Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who briefly led the Republican presidential race before his campaign began an extended public implosion, told his supporters in a statement Wednesday afternoon that he does not see a “path forward” and will not attend Thursday’s debate in Detroit. “I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results,” the Wednesday statement said. “However, this grassroots movement on behalf of ‘We the People’ will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations.” Though he is done for the 2016 election, I do not think we have seen the last of Dr. Carson on the political scene.
Though from day one I considered him highly unqualified for the job of president of the United States, there are a few things I like about Dr. Carson, not the least of which is his calm, mild-mannered demeanor. He is soft spoken, yet well spoken. He comes across as intelligent and reasonable, which is more than I can say for the “leaders of the pack” The nation does not need a personality like Trump, now or ever. That said, Dr. Carson would be well-advised to suspend his campaign and stop spending money today! He never did stand even a 1% chance of winning the GOP nomination. However, if he spends his time and money wisely over the course of the next four years, I think he could possibly become a viable candidate in 2020 or even 2024, if that is what he really wants to do.
This plan would mean a lot of hard work, but his past tells us he is not averse to hard work. He needs to spend the next four years studying, learning, and studying some more. Dr. Carson is already a renowned neurosurgeon, but his knowledge of government and history is sorely and acutely lacking. His first step needs to be to start back on the first rung of the educational ladder, this time with an eye toward Political Science, Environmental Issues, and Foreign Relations. Courses in American History, World History, Constitutional Law, Contract Law and Criminal Law are essential. Within the four years between now and 2020, he could do all of that and more. It would also be an expensive venture, but if he drops out of this lost-cause presidential race now*, he could likely meet all his educational requirements with the money he will save!
Again, I like Dr. Carson as a person. Compared to the rest of the pack of 2016 GOP candidates, he shows remarkable reserve and intelligence. I think that in addition to his educational needs, he will need to develop a stronger backbone, a shell, and a more fiery voice, but only a little. The other thing is he will need to learn to discern the truth from a lie and stop thinking that lying about his past will make him appear more of a “tough guy”. We don’t need a tough guy nor a wuss in the White House, we need a thinker, and I believe that Ben could ultimately be that thinker. 2016 may well have been a get-your-feet-wet test run for him. If so, he needs to look back, see what he is lacking, and take steps to fill in those blanks. I doubt we have seen the last of Dr. Carson, and that may be a good thing.
Carson is 64 years old, meaning that in 2020 he will be 68 and in 2024 he will be 72. A bit long in the tooth by 2024, but then Bernie Sanders is 74 and Hillary Clinton 68 in this election year. I don’t discriminate here, but he would be 80 when he left office, assuming two terms, and … I don’t know about any of you, but I really don’t want to be working that hard when I am 80!
Chris Christie is by any standards a good man. He has a conscience, he cares, he has government experience, but unfortunately he made some bad moves and “Bridgegate” became his nemesis. The most important thing that Christie needs to do now is to immediately and firmly distance himself from the Donald Trump Carnival of Horrors. Instead, he chose to endorse Trump, though from the picture that has been broadcast far and wide, it appears that he is now asking himself “WTF have I done???”
I am disappointed in Christie. Not for Bridgegate … that is politics, the media and the past. I am disappointed in him because he sold his soul to the devil. Governor Christie hates Trump as much as I do (believe me, that is a lot), but a day after the gov dropped out of the campaign, before he even had time to lick his wounds, he endorsed Trump. Why? Only one possible reason … he is seeking to be the trumpeter’s running mate. As I see it, this was the absolute worst move he could have made. The man still stands a shot in 2020 or even 2024, but not if he aligns himself with the Trump circus.
What do I like about Governor Christie? He probably won me over in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy in 2012. He was there, he was involved, he genuinely cared, and he risked the love of the republican party to stand with President Obama to get help to people as timely and efficiently as possible. Christie is, or at least was, a more moderate politician than most in today’s GOP. His views on firearms and gun control are more reasonable than most of the right-wingers: he supports a ban on assault weapons and .50 caliber weapons, especially after the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. He has shown his willingness to be a team player, to compromise when necessary in order to get things done. If he has backed down in the past year, I blame the GOP circus-atmosphere that has every republican candidate turning in circles, chasing their tails trying to figure out how to bring down the trumpeter.
Can Christie make a comeback in 2020? I think he can. What he needs to do, not only for himself, but for the survival of the GOP (if it isn’t too late already) is return to his own beliefs and stop trying to do what others expect of him. There is no better advice I can ever offer to any political candidate than to “stay true to yourself, your beliefs”.
Though I am not a republican, not by any stretch of the imagination a conservative, I do care what happens within the GOP, as it affects us all, democrat or republican, liberal, moderate or conservative. We are all in this together, and at the end of the day we all stand together or we go down together. I believe that if Christie and Carson can get their acts together, they can help bring the GOP back to a more moderate, more acceptable stance and be a driving force four years from now. It should be interesting to watch.
*Note: I wrote this a few days ago. Since that time, Dr. Carson has suspended his campaign.