Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Why I Want To, But Cannot, Vote For Ben Carson

 Just the other day I saw an article announcing that, though he cautioned his supporters not to be too optimistic, Ben Carson is forming a political action committee and may run for president come 2016. Given the amount of attention he received after his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, and then again after his speech at CPAC, this really isn't terribly surprising.

About two years ago I wrote a blog post entitled, "Why I Will Not Vote Romney".  That was an easy post to write in many ways, given that I did not like Romney at all.  He obviously had no backbone, his integrity was lacking in every way I could see, and he was generally distasteful to anyone who loves liberty or freedom or America or principle or honesty or... you get the picture.

Writing about why I cannot vote for Ben Carson (should he run) isn't so easy.  I would love to have Mr. Carson as a neighbor, friend, or doctor.  I've seen the movie "Gifted Hands" which details much of his life thus far, and having the story climax even beyond neurosurgeon to that of President of the United State would be absolutely epic.

Furthermore, I've read Ben Carson's book, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, and I agree with a good amount of the common sense presented therein.  So far as I can tell, Carson is an honest man, a man of integrity, and one who I would trust to do his best job in in any situation.  He has character suitable for leadership.  Unfortunately, he does not (thus far) have a thorough enough understanding of what Constitutional government looks like, and this is why I cannot at this present time support any political venture he makes.

Firstly, his view on the 2nd Amendment is sadly lacking.  He stating when speaking to Glenn Beck that location should help to determine whether or not people should have access to firearms, that guns (semi-automatics were specified) should be limited in urban areas.  Obviously, this does not show either a proper respect for or understanding of the amendment.  Our right to bear arms is not allowed to be prohibited by government, and the ability to own weapons does not encourage, but prohibits crime.

If he personally felt that it would be foolish for himself to own a semi-automatic in a busy neighborhood and decided against it, that would be more than okay.  Should he caution his family and friends, informing them about the perceived danger of such a thing, that would also be more than okay.  But once one takes such opinions and perspectives into the realm of legislation, imposing them on others, that opinion is not at all okay.

Furthermore, while he has a lot of common-sense opinions on how governmental-aid programs ought to be restructured in a more practical manner, he fails to realize that they are not allowed in a Constitutional government.  For instance, in his book America the Beautiful he states:
"Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and our food stamp program, among others, are all socialist-leaning programs that help provide our nation with a social safety net.  Their growth, however, must be controlled, and self-sufficiency must be the goal of our society.  The masses should not depend solely upon these social programs; instead, they should be encouraged early in life to make provisions for themselves and their families well into the future."
But it is not the job of the civil servant to make sure that Grandma saves her retirement money wisely, or that Johnny has health insurance, or that Susy can buy food.  This ought to be the job of private charitable institutions, of churches, of individual persons, and of any other willing organization.  Government does not uphold society; government keeps the harmony by acting on behalf of an injured party as well as making sure the citizens are defended from other countries which would do it harm.

Should Ben Carson begin a charitable institution with the guidelines and common sense he has written about, I am sure it would be quite successful.  Actually, he does already help fund academic excellence with the Carson Scholars Fund, and I'm sure that that is set up in a very practical and truly beneficial way.

In fact, his scholars fund demonstrates just what I am talking about. I personally have huge qualms about public education, and I would not at all wish to see my tax dollars funding students in those schools.  I'd much rather find some way to make all schools become community schools (funded by those who benefit from them, run by those in the community, and in no way connected to the government) or home schools.

However, if Dr. Carson chooses to set up his own private organization to help those in public schools, good for him!  How he spends him money is up to him, and the fact that he is doing so to help others is commendable.... so long as it remains a private institution, funded by voluntary contributions rather than taxes (which obviously aren't voluntary contributions).

Should Dr. Carson come to a better realization of what the role and functions of government are, and should he, like Ron Paul, advocate common sense AND a Constitutional government, I would be more than thrilled to throw my full support behind him.  As it is, despite the fact that he has much common sense, he does not understand what equitable legislation is; his application of common sense is flawed, and it will not truly benefit America.

I'm really tempted to send him a copy of Bastiat's book, The Law...

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