The media is officially labeling the GOP presidential race a three-man show and it appears the American people are ready to follow suit, so what exactly is keeping Ben Carson in the race for the White House?
After consecutive last place finishes in the New Hampshire and South Carolina Republican primaries, Ben Carson’s presidential campaign is treading on thin ice. Yet, despite experiencing free-falling poll numbers, Carson refuses to bow out of the race and is encouraging his supporters to keep up the fight.
Is this realistic, though? Or, is he simply denying the inevitable?
To answer, one must first understand why Carson is doing what he’s doing. For one, it’s not pride or self-justification that is blindly propelling him forward. Carson made it clear from the outset of his campaign that running for president was “not something [he] ever really wanted to do.”
It’s pretty clear that he has another motive for running, and it doesn’t involve arrogant aspirations of holding political office. This singular motive sets Carson apart from the other candidates. It makes up the very fabric of his character, and is central to his reasons for not dropping out of the race.
Here are a few of the main reasons why Carson refuses to throw in the towel:
1. He feels compelled by God to keep fighting.
Like many of the other candidates, Carson is outspoken about his faith. But Carson’s faith is central to his campaign in a way that is different from every other candidate (with the possible exception of Ted Cruz).
Carson writes in his autobiography “Gifted Hands,” that he believes “God gives us all gifts, special abilities that we have the privilege of developing to help us serve Him and humanity.” He believes he possesses gifts and abilities that could be utilized as president of the United States in a way that would both serve God and benefit the country. This conviction is clearly evidenced through his campaign messaging and ads.
You all probably know by now how he burst onto the political scene at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. Following that speech, he told his Facebook followers in a post last April that Jesus Christ is his “role model.” And in an interview last December with Sally Quinn of the Washington Post, Carson said that a “force greater than himself” is behind his presidential run. These are the words of a man that believes he is being guided by a higher power.
And who is to say he isn’t? The Bible says in Romans 13:1 that “there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” Whether or not Carson was preordained by God to become the 45th president of the United States still remains to be seen; however, at the moment, he’s not willing to rule out the possibility.
2. He cares about the millions of Americans in poverty.
Born and raised in a ghetto area of Detroit, Carson is no stranger to the poverty crisis afflicting our nation. He has experienced it firsthand. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that he is a tad reluctant to entrust the future of our nation’s economy to a billionaire (Donald Trump), bureaucrats (the rest of the Republican field) or either potential Democratic nominee.
He argues that education is one of the chief cornerstones for combating poverty and welfare dependency in our country.
“I believe that education is the ladder leading people out of poverty and into realizing the American Dream,” Carson said.
In 2014, Carson appeared on The View to address the harsh criticism that many in the liberal community were leveling against him for his stance on welfare reform. Following his reply to a question on welfare posed by actor Terry Crews, Carson received a thundering ovation. Watch the exchange below:
And on November 10, 2015, during the fourth Republican primary debate, hosted by Fox Business Network, Carson spoke passionately about helping those in poverty, while also making it clear that he would do more, if elected president, to fix the broken system that hinders their ability to rise out of it:
“I do care about the poor people. And in the system that we’re putting together, there will be a rebate for people at the poverty level. But I also want to emphasize the fact that as we get the economy moving, […] there will be a lot more opportunities for poor people not to be poor people because this is America. This is the land of dreams. And our policies should be aimed at allowing people to realize that dream.”
If anyone tries to convince you that Carson is insincere about helping those in poverty, you might just ask what that person has done to help the poor and needy. Because I’d wager it pales in comparison to the philanthropy that Carson has consistently exhibited toward poverty-stricken individuals throughout his professional adult life.
3. He wants to cure the racial divide in our country.
Carson understands the racial splintering that is occurring in our nation. And his message resonates with many who are honest and genuine about finding ways to unite this country again.
Racial bigotry against blacks will never be wholly eliminated; neither will the racist demagogue who perpetuates lies and spews hate speech against whites. Society has to come to grips with the fact that no one is perfect, and realize that there will always be those who refuse to love others because of the color of their skin.
But racism is like a wound—and right now, there are those in our country who refuse to let it heal. Every once in a while they will rip the scab off and remind everyone it’s there.
In August 2015, at the first Republican primary debate, hosted by Fox News, moderator Megyn Kelly asked what Carson would do to heal race relations in our country. His answer provided viewers a glimpse into who he is as a man and why he is so appealing to many in the Republican base. Watch the video below to hear his response:
Racial stereotyping and discrimination is a real issue in our country. Unfortunately, politicians gain more from the infighting between races than they do from actually solving the problem.
Carson has the message and the resolve to bring about real change. Change that our country desperately needs right now. So don’t let the media fool you: they will do all they can—including firing potshots—in an attempt to undermine and devalue the honorable campaign Carson is striving to run.
4. He plans to bring accountability back to Washington.
“American government has far outgrown the limits set by our founders in the Constitution,” Moore states. “If the twenty-first century is to be the American century, government must be redirected to its proper and legitimate role.”
While the American government continues to grow exponentially, the American people are left stuck at a crossroads. They must elect a candidate this election cycle who will reduce the massive scope of government, or passively stand by and witness their country move closer to the point of no return.
Carson insists that he is the candidate we are searching for and will put America on the right path again.
He stresses the need for accountability among federal government executives, employees and agencies.
“For the first time, every agency, department and management executive will be held accountable for the resources they use and the value they create for the American people,” Carson writes in his Government Reform plan. “The United States is placing significant resources in the hands of the bureaucracy: we must hold it accountable for its work and its long-term impact on the nation.”
Likewise, he has vowed to block lobbyists and special interest groups from taking further advantage of the American people.
“Lobbyists and special interests in Washington D.C. have corrupted politicians and the political system,” Carson said. “As a result, the American people’s best interests are being consistently undermined. I will bring a new, transparent culture to Washington D.C. that prevents special interests from taking advantage of the American people.”
Most importantly, the U.S. Constitution provides the basis and foundation for Carson’s philosophy. Watch the video below to hear Carson’s take on the size of government:
While many may be temporarily infatuated with the populist appeal of certain candidates, they should not overlook the positive impact of a candidate as conservative and principled as Carson.
In an election year driven by anti-establishment sentiments, Carson is trying to tap into a very emotional, disappointed segment of the American population. The bad news? Donald Trump appears to be locking up that demographic.
Trump is leading the Republican pack; running on a platform that revolves around fixing Washington and making “America Great Again.” Surprisingly, Carson’s message is not so different from Trump’s message.
I am sure that this statement will send Carson supporters into an all-out frenzy, so rest assured when I tell you that is where the similarities between both men end.
Trump is bombastic; Carson is humble. Trump is melodramatic; Carson is calm. Trump’s message is often laced with vulgar speech; Carson has not once uttered an expletive while on the campaign trail.
But they both claim to be political outsiders—which is enough these days to attract the full fury of the Republican Establishment. And while Trump has somehow managed to benefit from the Establishment’s underhanded assaults, Carson appears the worse for wear.
But he’s still standing. And that shouldn’t be trivialized.
What began as a 16-man race for the Republican nomination, has now been winnowed down to a five-man sprint to the finish line. And Carson’s betting on his determination eventually being noticed by the American people.
So what exactly is Carson’s ultimate motive for staying in the race? It’s obvious.
As a former neurosurgeon, Carson believes he is most qualified to heal our country.
The decision that the American people now need to make is who they’d rather have operating on them—a doctor or a lawyer?