It’s been an enigma that’s baffled me for several weeks now: What the hell is behind this Ben Carson surge? Ever since it started, I’ve contemplated the conundrum of how a man who has absolutely no qualifications to be president, and who’s clearly crazy (even by Republicans standards), could somehow become a legitimate contender for the GOP nomination for president.
As I’ve said before, I get why people support Donald Trump. He’s loud, arrogant, racist, and is essentially a live action version of The Drudge Report or Breitbart.
But when it came to Ben Carson, aside from his religious nonsense, I couldn’t quite figure it out. Well, I think I’ve finally started to piece together seven key factors that draw conservatives to this guy.
Religion: This one’s obvious. If there’s one thing that can secure you a solid 4-5 percent in the polls, it’s to be hyper-religious. Just ask Mike Huckabee.
Dr. Carson takes things to a whole other level of crazy when he expresses his belief that the pyramids in Egypt were biblical grain storages, or the theory of evolution is driven by the devil. But that sort of insanity is a huge draw to these far-right radicals who admire anyone who’ll live their life and govern based on the Bible.
He avoids talking about the issues: I have asked numerous Ben Carson supporters to describe where he stands on several different issues and it’s amazing how almost none of them can actually answer. I fully believe this is by design. To me, it’s clear in these debates his attitude seems to be to keep quiet and hope that he doesn’t get caught up in any complicated discussion about which he is woefully unqualified to speak.
Sure, he claims it’s because he doesn’t want to “butt in” because that’s not his style, but I think that’s an excuse. Just look at the incoherent word salad of an answer he gave when he was asked about the Middle East during the fourth debate. Even when he spoke about the minimum wage – or a few weeks ago about the debt ceiling – he clearly had no idea what he was actually talking about.
It seems like a calculated strategy to avoid being exposed as someone who’s clearly unfit to be our next president.
People think the slow way in which he talks makes him more honest and trustworthy: Yes, believe it or not, I’ve had several of his supporters tell me that’s one of the reasons why they “just like him.” Apparently the mumbling makes him seem more genuine and authentic.
Basically, because Ben Carson talks slowly, that somehow makes him honest; meanwhile, he’s one of the most dishonest candidates running for president.
You can’t make this stuff up.
He’s largely supported by those who believe in birtherism: While this is always something I had suspected, it was confirmed after his idiotic rant at the media when he asked why President Obama’s college transcripts were sealed. Well, being that this transcript nonsense is largely driven by birthers who think his “real birthplace” is being concealed within those documents, it was clear he was trying to reignite the myth that’s been debunked for years.
Following his comments, my social media accounts were inundated with memes and posts from Carson supporters claiming that the president is clearly hiding something, which is why he won’t release his college transcripts. It was like I was reliving 2008-2012 all over again.
That’s when it became abundantly clear the same fools who still don’t believe President Obama is an American citizen (and apparently refuse to believe that college transcripts are ordered legally sealed) are the ones making up a large part of Ben Carson’s support base.
They think because he’s a doctor that he knows what he’s talking about: I’ve often referred to Carson as an “idiot savant.” Sure, he was once considered a top neurosurgeon, but that doesn’t mean he knows much about anything else. Let’s not forget this is a brain surgeon who doesn’t believe in evolution – or archeology, apparently. But because of his medical background, many of his supporters seem to believe that he knows what he’s talking about, even when he’s completely clueless.
He’s mastered making himself into the victim: This is the big one because I think this is where a lot of his high scores on “favorability” come from. I’ve lost count of how many times he’s either denied he said something (even when there’s audio or video of him saying it), or claimed he was being taken out of context by the liberal media. Even when he’s caught in a lie, he just sidesteps admitting to it by slightly altering his story to make it plausible that he wasn’t lying – when he was definitely lying.
However, that’s when he cries “the media is out to get me” which gullible conservative eat right up. Then when you combine his “I’m the victim” nonsense with the slow, often simple way in which he speaks, it makes him appear as if he’s being bullied, which makes people feel sorry for him. It all leads back to his favorability numbers thanks to conservatives buying his nonsense.
He’s just a more likable version of Donald Trump: While Ben Carson and Donald Trump are clearly two different people, they’re also very similar. Neither individual is really concerned about being honest, which is made evident by the fact that they rarely ever tell the truth. All they care about is essentially being a walking, talking, right-wing blog headline. Ben Carson is getting a lot of the “I want an outsider but Trump is too cartoonish to support” Republicans flocking to him right now. I get the feeling once primaries get closer a lot of this is going to fade and neither Carson or Trump will end up being the nominee.
There are certainly other factors behind Ben Carson’s surge, but I think these are easily the biggest reasons why he’s inexplicably managed to become a “legitimate” Republican frontrunner candidate for president.