Understanding the Ben Carson phenomenon

It isn't just his conservatism that makes Dr. Carson anathema to the media; it's also his race. A black conservative is scarier to liberals than a black thug, and morally inferior.

Dr. Ben Carson - CPAC - Image: Jacquie Kubin
Dr. Ben Carson - CPAC - Image: Jacquie Kubin

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2015 — Almost from the beginning of the 2016 election cycle, entertainer and entrepreneur Donald Trump has been the front runner in the race for the GOP nomination. For a while it seemed that he might run away with the race, but there have been some changes in the political landscape. Retired physician and political activist Ben Carson now has the lead in several polls, both nationally and in Iowa.

You don’t need to be a political pundit to understand the importance of the numbers. Trump, who until recently was playing nice with Carson, has even attacked the physician’s Seventh Day Adventist religion. He has questioned the importance of the polls that point to Carson’s lead.

Carson is an extraordinary man. The prominent neurosurgeon is also a best-selling author and a conservative favorite. On paper, he is the ideal candidate for high office. But he is not considered by the media to be presidential timber, for both obvious and non-obvious reasons.

Before the rise of Donald Trump, it would have been the clear conventional wisdom that, since we haven’t elected anyone without political experience to the White House since the 1950s, it wouldn’t happen today. But the political temperament of this cycle makes political inexperience a prerequisite to running for the highest office in the land. At least for the GOP.

There’s a more sinister reason Carson might have been unelectable: old fashion racism. It sounds crazy that in the 21st century, as we watch the second term of our first black president come to a close, Carson’s race should be an issue. However, a black conservative is a very big issue, even today. Maybe especially today.

The mainstream media will do everything in its power to prevent a conservative woman, black or other minority from being elected to the White House. The left has believed that minorities and women would have no political power without the progressive agendas of the past. Therefore, they want to keep these groups on an ideological plantation, with women and minorities marching in lockstep.

Progressives don’t seem to realize that the idea behind winning rights and freedoms for minority groups was to empower them to disagree with the progressive agenda. That is, after all, what freedom is all about. Progressives want minorities to feel free to make all the money they want and to pursue careers they have passion for. But minorities should not dare run for high office unless they are willing to adhere to the orthodoxy of their liberal benefactors.

The way to test this thesis is to look at the first conservative female candidate for national office and only the second to be nominated: Sarah Palin. Palin was butchered by the mainstream media by every measure. The thought of Palin as vice president was a nightmare to the left and to the media that now largely openly support a progressive agenda.

The Herman Cain campaign for president in 2012 was unconventional by every meaning of the word. It is unusual for a person with no electoral experience to be taken so seriously as a candidate for the office in the first place, as he was, early on. Furthermore, it is virtually unheard of for a black candidate to run to the right of just about every other candidate in the field.

As a black conservative, Cain put fear in the hearts of the Democrats and of the media that have put themselves in the position of protecting the left. A black conservative as president had the potential of changing the entire electoral landscape, and that was too much to for the media to handle.

With that, Cain’s candidacy crashed and burned with some of the worst stereotypes, innuendos and false information ever thrown at a black man. He was a threat and had to be removed.

Ben Carson is on an even higher level when it comes to credibility. Carson is very well educated, internationally known as a surgeon and is a persuasive advocate for traditional political values. This makes him a bigger threat than Cain and one that the media will viciously pursue.

However, not only do the GOP and many independents support a “no experience required” political culture, it also has a “don’t believe the media” mindset. All of the rules about getting elected in the GOP are being challenged, and it will be interesting to see how this race for the nomination unfolds.

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Kevin Price
Kevin Price is Publisher and Editor in Chief of US Daily Review and Host of the Price of Business on 1110 AM KTEK in Houston, Texas. He is the author of Empowerment to the People and has twice received the George Washington Honor Medal in Communications from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge. His column is nationally syndicated and he is a frequent guest on major media around the country, being found on Fox News, Fox Business and other networks. For more see at http://KevinPriceCentral.com.