WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2016 — Dr. Ben Carson’s recent campaign staff changes have caused political pundits and media to predict the end of the good doctor’s candidacy.
According to a Washington Post interview,
“Any time a campaign starts going the wrong way, there is always internal dissent and especially so when the candidate is an outsider and a first-timer,” said Edward J. Rollins, who co-managed Ross Perot’s 1992 presidential bid and Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election. Rollins painted a bleak picture of Carson’s path ahead: “At this point, I think his candidacy is finished. He has money but his staffers are gone and nothing really to keep him going. Iowa isn’t seriously in play, he has no strength in New Hampshire.”
Rollins’ grasp of events, like many in the political class, seems limited to politics. Carson has new staff in place and his Iowa ground game is strong, but that is not the main point. Carson and his followers know there is a bigger issue here.
Carson’s campaign is more akin to the story of David and Goliath than to any recent election. Most people know the highlights of this story about young shepherd boy David who slays the warrior-giant, Goliath, with a stone and his sling.
Americans love the underdog, especially one who wins. It is interesting to see how the GOP field is fighting each other for that underdog/outsider status, but there is much more to this story.
The whole thing is found in I Samuel: 17.
The Israelites were at war with the Philistines (modern Gaza, go figure). To end the conflict, Goliath challenged them to send out a man to go one-on-one with him. The losing side would become the subjects and slaves of the winner. The Israelite response was fear and trembling.
When David showed up in the camp to deliver food to his brothers, he heard Goliath’s taunt and asked the soldiers, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (26)
David volunteered to fight Goliath. King Saul insisted that David was too young and inexperienced, but David disagreed, knowing he could kill Goliath with skill and God’s help.
David chose five smooth stones from a nearby stream, and with stones and sling he approached Goliath. much to Goliath’s delight. But David put a stone in his sling and struck Goliath on the head, killing him, then chopped off his head with the giant’s own sword.
David had to be David in order to successfully defend God and the Israelites. He couldn’t allow others to stop him. He had to be himself, use his own methods and, most of all, rely on God.
The lesson is the same for the Carson campaign. Ben has to be Ben in order to be successful. He cannot let the media lies about his life, policies and motivations distract him from the conflict at hand. He cannot adopt the tactics and strategies of the political class, no matter how well-meaning, to win the day.
His recent campaign staff shake-up is his acknowledgment that he has tried it their way but it doesn’t work for him. His former campaign chairman Barry Bennett told the Post:
The divide between the outside and inside is too deep. There is nothing we could change structurally at this point to make it better. It is what it is, Dr. Carson is who he is. I have so much respect for him, but he wants to do things in a way that I don’t, so it’s best that I step down. I’m sure they’ll figure it out.
Carson has figured it out. He has shed the armor of “the way it should be done” and is choosing his own stones for the fight ahead. Despite what some are saying, it’s not Armstrong Williams who has the greatest influence on Carson. Instead, it is Carson’s love of God and the American people.
And who is Goliath in our modern analogy? Perhaps it is the media, the political class, the Democrats, the Republicans, Russia, China or even ISIS.
In fact, the Goliath Carson is fighting is anyone, anything and any ideology that disgraces or defies a constitutional, Judeo-Christian America.
Ben Carson’s candidacy is about saving America from her true enemies and leading us into a bright future. And it is far from over.