On May 4, when Dr. Ben Carson walks to the stage of the Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, he will likely be thinking about the principles that made this country great, about the financial and moral dangers our country is in, and about the rise of our adversaries around the globe including ISIS, Iran, North Korea, and growing aggression from Russia and China.
He will know that thousands of people look to him to solve these issues and to lead an American renewal. He will know that efforts to fund his campaign outdid “Ready for Hillary” efforts at one point and give promise to the kind of money and network that might just fund a winning presidential primary campaign. He is a man of serious faith and he will have prayed for guidance.
Dr. Carson will walk to the podium, look out at the cheering crowd and the flashing cameras and he will tell them how he intends to fight for the future of this country.
He should say something like this:
My fellow Americans, America is a nation in crisis. We have an addiction to debt that is unsustainable. Our entitlement programs are consuming ever greater amounts of our resources but our political leadership, media, and yes, we ourselves as citizens have refused to face the realities of this challenge.
Our moral compass is compromised, the value of the traditional family is under question, and far too many children are being born out of wedlock. Americans are not saving nearly enough for the longer lives we’re enjoying because of advances in medical science. And speaking of medicine, something I know a thing or two about: Obamacare is a job-killing, spiderweb of complexity that needs to be repealed and replaced.
We face a growing threat from terrorists abroad, ISIS continues to amass territory and destroy world treasures. China is aggressively seizing waters claimed by our allies, and Russia is restoring its pride by reducing that of their neighbors, either consuming neighbors’ territory or fostering the fear that their territory will be consumed. And Iran, a nation in which a national chant is “Death to America” and a national purpose is the genocide of Jews, seeks a nuclear weapon. This must not be allowed to happen.
This election will be transformative — not just for this country but for the world. There is much at stake, and I intend to explain this to people in Iowa, in Florida, in New Hampshire, in South Carolina, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. I know that I can reach people other politicians can’t. I intend to build this party, broaden this party and see this party through to victory in 2016.
But I will do it as a citizen, not as a candidate for President of the United States.
Dr. Carson is unlikely to do such a thing. His closest supporters will be reminding him of history’s longshots. David slew Goliath. Lincoln won after a single term in Congress. There are millions of dollars raised for the expected Carson run. But it’s what he should do.
It’s not because he doesn’t have support. He rounded out the top three GOP contenders at one point and still polls in the middle of the pack. Plus, everybody is sick of “Washington insiders” and no one could credibly accuse him of being that. But an honest assessment would tell the doctor that much of this support is unlikely to last.
Dr. Carson is a good man. His life story is inspirational and proves what is possible with hard work and the love of a mother. His medical accomplishments are dazzling and command reverence and respect. But the world the next president inherits will be one fraught with immediate dangers, while Dr. Carson revealed in a radio interview last month that he was not ready to answer basic questions about Russia and challenges to NATO allies.
What about political experience? While he’s not a “Washington insider,” political skills are still required to get things done in Washington and throughout the world. Having some experience in how Washington works or how government bureaucracies work to thwart their political masters is also key to being an effective executive.
Amongst the other nearly 20 candidates flirting with the GOP presidential bid are there not several who hold the same core values and key concerns that Dr. Carson has expressed? Rather than raise millions of dollars for a campaign about a candidate Carson, might he not be more effective raising money to advocate for the issues he is most passionate about?