Project 21 New Visions

Kevin Martin

Dr. Carson's Comments Appropriate for President to Hear


by Kevin L. Martin (bio)

 

It didn't take long for Dr. Ben Carson, the world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, to become public enemy number one among liberal circles.

At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, in a speech he gave in the presence of President Obama, Dr. Carson essentially came out of the closet as a black conservative.

Leaving the liberal plantation is unforgivable!

Dr. Carson's greatest crime was likely that he offered commonsense solutions instead of the usual political rhetoric that comes out of Washington. He broke down our nation's problems and offered his wisdom in such a way that even the simplest person could understand.

At the breakfast, Dr. Carson proposed tax reform that is simple and fair — a flat tax he considered similar to religious tithing. Noting that the proportionality of a traditional tithe is "inherently fair," he criticized liberals who want to soak-the-rich by saying that "[i]t's that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs."

Dr. Carson revealed how liberal politicians take the easy course and scream that some American aren't paying their fair share in taxes. In reality, however, our current tax code is so complex that individuals and small business owners cannot possibly cover every base. Nor should their success be a reason for the government to take more from them. Coupled with deficit spending on current and future entitlements, future generations are undoubtedly left with less personal wealth than their parents.

Additionally, Dr. Carson endorsed private health savings accounts as an alternative to ObamaCare and said that the environment of "political correctness" that is enforced by liberals "muffles" free thought and free expression.

Some criticized the comments for being said at the wrong event. Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, a conservative, called it "inappropriate for the occasion." But liberals were more aggressive about targeting Dr. Carson and his message in particular. New York Post columnist Kirsten Powers called Dr. Carson "incredibly rude to the President" — leaving open speculation that maybe a liberal message perhaps may have passed muster. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) condemned it as a "political speech" coming from "where many of the Republicans and tea partiers are right now."

But National Review editor Rich Lowry perhaps described the situation best when he pointed out the stark difference between the President and the doctor as something that transcends politics and proves to me the words were appropriate for the setting:

Carson's is a voice of hope and aspiration but also of rigor and of standards… The Obama agenda is crafted with an eye more to a Julia, the cartoon character crafted by the President's reelection team who is reliant on government help at every turn, than to a Ben Carson.

As a fellow black conservative, I felt that Dr. Carson touched on and promoted the very same ideas that I and other members of the Project 21 black leadership network have been saying for years — that largess with taxpayer money and big government edicts not lift all boats. It is the individuals who captain their own ships and chart their own courses through life who do it better.

Black conservatives revere the hard work of responsible parents and honor their authority. They want their children to be encouraged to gain all needed knowledge in their youth to prepare themselves for adulthood. This extends to single parents as well as traditional households. Dr. Carson's single mother, for instance, encouraged him to turn off the television and not only open books — but give her full reports to ensure he comprehended what he read.

Dr. Ben Carson was asked to give an inspirational speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. To me and my conservative brethren — particularly the black ones — that is exactly what he did. There need be no second-guessing about whether it was appropriate or not.

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Kevin L. Martin is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network. Comments may be sent to [email protected].

Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.


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