Graves Registry: Ben Carson's denial problem


Wouldn't it be nice if we could believe reassurances from the most prominent African American citizen in the country right now that racism isn't all that much of a problem? Ben Carson doesn't see any particular need for concern over the recent spate of deadly confrontations between the police and unarmed black men because he never had any problems that mutual respect couldn't resolve. Dr. Carson is a master at dispensing cobwebbed wisdom that has about as much pertinence to America in 2015 as a Model T at the Indy 500.

If the country's history of volatile race relations doesn't cause Dr. Carson any sleepless nights, the disgraceful way his party is treating its front-runner in the presidential race is causing him the kind of consternation most Republicans only experience when a dividend check is late. According to an article in the Washington Post, there have been plans afoot by panic-stricken members of the hierarchy to dump Trump at the nominating convention in July. Better to nominate a nice, sensible guy like Ted "Carpet Bomb" Cruz.

According to rules that are only slightly less complicated than the procedure for splitting the atom, the front-runner can be denied the nomination if he doesn't "demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from each of eight or more states." That isn't going to be an easy, considering that there are currently 14 wannabes in the race.

Dr. Carson shares the distinction with the front-runner of having no experience in government, but he does not share his opponent's history of being coddled (read spoiled rotten) in the arms of wealth and luxury. I don't think that Carson is any more fit to be president than the gaseous front-runner, but at least he deserves a grudging amount of respect for the distance he has traveled since his hardscrabble childhood in Detroit, one that involves accomplishments far more substantial than just accumulating more money.

But, like his disjoined responses to many other vital issues, Dr. Carson's threat to leave the Republican Party should they fail to embrace the front-runner with open arms is puzzling on a number of levels, not the least of which is the fact that he himself is plummeting in the polls. Carson castigates GOP leaders for forsaking "the will of the voters" so that they might offer a candidate of their own choosing. It is especially grating since that candidate isn't going to be him.

Let's be clear about the real motives of Republican wheeler-dealers who want their front-runner ushered out the back door. It certainly isn't because his outrageous and offensive pronouncements clash all that much with standard GOP doctrine. Whereas none of the other candidates for president have displayed the courage to publicly condemn the front-runner's dangerous and divisive rhetoric, Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are savvy enough to know that their candidate won't win in the general election even if his name is plastered on dozens of overpriced hotels and gambling joints in the country.

Where he was once just an annoying braggart whose sole claim for being in the public consciousness was a cheesy NBC reality program, Trump has maintained his head-of-the-pack status since the race began, a feat that probably surprised him as much as it did anyone. The Republican Party doesn't want him to secure the nomination because he won't win next November. It's as simple as that.

The fact that his popularity hasn't waned has finally overcome the hierarchy's abject terror that he will establish a third party that will completely derail the GOP's slim-to-none chance of winning the White House. They should be afraid. That is exactly what someone with a spoiled brat's temperament would do.

The most remarkable aspect of Ben Carson's lost in space persona is his consistent refusal to acknowledge the existence of bigotry in America. I guess it follows then that the impact of the statements made by the man he is now defending eludes him. Trump is such a from-the-hip shooter with his big, undisciplined mouth, he probably is totally unaware of the calamitous historical precedents of his bigoted proposals, but you would hope that a glimmer of recall of those repercussions might break through that immaculately structured wall of denial that Carson seems to have fabricated for himself.

The front-runner has now proposed a complete ban on Muslims trying to escape religious persecution in their home countries, as well as requiring those already in America to wear a symbol identifying their faith. The fact that he would defend a man who panders to the basest kind of ignorance to feed his insatiable ego speaks volumes as far as Ben Carson's own judgment is concerned.

— Alden Graves is a regular Banner columnist


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