Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson is a world-renowned Pediatric Neurosurgeon. In 1987, Dr. Carson made medical history by being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined 7 year old twins, Patrick and Benjamin Binder from Germany, conjoined at the back of the head. Operations to separate twins conjoined in this way had always failed, resulting in the death of one or both of the infants. The 70-member surgical team led by Carson worked for 22 hours. At the end, the twins were successfully separated. In 1994, however, Carson and his team went to South Africa to separate the Makweba twins but the operation was unsuccessful as both girls died from complications of the surgery. In 1997, Carson and his team did successfully separate infant boys Luka and Joseph Banda in Zambia, South Central Africa. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush.
Carson grew up in the hardened climate of inner-city Detroit, and his family was very poor. At a young age, Carson had thoughts of a career in medicine. Because the family was on medical assistance, they would have to wait for hours to be seen by one of the interns at the hospital. Carson said that he would hear the PA system call for a “Dr. Jones” and fantasized that one day they would be calling for a “Dr. Carson.”
Carson had considerable difficulty in school. He fell to the bottom of his class, and became the object of ridicule by his classmates. Carson also developed a violent and uncontrollable temper, and was known to attack other children at the slightest provocation. The poverty he lived in and the difficult times he experienced in school seem to exacerbate his anger and rage that translated into violent behavior as a child. One time he tried to hit Sonya, his mother, with a hammer because she disagreed with his choice of clothes. Another time, he inflicted a major head injury on a classmate in a dispute over a locker. In still another incident, Carson nearly stabbed to death a friend after arguing over a choice of radio stations. Fortunately for Carson, the knife broke off on his friend’s belt buckle.
Carson’s mom limited he and his brother’s TV time and refused to let them go outside to play until their homework was completed. She also required them to read two library books a week and give her written reports, even though with her limited education, she could barely read them. At first, Carson resented this strict regimen but eventually began to enjoy reading. Carson ultimately became a model student, graduated with honors from high school. He obtained a scholarship, and attended Yale University where he earned a B.A. degree in psychology. He went on to attend medical school and become a world renowned surgeon. At age 33, Carson became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, and was the youngest doctor in America to hold such a position at that time.
In recent years, Carson has focused more on politics than practicing medicine. In February 2013, he attracted a lot of attention for his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast by criticizing President Obama for his positions on taxation and health care. President Obama was also in attendance at that National Prayer Breakfast.
On May 4, 2015, Carson launched his official bid for the Republican presidential nomination at an event in Detroit. “I’m not a politician,” Carson said. “I don’t want to be a politician because politicians do what is political expedient. I want to do what’s right.” Although Carson has never held public office, his short time in the spotlight has given him plenty of opportunity to make controversial and often factually incorrect statements. Here are a few of his statements and beliefs that might call into question his competence to lead a nation:
1. Anarchy could cancel the 2016 Elections. In an interview in 2014, Carson warned that if we “continue down this pathway that we are going down,” referring to “this pathway where everything is framed in a political sense and our representatives are not working for the people, they’re working for their party,” then the anarchy could lead to the 2016 election being called off. He claimed that the growing national debt, ISIS and the then-Democrat controlled U.S. Senate’s refusal to consider legislation passed by the Republican House of Representatives all pointed toward the idea that the country is headed toward anarchy. If Carson’s prediction proved to be true, he said that President Obama could declare martial law and the 2016 election would not occur. Carson did not provide any rationale or other basis for such an asinine statement other than to make political points even though he says that he is not “politically correct.“
2. Congress should be able to remove judges for voting for marriage equality. In an interview with conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace in January 2015, Carson said it was “unconstitutional” that judges have ruled in favor of equality despite statewide ballot initiatives that resulted in different outcomes. Carson said that when federal judges make rulings like this, “our Congress actually has the right to reprimand or remove them.” Needless to say, Carson’s assertion is not true. Congress has no authority to remove a judge for ruling in a way contrary to what a majority desires. Judges may only be removed for impeachable offenses that the constitution defines as “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Carson obviously has absolutely no idea what the Constitution says. Reminds me of Herman Cain’s fiasco as a Republican presidential candidate during the 2012 primaries.
3. Being gay is a choice because prison turns people gay. Carson said in a CNN interview in March 2015, that homosexuality is a choice, citing people who “go into prison straight – and when they come out, they’re gay” as proof. He later attempted to apologize for the remarks in which he addressed those who were offended, but reinforced his belief that sexual orientation is chosen. Carson has also called marriage equality a “Marxist plot,” described marriage equality supporters as “enemies of America,” and compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, another statement that led him to similarly apologize for his “poorly chosen words.” Many scientists disagree with Carson. Years of research suggest that people can’t change their sexual orientation because they want to, and that trying can cause mental anguish. Moreover, some studies suggest that being gay may have a genetic or biological basis having to do with the X chromosome called Xq28 and a gene on chromosome 8 seem to be found in higher prevalence in men who are gay.
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