SAN JOSE, Calif., April 23, 2015 — Conservative talk radio host Steve Deace penned an attack on Dr. Ben Carson this week, expressing concern over Carson’s recent comments about Al Sharpton. His concerns, which appeared in Townhall, suggest that Deace has settled on a candidate to support, and it isn’t Carson.
Thus he threw the good doctor under the bus of political disparagement. But in his own words, Deace, a politico from Iowa, revealed either ignorance or outright bias against Carson, perhaps both.
The central issue that supposedly made Deace’s “head want to explode” and his “heart break” was a comment Carson made after attending the 17th annual National Action Network Convention, founded by Al Sharpton. Carson wrote in National Review and posted on other sites that he and Sharpton “have the same goal: to build a brighter, stronger America that provides equal opportunities and access to the underserved and forgotten.”
Those words might freak some people out. Didn’t Carson challenge Sharpton to a debate last summer over the tragedy in Ferguson and Sharpton’s manipulation of the media in a tragic situation?
Deace left out Carson’s next sentence: “However, we have a fundamental difference of opinion regarding the best way to achieve such an end.” Had he read that far, his head might still be intact and his heart unbroken.
In fact, Deace’s head still sits safely and inertly on his shoulders. He committed what is called a “sin of omission.” It may have been caused by his loathing of Sharpton, a sentiment he shares with many others, and for very good reasons. The idea that anyone could agree with Sharpton about anything may have sent Deace into fits before he could read further. Deace’s comments reveal his own failure to comprehend or give credit to, Dr. Carson for his concern for all Americans.
In his Townhall article, Deace yearns for a “war president.” In reality, the major war presidents of the last century were Democrats: Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson. Perhaps Deace prefers a Democrat in the White House? That is probably not what he meant, but it may suggest what he did mean. He was probably looking further back in American history to a better example: Abraham Lincoln.
To many Republicans, Lincoln was a greater war president than any other. In fairness, Deace may have had a president like Lincoln in mind when he reveled his heart’s desire.
Lincoln’s was one of the most dramatic presidencies in American history. He was unable to do much more than deal with the war that struck at the very heart of the country’s existence. His Gettysburg address in 1863 shows the depth of his concern for the nation’s survival. In the presidential election of 1864, Lincoln could have claimed that he wanted the same thing as his Democratic opponent, Gen. George B. McClellan: to end the war. But history shows that McClellan wanted to end the war quickly, so that it would have been fought in vain.
Lincoln did not want the war to come, and even as late as Gettysburg he was not sure the Union would win the war if the Confederates initiated it. He wanted the war to end, but not with the result that men and boys died in vain. He wanted the war to end, but not without the Emancipation Proclamation, which would eventually lead to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
Lincoln wanted what McClellan wanted, but not in the same way and not with the same result for the nation.
Deace shared with his audience only some of what Carson wrote, and he does a poor job of interpreting Carson. At one time he may have admired Carson, but apparently no longer. His article suggests that Deace hoped Carson was someone other than who he is, but Carson is much more than many people realize.
Carson is a man who has arrived in the political arena at a perilous time in our history. The nation stands on the precipice of a split worse than the substantial divisions that led to the Civil War. Carson, like Lincoln, is a healer who is concerned about all Americans. Carson is trying to mend the divide that has ripped open in the past six years.
Lincoln tried to reach across the divide between North and South, Democrat and Republican, to heal the nation. That did not mean compromise—there could be no compromise—but it did mean charity, compassion and understanding. These are among the tools of the healer. Steve Deace should try them out.