Campaign Spotlight: Ben Carson – 5 Things You Must Know Before Voting

Campaign Spotlight: Ben Carson for President!

This week we are spotlighting presidential hopeful Ben Carson; breaking down how he would plan to help communities like ours if elected president.

Ben Carson

Political Party Association: Republican

Who is Ben Carson?

Ben Carson is from Detroit Michigan and has one older brother Curtis. Ben’s parents divorced when he was around 8 years old and he was raised mainly by his single mother. Although he started from humble beginnings Ben would eventually go on to graduate from Yale University and The University of Michigan School of Medicine. Ben Carson is well known for the 2009 movie ‘Gifted Hands’ starring Cuba Gooding Jr. – a biography/drama film about his life.

Recognition

  • Ben is the recipient of the 2006 Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP.
  • In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush, the highest civilian honor in the land.
  • First successful separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins joined at the back of the head in 1987.
  • He sat on the board of directors of Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporation, the Academy of Achievement, and is an Emeritus Fellow of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University.

Alright so he has done some things, but how is he going to help me if he becomes president?

5 things you must read before voting for Ben Carson:

Gun Control (Second Amendment): Ben Carson recently said, “It was no accident that our Founding Fathers enshrined the right to own firearms as the 2nd element of the Bill of Rights, immediately after establishing our free speech rights. I cannot and will not support any efforts to weaken The 2nd Amendment.”

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Sorry Ben, for those of us not living underneath a rock for the last decade, gun violence has become a significant problem for many cities like Chicago, D.C., Louisiana and his hometown Detroit. Gun violence has gotten so out of hand that state governments are now using military grade weapons from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to combat violence in the streets – more on this later. As we mourn the deaths of those killed in the Charleston church shooting, we find Ben’s stance on gun control outdated and tone deaf.

Education Reform – As president, Ben wants communities to fund and manage their own public schools for the benefit of families and children in those neighborhoods. In addition, he believes that the federal government should take a hands-off approach to education, allowing parents, teachers and principals to run the education system in their area. He also believes that the Common Core program should be overturned – Common Core is a program put into place by the Obama administration, which sets the minimum expectations of what children should learn during each year of school.

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Apparently Ben has never visited the communities where some of the underachieving public schools are located. Is he suggesting that the citizens of the south side Chicago Auburn Gresham neighborhood should take on the addition financial stress of providing resources for the schools that the government abandoned? Does he know what teachers’ wages in those communities actually are? Many of the parents in those neighborhoods pray that their kids even make it to school safely, without being caught in the crosshairs of gang and gun violence. From what Ben has shared on education, it is highly unlikely that his policies will have any immediate benefit to our community.

Balancing the Budget – Ben’s grand idea to balance the budget is pass a Constitutional Amendment, which forces Congress to have a balanced budget year in and year out.

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Sorry Ben, this is not even remotely plausible, you even said so yourself. Here is what Ben said about our current representatives, “They’re too deeply vested in the current system to deliver the kind of bold, fresh, new reforms that the American people are demanding.” If that is true, then why on earth would they amend the Constitution, requiring them to do more work? Not to mention, the President has zero ability to pass a Constitutional Amendment. In fact, when crafting the Constitution our founding fathers intentionally made it as difficult as possible for one person or one group to change the Constitution. Therefore, in order to actually change or amend the Constitution there are a series of hoops Congress has to jump through – Congress has to propose the amendment with a two-thirds majority vote, all 50 states get to review and approve it, yada-yada-yada you get the idea. Our community has asked Congress for years to balance it’s checkbook, but yet they keep kicking the can down the road.

Raising Minimum Wage: In a recent interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Ben Carson said, “I think, probably, it should be higher than now.” That was right before his diatribe about how people on welfare are hanging out at home abusing the system. It would be easy to highlight all of the reasons – like inflation or income inequality – why raising the minimum wage makes sense for our community. But that would be too easy – the key here is to focus on the words he used, probably. When Ben was talking about gun control he used a lot stronger language, “I cannot and will not support any efforts to weaken…” But when talking about minimum wage he uses language like I think  and probably. Our community needs a strong leader who is willing to take a side on tough issues, even if that means not everyone will agree with him. Wise man once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Bold Ideas: Ben Carson really came on the scene with his scathing criticism of Obamacare, education and many other progressive Obama ideas, during his speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. Meanwhile, Barack was sitting a few uncomfortable feet away from him during the soliloquy.

Question Mark

The National Prayer Breakfast is designed to bring elite people from all over the globe to one location for networking and friendship building. To the casual observer, Ben Carson’s speech sounded more like a presidential candidate giving a campaign speech – rather than a unifying call to action. In fact, conservatives were praising him for his bold statement – while progressives thought the speech was in poor taste given the setting they were in.

Watch Ben Carson’s 2013 National Prayer Breakfast Speech below and tell us what you think!

Campaign Urban Candidate Score: 0/5

Summary: Ben Carson is a charismatic and determined black conservative who doesn’t seem concerned with the grumbling voices of the black community. We appreciate Dr. Carson not acquiescing to every wish the black community has, however we ask Dr. Carson to appreciate the platform he has been given. Minorities across the United States are working every avenue imaginable to make our government more representative. By the numbers, it is extremely rare for a black man coming from a broken household to have the kind of podium Dr. Carson currently enjoys. Now more than ever, it is imperative that the small number of elected minority officials augment that mission by advocating for policies that advance our community. Based on our analysis of the five issue listed above we believe Ben Carson’s ideas are not in our communities best interest.

Do you agree with Campaign Urban’s candidate score? Tell us what you think!

Editing by Matt Cronk

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