be a doctor unless he or she completes a lot of courses and gets good grades in the sciences. And also math. Because that’s what doctors study – the body, its natural processes, the ways in which it has been known to malfunction, etc. So it’s an uncompromisingly “fact-based” profession. You cannot b—s— your way through a Bio exam the way you can an exam in Poly Sci or English Lit.
So, Ben is the kind of guy who, if you ask him “What is 2 plus 2?” he will tell you “4.” Whereas the usual politician will reply “What do you want it to be?” or “What do most of the voters want?” or (in Chicago) “It’s 6 … 4 with 2 left over for my campaign fund.”
So I was thinking, if Ben Carson were to be elected, and then if some of his more selfish constituents were to come to him and say, “Hey, Ben, how about putting an extra $10 Billion in the budget for us?” I would expect Ben to respond, “Well, I would if I could, but we haven’t got that kind of money, so maybe next year.” And think how refreshing that would be.
But then I started reading some very puzzling statements that Ben has made. He said he thought the pyramids of Egypt were built in biblical times by Joseph for the purpose of storing grain. Now, he also said they might have been built with the help of space aliens, which (when you think about it) is certainly possible (cause who knows?), but whoever built them, I am sure it was not to store grain. Because they’re not hollow. And if you travel across our Great Plains states, through mile after mile of wheat fields, you will search in vain for 450 foot tall granite pyramids filled with grain. Because there are better places to store grain than massive pyramids built of stone.
And recently, Ben has really gone off in a very unfortunate direction. He said he thought a straight man could be “converted” to gay just by going to prison. (Implying that gays get that way by the influence of their environment, instead of being born that way.)
Then, he declared that transgender women make everyone else “uncomfortable.” And so – in order to shield the “normal” people of the country from this (no doubt painful) “discomfort” – the government should build special “transgender bathrooms” in cities and villages all across the land. (Which actually would not be a bad idea, provided transgender women are put in charge of decorating those bathrooms. At present, most of the public bathrooms I have seen are sadly in need of some industrial-strength potpourri.)
So here’s the tragedy of Ben Carson. He was a successful and admired physician, when he stuck to “science.” (As a matter of fact, Ben Carson would perhaps be the best doctor in the whole world to evaluate the results of a series of autopsies of transgender men and women done a few years ago. The results suggested that “transgender” is a condition traceable to an anomaly in the brain, and who better to comment upon that possibility than a pediatric neurosurgeon? Unless, of course, he can’t look at the autopsy results, because they make him “uncomfortable.”)
But the tragedy of Ben Carson is … that Ben doesn’t want to do “science” any more. Now, he just recycles a bunch of “old wives tales” they tell in Sunday schools across the Bible belt. He has given up on “facts” and medicine, and now he peddles a lot of old tired stories handed down from one Baptist preacher to the next.
So, I’m begging you, Ben. Please go back to doing “science.” You – and the country – would be better off.