Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Presidential Candidates - #13 Ben Carson

The first time I met Dr. Ben Carson was at a book signing at Barnes & Nobles in Waterloo.  I bought a book for about $20, stood in a very long line, had the book autographed, got a picture with Dr. Carson, and left.  You can't tell very much about a person from that, so I was very happy when Dr. Carson returned to Waterloo for a townhall meeting.
The meeting was hosted by Concerned Veterans for America.  Iowa director Flora Schmidt opened the meeting at 1:30, and a retired chaplain led an invocation. Next was the presentation of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance.  CEO Pete Hegseth spoke about the purpose of the townhall meetings and introduced notable people in attendance.  Carson's speech began at 1:45, and was followed by a question and answer session with questions from Mr. Hegseth and members of the audience.

Miscellaneous Facts: Carson is 64 years old.  He is of African-American descent.  Ben Carson is a Seventh-Day Adventist, has been married to Candy Carson since 1975, has three children, and is 6 feet tall.
Created with www.readwritethink.org's Timeline Generator.  Click to enlarge.
Carson's Speech
The history of our nation revolves around veterans.  We need to have support programs for them from the day they sign up.  We shouldn't wait till after they are diagnosed with PTSD.  These programs should start integrating them back into civilian life a year before discharge.  Veterans should have health benefits that can be utilized at any hospital.

We've had a decrease in the number of volunteers for our armed forces.  This is the result of how we treat our veterans.  The best thing we can do for those who have been injured in combat is not to allow their sacrifices to be for nought.  We had victory in Iraq; then we ran away, and ISIS moved in.  Our soldiers have died and been wounded.  Their families ask, what was that sacrifice for?

Radical Islamist terrorist jihadists want to destroy us.  We need to protect our homeland by taking them out in the Middle East.  They have a caliphate, so they can attack us.  We need to take that caliphate away.  In Sinjar, we cut off the supply route, helped the Kurds, and gave them air support.  We can use that as a model.  Choose a target and strangulate it by cutting off supplies.  We also need to stop their monetary transfers.

ISIS targets disenfranchised people to recruit through the internet.  We need to counter them with our values.  They have values of killing people and cutting off heads.  We need to have values of goodness and opportunity.  This is a fight of good against evil.  There was a time when we were good.  We need to bring that time back.  Tocqueville said, "America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

I was just in Jordan talking with the Syrian refugees. What they want is to be eventually resettled in their own country, not the United States, and they want us to support the Jordanians until that time. We are only given two options: accept refugees into our country at our own risk, or be heartless and have no compassion.  The option of doing what the refugees want us to do would show both compassion and brains.

The vetting process does not work.  Accepting 10,000s of refugees into our country out of millions of refugees only makes us feel good, it doesn't solve the problem, it just gives us a new problem.  It feels good, but makes no sense.

America needs to get back to the principles that made her a great nation.  Right now we struggle with divisiveness and hatred.  We need unity and strength.  A house divided against itself will not stand.  We need to think of our veterans, children, and grandchildren.  We need to be good, and if we we are good, that will lead us to be great.
Q & A Session
Q:  You have said we need to eradicate ISIS with every means in our power.  What do you mean by that?  And how can we prevent attacks like the attack on Paris?
A:  By everything, I mean everything.  We need to cut their funding and cut their oil.  The President's policy is not to bomb trucks transporting the oil because there are people driving those trucks.  We need to issue a warning that we will be bombing those trucks, and that anyone in them will be killed.  You can't fight a politically correct war and win.

We need to fight ISIS in the cyberworld and disrupt their ability to propagate their message.  People will say that's dirty.  It is.  We must do dirty things to dirty people.  Choke their supply lines to wherever they set up their headquarters, make it uncomfortable for them, and eradicate them.  I will leave it to military experts to decide whether we need U.S. troops on the ground.  As Commander in Chief I won't micro-manage.  I will outline the mission, and ask what is needed to accomplish that mission.  We also need to work with imams and clerics and ask them to identify the radicalized people they see.  If they can't tell who the dangerous people are, how can we?

Q: Where would you get your military advice?  What would the Carson Doctrine be?
A: The Carson Doctrine would be, "One nation under God with liberty and justice for all."  There's no need to change that.  I spend time with military experts and get advice from Bud McFarlane, Henry Kissinger, and others whom I can't name because they work with other candidates.  We live in the most dangerous time for our country since before the Revolution.  We will not survive unless we do the right thing.  It's not the time for political expediency.

Q:  Just recently women were allowed into combat units.  What would policy on this?
A:  I have a tendency to want to protect women, but I also respect women.  We should let them in if they can meet the standards, but we cannot lower the standards.  If you can't lift a 175-pound injured person, and carry him from the front lines, I don't want you as my backup.  The military should not be a laboratory for social experimentation.  We shouldn't just say, I wonder what this unit would be like if we added a few transgender people.  I like the old don't ask, don't tell policy.  We don't need to talk about sexuality.  We need to defeat the enemy.

Q: What do you think of the recent move (due to terrorism) to delay the deadline ending NSA data collection?
A:  I think the delay is ok while we figure out how to allow the access we need to terrorists' communications without compromising the Fourth Amendment

Q: Some military leaders consider the national debt as the biggest long-term threat.  What do you think?
A:  Our national debt is terrible.  People say it's 18.5 trillion, but don't realize how much that actually is.  We're putting it on the backs of our children.  The Federal Reserve has to base its policies on the debt, and that's why the interest rates have stayed near zero for so many years.  Joe the butcher should be able to put his money in the bank, and by the time he retires, have a nice nest egg.  But that doesn't work now with interest rates near zero.  Only those with risk-tolerance can invest in the stock market, and thus the rich grow richer.

Clinton and Sanders want to take money from the rich.  If we took all the money from the rich, that would just make a little dent.  We have 4.1 million government employees and mushrooming agencies.  We need to cut the size of government, and send programs to the states as block grants of 80% what it takes the federal government to run them.  Tell the states to keep whatever they save.

Once our economy and jobs are growing, and people have viable options, cut back on entitlements.  Our tax code is too long, and we need to get rid of regulations that don't make sense.  This year our debt to GDP ratio will be 103%.  Economists say if the ratio is 90% an economy will be sluggish.  We need to start exporting energy and cutting our debt.  If we can make Europe dependent on us for energy, we'll put Putin back in a little box.  

Q: Why doesn't the VA system work well, and what would you do to reform it?
A: It doesn't work well because of bureaucracy.  We need to run it like a business, and hold employees accountable.  Right now if you're a horrendous employee, the worst thing that will be done to you is a transfer, so you can go be horrendous somewhere else.  You mean employees should be fired for cause?  Absolutely.  If you do not do your job, we should allow you to find another position--that's the nice way to say it.  
Q: You've mentioned abolishing the Veterans' Health Administration.  How would you structure the VA?
A:   VA hospitals would provide care for problems specific to veterans (care for PTSD, gunshot wounds, etc.)  Veterans should have health savings accounts, which they could use at any hospital including the VA.  The VA would have to improve with competition.  If it doesn't provide good service, veterans will go elsewhere.  I think the same would be good for the school system.  There should be school choice for every child.  It will force the public schools to improve.

Q: What would be the first steps you'd take in office?
A:  I'd call for a joint session of Congress, and have an open line of communication with them.  The current administration doesn't even have that with the Democrats.  Meetings would be open to the public, since they hired us.  I will not sign anything that raises our national debt.

Q: What do you think of the Balanced Budget Amendment and the push for it under Article 5?
A:  It was a stroke of genius from the founders to put Article 5 in the Constitution.  I think we need to push the amendment, and I think it can pass.

Q: I have a lot of anger.  I read the news, and I see people and my kids betrayed by our government.  What makes you angry?  I don't want Trump to be the only angry one.  I don't want to be angry anymore.
A:  God bless you.  I had anger problems till I was 14.  People don't understand the power of God.  I prayed, "Lord, help me!  I'm never going to be a doctor.  I'm going to end up dead or in reform school."  I read Proverbs and realized that lashing out was not a strength, but a weakness that showed I could be manipulated and was selfish.  Now it's very hard for people to make me angry.  I enjoy watching people try.  I am very irritated when liberty & justice are attacked. 

Q: Christie has mentioned he thinks a nuclear Iran is a greater threat than ISIS.  What do you think?
A:  Both the Iranians and ISIS want to destroy us.  They're Shiites and Sunnis, so they don't like each other either.  But I think they'd rather destroy us than each other.  As President, I'd make it clear that the Iran deal was out the door.  We'd impose tough sanctions.  No one respects us now when we call for a coalition.  We need to be consistent, know who we are, and not turn our backs on our friends.  Then we could actually create a real coalition.

Q: How do we know you will not be a puppet like Obama for the New World Order?
A:  The only puppet I'll be is a puppet for God.  It was said years ago that America would be tough to get into the New World Order because our pillars are faith and family; those would have to be attacked for us to fall.

Q: Why should we Iowans choose you as our Commander in Chief?
A: Because Iowans are smart.  Listen to what I and others are saying, and use judgement and wisdom.  I believe in the wisdom of the American people, and I will be satisfied with whomever you choose.  
Further Resources:  You can visit Ben Carson's website to learn more about him and read his stance on the important issues.  You can also read about him on Wikipedia.

Carson's books are available on Amazon: Think Big (1996), Gifted Hands (1996), The Big Picture (2000), Take the Risk (2007), America the Beautiful (2013), One Vote (2014), A More Perfect Union (2015).

My Remarks: I appreciated Carson's remark that Iowans should vote for him because they are smart, especially considering Trump's remarks asking if Iowans were stupid when Carson polled higher than he.  I also strongly believe that with a name like B. Carson, a person can't be too bad...

Disclaimer: Candidates' speeches are reconstructed from my imperfect notes.  If you notice any mistakes, just let me know.  I would not intentionally misrepresent anyone's position.  I am not endorsing any candidate or candidate's position at this time, and no candidate has endorsed me.  And yes, I do realize that often speeches are to some extent propaganda, but it's interesting to me to see the points candidates consider as most important.
For my personal political views, please see this article.

32 comments:

  1. I like the way you think, Bethany :) Great photo of you with Mr. Carson too!

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  2. I'm impressed that you seem to be listening to everyone so you can make an informed choice. I wish everyone would do that.

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    1. I'll be writing about Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley shortly; then I have one more candidate, Kasich, to see next week, Lord willing. It's been a very neat experience meeting all these politicians. I'm glad my sister motivated me to get out and see them this time around!

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  3. Bethany you are definitely interested in politics.

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  4. Very cool that you got to see him, where being online, can sometimes drag. I like when the writers do signings and talk to the customers but I understand that time doesn't always allow for such things.

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    1. There was quite the line at the book signing. Barnes & Nobles had everyone zig-zagged up and down the aisles.

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    2. Wow. Did they pass out little sample drinks, too?

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    3. Not at the book signing--drinks and books don't mix so well. ;) At the townhall though there was a table of refreshments in the hall.

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  5. I have really enjoyed your posts on the candidates and, this is no exception. Well done, again!

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  6. You may very be the most informed voter in your country :) I think it's an excellent way to make a decision on who you think is the best candidate.

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    1. I hope so! Now I just need to get a few more candidates written about (and see at least one more), and *hopefully* I'll be able to make a smart decision. (Lord, give me wisdom please, so I can cast a vote I won't regret!)

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  7. I enjoyed this post, and I think that a name like B Carson does have a good ring to it!

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    1. Heh! Thanks! Glad I'm not the only who thinks that way. ;)

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  8. Bethany will be old enough to be president in 2032. I am heading a draft Carson campaign and have lined up 11 votes already. Will you join the team? Tim Carson (Bethany's Papa.)

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    1. Thank you Papa! Glad to have a wise advisor heading my campaign! ;) Love you!

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  9. I noticed awhile back that Carson stole Trump's crown of being #1 but lost it after saying Egyptian Pyramids were used to store grain. I've never heard of the Great Silo of Giza. I did enjoy all the parodies that followed.

    I think he is really only competing with Trump on who is the most far-right candidate in this election. In truth, I don't hate Ben Carson, in fact I pity him. Before 2013 when he spat in Obama's face during the National Prayer Breakfast as the honored guest, he was known for his impressive works as a doctor such as the conjoined twin separation. Many years from now, the new generations will only hear how he became a political pundit.

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    1. It is hard to know what the history books will say. I always liked Winston Churchill's resolve, "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." Churchill was a smart man--and a fascinating writer!

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  10. Beth, I just love the last picture of you and Ben Carson. You look so pretty! Liuba x

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    1. Thank you Liuba! I always enjoy your fashion posts; you have a knack for looking very nice yourself.

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  11. You did a great post. People can understand more about the point of view of Ben Carson. I find the info of his books very good, because you can learn more about his thoughts. Have a good day.

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    1. I'm working on reading through his book A More Perfect Union. Have an awesome week!

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  12. Hi Bethany, Another fine report on the 2016 Candidates, this time Dr. Ben Carson. In his speech, he said, “Right now we struggle with divisiveness and hatred. We need unity and strength.” I hear something like that from many of the candidates and yet I really don’t see either side moving much toward the other. Mr. Trump says he will “Make America Great Again” and yet, if we are going to be great, aren’t we going to need to reach some common ground on many of our issues? I wonder what you think about that. Always enjoy and appreciate your blog. Wishing you a fine week ahead.

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    1. Thank you John! I hope you have a good week as well.

      Considering the country is divided ideologically somewhere around 50-50 (one election the Democrats will win, and the next, the Republicans), I think it would be good if people found ways to resolve their differences and learned to work together. Forcing legislation down each other's throats whenever one side comes to power like the Democrats did with the Affordable Care Act (without a single Republican vote) will only deepen the hatred and divide.

      If this were a fist-fight, I would believe the Republicans owe Democrats in Congress one punch just to even things out...and then maybe they could start working together. I'm sorry: that sounds so Christian and ladylike [not!]...you'll have to forgive me. ;) I realize the Republicans have legislated some pretty bad laws themselves; both sides are far from perfect. And, as you mentioned, there's usually a lot of talk, and little action.

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  13. i think it is interesting to see how the news taking about the candidates ... i wonder what is really happening? i was looking at your profile. & trying to find out more about ya. i didn't realize you were so young. i just assume you were showing your daughter or whatnot. have a nice week. i am always wondering how to talk politics. i learned a bunch about my mom this past week & i was shocked to find out things i would have never guessed. but i also think you have a right to believe whatever you want. that makes ya a true American. why we live here, right? i think so. ( :

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    1. Thanks for the compliment on my youthful appearance--I'm 21. Yes, the freedom to respectfully disagree should be treasured. Thanks for stopping by, Beth!

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  14. I think Dr.Carson's life story is interesting and I have a lot of friends voting for him. I'd rather vote for a different B. Carson though. ;)
    I like the picture of you with Dr. Carson. It's a Carson, wearing a Carson shirt, with a Carson!

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  15. There is much about Dr. Carson to admire, including his name :) I worry that he is too soft spoken, and I was concerned about the challenge to his credibility in his account of his youth. Thanks for posting, Bethany!

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    1. He is very soft-spoken, especially compared with some of the other candidates on stage!

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