Is Ben Carson OK?

Can someone pull Ben Carson aside and ask him how he’s doing? Because this rant pulled straight from your uncle’s email chain has me pretty concerned:

That was wild from start to finish. Let’s review.

It’s always a treat to hear someone warn about how dangerous wedge issues can be before running through a massive list of wedge issues, all while saying that they don’t trade in wedge issues. And you literally cannot contradict yourself more thoroughly while claiming to be neutral in the culture war than to say “There is no war on women. There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women.” This comes as calling in the FBI to forcibly prevent abortions from taking place — literally a war on women — is considered a not-that-crazy idea in the Republican primaries.

Then Carson shrugged off the idea that America has a problem with racial injustice by claiming that conflict is just “the nature of people.” Which is true, but convenient if one wants to ignore the staggering racial disparities that are arising from a largely white criminal justice system and a disproportionately black lower class.

Carson also made sure to remind us that Americans these days are soft. The immigrants who came to Ellis Island didn’t complain about how hard they had to work. They didn’t need luxuries like the five day work week, the eight hour day or the minimum wage. They took a thirty cents per hour job at their local meatpacking factory and were thankful for it. And if they died on the job, their kids were more than happy to step up and take their place. They were doing it all for them, anyway.

Speaking of which, for Carson, that same concept of the American dream applied to slaves who didn’t get to choose whether to make a new life in America. They may have been living out a historical injustice, but they were doing it all in hopes that their grandchildren might be free one day. So, you know, silver linings.

From there, Carson went on to outline the grand, subversive liberal conspiracy to destroy America, actively accusing President Obama of trying to destroy the country by giving the poors Obamaphones, inviting illegals and terrorists over the border, hardening the electrical grid (first candidate I’ve heard this cycle talk about that), weakening the military and ceding outer space to our enemies. Seriously.

But not to worry, with Carson in charge, all this will change. “We are the natural leaders of the world,” you see, by way of the fact that we have immigrants from all over the place. So we owe it to Latin America, China, Western Europe and Africa — and all of the other countries that send us their tired, poor huddled masses — to dominate the hell out of them. Because that’s what America is all about.

Carson, by the way, has quietly worked his way up to second place in the Republican primary. Which, in its own way, makes some amount of sense: He’s the crazy outsider for the Republican who wants to feel smarter (and totally, completely, definitely not-racist) about voting for a crazy outsider.

Emphasis on the crazy.

(h/t RawStory)

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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88 Responses to “Is Ben Carson OK?”

  1. nvrbl says:

    So it is not a war on me, just what is inside of me? What a relief. /S

  2. nvrbl says:

    24 weeks is not nine months.

  3. Silver_Witch says:

    Gosh I have missed the crew here at America Blog – I have to stop working so much and have more time for play. Kisses to all!!!

  4. DoverBill says:

    Dear Thor, Silverness… we live for ickyness and house cleaners.

    Not necessarily in that order, of course… but, mostly.

  5. Silver_Witch says:

    Hi Karmanot – how have you BEEN??? Missed everyone here at the America Blog….hope to be around a little more.

  6. Silver_Witch says:

    I love Bob Dylan and most particularly this song. If boys learn to have babies – what will you do with all the icky girls??? ::hehehe::

  7. Butch1 says:

    I will look into this.

  8. woodroad34 says:

    It takes less time to find something wrong with him than to find something that’s right with him….and I just don’t have the luxury or the inclination–that’s what being productive does to one.

  9. 2karmanot says:

    I just use AdBlock….it works just fine.

  10. 2karmanot says:

    You go SW!

  11. gratuitous says:

    There was one of those warning labels on the hyperbole machine, but it got torn off in a fit of anti-regulatory rage. Three guesses by whom.

  12. MoonDragon says:

    People who operate in the reality based environment.

  13. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Is this your first day with your hyperbole machine?

  14. Butch1 says:

    I know what you mean.

  15. pogden297 says:

    Since the Democrats’ position is abortion on demand through 9 months of pregnancy, nothing any Republican is going to say on abortion is going to be radical by comparison.

  16. Vasanth Kumar Nagulakonda says:

    My wish.

  17. BeccaM says:

    Yeah, I feel the same way. I’ve been giving serious thought to just making an appropriate donation to Jon for the site, then turn on full ad-blocking. Really getting sick of it, especially if I ever make the mistake of refreshing the page.

  18. Butch1 says:

    In a word: NO!

  19. Butch1 says:

    I’m very tired fighting these pop-up ads and the side surprise ads as well. They attack now from the right and from the left and from the bottom. It gets to the point that I just leave the site. I’m tired of pushing the little buttons to get rid of them. Too annoying.

  20. DoverBill says:

    We’re workin’ on it?

  21. Silver_Witch says:

    errr…yes…I guess they only need us for breeding and when they figure out how to do it without us – I guess we are no longer needed.

  22. DoverBill says:

    Perhaps, but does history not prove that they usually don’t necessarily need your kind for sexual gratification?

    Have ya ever heard of a game called footsies usually played in bathroom stalls?

  23. Silver_Witch says:

    Perhaps DoverBill..perhaps. Something like the Stockholm syndrome.

  24. DoverBill says:

    I just add AdBlock Plus to my Crome.

    Haven’t added any filters but I love it already.

  25. BeccaM says:

    I use Pale Moon, a Firefox clone without their borked UI, and the Ad Block add-on extension. For sites I support, I leave it turned off, or as is the case here, specifically block offending ads which impact the usability of the site.

  26. DoverBill says:


  27. BeccaM says:

    That is an example of one I did block, for the reasons stated.

  28. DoverBill says:

    He coulda pulled himself up by their straps if he had ’em.

  29. DoverBill says:

    ” something is amiss beyond that”

    I believe that it’s called the conservative base?

  30. DoverBill says:

    And all this time I’ve been looking for something right.

  31. DoverBill says:

    I still miss the General.

  32. DoverBill says:

    I believe he channels himself some old-time Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative?

    And we still don’t have the technology!

  33. DoverBill says:

    That useless fucking thing that keep popping up from the bottom of the screen is starting to drive me barking-at-the-moon crazy!

  34. DoverBill says:

    If you ask me for an apple and I give you an ORANGE you would say, that’s NOT an ORANGE.”

    Actually, what I would say is: “That’s NOT an APPLE!,” but I digress.

  35. DoverBill says:

    I can’t wait for the general presidential debates where the sane faction of voters will be hearing this crap for the 1st time and asking themselves: WTF did I miss here; are ya shitting me?

  36. UncleBucky says:

    Carson has a real problem with almost everyone:

    LGBTIQ People
    Retired People for Bernie!
    Children (<18 who can't vote, but CAN speak!)
    Disabled People
    Service (Army, Navy, Marines, AF, Coast Guard) members
    Union members
    Republicans from the old days
    Registered Gun Owners/Users who really ARE responsible.
    Christians (Yes!)
    Jewish People
    First Nations Peoples
    ________ Fill in the blank

  37. DoverBill says:

    I actually wasted 1 hour and 34 minutes watching this.

    Then again…

  38. DoverBill says:

    Coping conservatism?

  39. John Masters says:

    Thank you, exactly what I was thinking as we was saying all the clap trap. He acts as though some benevolent overlord reluctantly decided to pay at least $7.25/hour…what, 30 years ago?

    But the saddest part of all this is the number of people who were sitting there, and I’m sure, nodding their heads in agreement.

  40. Silver_Witch says:

    I actually watched the debates…yes I wanted to hear what they said but this is so much better.

  41. Silver_Witch says:

    Ben Carson is telling the truth here – the republican party does not care about women or have a war on women – in their minds they own women, we are chattel and the only parts that are useful to them is our Uterus and our Vagina. They need those for procreation and releasing their sexual urges. So their war is really with other men – those who would provide women freedom and the right to be full citizens. They just don’t get that we women can hear what they are saying.

    It is frightening when a man who has experienced being treated as “the other” and as a second class citizen is incapable of emphasizing. I suspect it is some sort of coping mechanism.

  42. therling says:

    When I was a college professor, I witnessed a number of otherwise-intelligent people go completely bonkers. It’s actually quite sad to watch.

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  44. ComradeRutherford says:

    You had boots???

  45. The_Fixer says:

    I have seen it, and yeah, that pretty well sums up what he’s about – nonsense.

  46. BeccaM says:

    Personally, I wish there was an option for a “paid subscription = ad-free version” of AmercaBlog. I spend a fair amount of time over on DailyKos and have never regretted getting a lifetime subscription there. I would have done the same for TalkingPointsMemo, but $99/year is too much to pay for a single site. My ‘sweet spot’ is $10-20/year or a Benjy for a lifetime ‘sub.

    As for here, I will tolerate most ads, but if they block the site or make it otherwise impossible to read posts or are super-annoying epilepsy-inducing animations, I’ll custom ad-block the specific offending ads.

  47. Thom Allen says:

    Carson has had a few instances in the past where he used odd word choices and phraseology. He was asked to give a commencement address at Johns Hopkins’ for their graduating medical students’ class. A few weeks previously, he made a statement on marriage equality. In it, it sounded like he was equating LGBTs with pedophiles and those who practice bestiality. Many students, faculty and others were outraged and asked that he not speak. Carson tried to clarify his statement he says:

    “As a Christian, I have a duty to love all people, and that includes people who have other sexual orientations, and I certainly do…. If anyone was offended, I apologize to you. What I was basically saying is there is no group. I wasn’t equating those things, I don’t think they’re equal. If you ask me for an apple and I give you an ORANGE you would say, that’s NOT an ORANGE. And I say, that’s a banana. And that’s not an apple either. Or a peach, that’s not an apple, either. It doesn’t mean that I’m equating the banana and the orange and the peach.”

    That statement isn’t quite word salad, but it’s almost calling out for some Italian dressing.

    Carson ultimately decided to not speak at the JHU graduation ceremony.

    There was some speculation when Carson retired that the above remarks, and others, had somewhat alienated the JHU administration and perhaps his “retirement” was thought to be a good idea by both sides.

    Full story and Carson’s quotes here:

  48. Thom Allen says:

    Yeah, can that be fixed?

  49. woodroad34 says:

    If you haven’t seen it, the bad lip reading of the Republican debate really pinpoints Carson’s persona….doop de doop de doop…:

  50. BeccaM says:

    Well, as a neurosurgeon, he has come into contact with lots and lots of human brains…

  51. 2karmanot says:

    OMGawd! ” some kind of prion disease” He’s eating brains. Dr. Zombie!

  52. 2karmanot says:

    And barefoot to boot!

  53. 2karmanot says:

    I’m glad someone is asking this question. How is it that a ‘supposed’ genius brain surgeon sounds like a complete pin head. I wouldn’t let that doctor anywhere near me or anyone I know.

  54. Indigo says:

    Yes. I also find that clicking on the little x in the upper right corner of the pop-ups from the bottom to close them most commonly serves to open one of the advertisements. It’s an annoyance. Not a deal-breaker . . . yet.

  55. Bill_Perdue says:

    Yes, and according to some the Jewish religion had “elements of polytheism, especially the worship of goddesses and a cult of the mother goddess.” (wiki) It’s not clear when and how that religion turned into one of the roots of the oppression of women but if I had to guess, I’d say that it was in the period when their society and other societies in the region came to be dominated by an all male ruling and priestly class and to build armies for conquest.

    Hegel takes it up in his The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State and a lot more research has been done to describe those linked developments by more recent researchers, especially by feminists.

  56. nicho says:

    FWIW, Jon, the clickbait ads that are formatted exactly the same as blog posts and nestle right in with the real posts are pretty annoying. I know it’s all the rage online these days, but ads should look like ads.

  57. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I’ve felt for sometime that something was wrong with him.

  58. nicho says:

    Actually, the woman hating began with the so-called Abrahamic religions. Prior to that the goddess was central and the serpent figured in as well, but in a good way. The patriarchy didn’t like this. So, when it came to Genesis, the serpent became the embodiment of evil and the woman became his witless accomplice. It’s been downhill since then.

  59. RepubAnon says:

    Physician, heal thyself? Of course, what he was trying to say was a war on Spermatozoan Americans – General JC Christian’s tube sock holocaust posts come to mind.

  60. Bill_Perdue says:

    Woman hating, the constant companion of religion.

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  62. BeccaM says:

    I may have to do some digging and see if I can find one of the speeches I remember Carson giving four years ago, the last time he ran. I truly don’t recall him being this scattered, disconnected, and flat out weird. And you hit on another good point, too: The paranoia seems to be new.

  63. ComradeRutherford says:

    And we liked it!

  64. ComradeRutherford says:

    Well, we all know that women have teeth up in there, Vagina Dentata! Look it up!!!

    Those wily women trick you into putting your ‘thing’ in there and they’ll bite it off! Carson is a doctor so he knows what he’s talking about!

  65. The_Fixer says:

    Sad, and scary.

  66. The_Fixer says:

    I was being flippant, but I think he’s hitting 4 out of 8 cylinders when he used to hit 6 of them.

    The “Rain Man” thing would be a possibility if he were still practicing medicine, but I don’t think he is anymore. As Becca suggested below, he does seem to be out of it, and quite probably in need of medical attention. I wonder if he had to quit medicine.

    That’s not to say that he held many defensible positions before he lost it, but at least he sounded like he could present something coherent in his defense.

    I think Jon and Becca are right; there’s something wrong there. It’s not just an idiot savant thing, something is amiss beyond that.

  67. The_Fixer says:

    I think ya got something there, Becca.

    I really should not be so flippant about it – after all, he is running for President and he does appear to be unconnected with reality on some level. To be losing one’s faculties is sad, even if it’s someone for whom you don’t have much regard.

    I did watch the video and his rambling was rather disconnected, as though the audience was supposed to be privy to his innermost thoughts. I also noticed more polite applause than enthusiasm (except for his “America, Fuck Yeah!” moment, which is depressing but expected). I could not follow any logical line of thinking, and there’s a lot of fear and paranoia expressed in his… speech (or whatever you call it).

    Dollars-to-donuts that in the next 5 years, we’ll hear that he is losing his mental capacity due to dementia. And we will be very happy that we dodged that bullet by not electing him president (he has no chance whatsoever to get elected). We managed to live through Reagan’s dementia, we don’t need that again.

  68. emjayay says:

    I was going to mention that one also. Totally wierd. Not like, I had this bridge from this bicycle accident twenty years ago or something logical. More like, ya know how sometimes your teeth fall out, whatever, ha-ha.

  69. emjayay says:

    Hey, it’s not like he was a history major or something. Lighten up! ;->

  70. BeccaM says:

    I sometimes think the main lesson the GOPers took from Reagan was “Talk like an uneducated folksy idiot with vindictive policy notions, and lots of American morons will vote for you not in spite of it, but because of it.”

  71. Indigo says:

    I don’t hear anything from Carson that’s any crazier than the rest of the clones in the clown car. They’re the entertainment, they’re the chorus, the Dark Threat, the Old Form, the Chthontic Voice crying out from Chaos, echoing the insanity of the Joker’s laughter. They’re the real American Horror Story, the one that haunts our history, refreshes Tecumseh’s Curse and invites Fate to call in our debt in karma coinage.

    That’s enough mixed metaphors for one evening. My point being: they’re dangerous because they’re ignorant.

  72. woodroad34 says:

    brilliant. It just boggles the mind. People like Ben Carson make you wonder what happened to the image of the logical, even-handed republican? Ahhhh, the 80’s were good to these fools.

  73. woodroad34 says:

    He’s basically an idiot savant–think “Rain Man”….a one trick pony that’s been living off that for years now…not unlike John McCain and his war record.

  74. BeccaM says:

    Funny thing is they did complain. They formed unions. And when the Robber Barons brought in the Pinkertons to break workers’ heads, they fought back. And they lobbied the government for safer working conditions and a living wage. And it wasn’t complaining about hard work, but about being mistreated and being taken advantage of.

    I always laugh at this implication that workers’ lives were made better solely because the plutocrats felt like doing the right thing.

  75. BeccaM says:

    As I remarked below, I do think he needs to have his brain examined. Not joking or anything, but for real.

  76. BeccaM says:

    I have noticed, but was simply trying to state in my usually over-verbose way that with Carson — who can’t possibly be stupid given his prior career as a neurosurgeon — given how I’ve seen him express himself in years past, something seems genuinely wrong with him now. Or ‘more wrong’ if one wants to get pedantic about it.

  77. FLL says:

    But… but… I thought The Donald was king of the Republican heap for making snide menstruation comments about female journalists. Do you mean to say that Ben Carson is trying to knock The Donald off his throne by declaring a war on uteri? (Not a war on women.)

  78. Demosthenes says:

    To the extent polling is currently relevant, the “Triumvirate of Crazy” (The Donald, Dr. Carson, and Sen. “Ted” Cruz) have about 50% support in the primary. Truly bizarre.

  79. The_Fixer says:

    So now America has a logical, natural mandate to not only rule the world, but space, too?

    I… I… I… don’t think that’s possible, Ben. At least not the technology we have. Somebody’s been watching too much Star Wars, and doesn’t realize that it’s a bunch of movies, not real life.

    Meet Ben Carson, neurosurgeon. I have to make the obligatory joke that he is in need of a brain surgeon, regardless of the fact that he is one. Time for a second opinion, doctor.

  80. Doug105 says:

    Hard not to notice, remember there is a reason people call it the republican clown car.

  81. LasloPratt says:

    The immigrants who came to Ellis Island didn’t complain about how hard they had to work.

    “When I was your age, if I wanted to die in shirt factory fire I had to hike two miles to get there. In the snow. Uphill. Both ways!”

  82. nicho says:

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but all of the GOP candidates are a few potatoes short of a salad.

  83. Don Chandler says:

    So, I kind of look at it this way, when Carson pretends he is Obama and then attacks his Obamaself, he is giving himself a wedgie–pure fantasy. I don’t want to parse it further.

  84. BeccaM says:

    It’s more blatant, even in ordinary conversation.

  85. nicho says:

    “All kidding aside, I think there’s something seriously neurologically wrong with the guy. His manner of speaking has become disjointed and random.”

    Which distinguishes him from any of the other GOP candidates in which way?

  86. BeccaM says:

    I’ve listened to and watched Carson a few times in the last several months, and I also remember how he was four years ago, the last time he pretended to run.

    All kidding aside, I think there’s something seriously neurologically wrong with the guy. His manner of speaking has become disjointed and random. He hardly ever seems to open his eyes all the way anymore. When in conversations, his affect is disengaged, robotic and self-absorbed, and it’s like he’s having an internal, mental discourse rather than actually trying to communicate and engage meaningfully with others.

    No idea if it’s related or not, but there was also that instance a while back where he lost a couple teeth while eating grits. That was just weird. To watch him while he was being recorded when it happened, and then his remarks afterwards…well, let’s just say that most people would be at least a little freaked out at losing not just one but two front teeth for no apparent reason. With Carson, it was like, “Huh. So that happened.”

    This speech is more evidence, in my opinion, that Carson’s noggin’ ain’t running on all eight cylinders anymore. Dementia, cancer, some kind of prion disease — no idea, but in this non-doctor’s opinion, he should be seeking professional care.

  87. Hue-Man says:

    “We are the natural leaders of the world,” you see, by way of the fact that we have immigrants from all over the place.

    If ethnic diversity is key, then Uganda should be ruling the world! Followed by another dozen countries in Africa.

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