Like many Ben Carson supporters I have had a lot to digest over the past week, from the suspension of his campaign, to My Faith Votes, to his recent endorsement of Donald Trump.
A lot for my simple mind to digest
After the suspension of his campaign and beginning his new role as chairman of My Faith Votes I did not expect him to endorse anyone during the primaries. I did not expect it because that is what he said on March 4th,
“I have committed to not endorse a specific individual, but rather ‘We the People.'”
Since my primary was over, I had resigned myself to let the primaries and convention play out and watch old westerns on TV much more often than so called political “news” reports where pundits talk about what is going to happen and what they think needs to happen more than what has happened.
CPAC – Campaign Suspended
Among the things Ben Carson said on March 4th at CPAC was,
“I will still continually be heavily involved in trying to save our nation.”
I was glad to hear that because his goals ever since he entered the political arena have been to save America for future generations and return the control of government to We the People. I was glad to hear he wasn’t giving up that fight.
Then, the endorsement happened
When I first saw reports of Ben Carson endorsing Donald Trump I did not want to believe it. I decided, as I have learned during this campaign, to wait to hear from Dr. Carson and, if this was true to listen to his explanation.
One of the reasons I support Dr. Carson is I believe the combination of his experience, knowledge and judgement far exceeds that of any other candidate and he has the courage to speak the truth that many Americans do not want to hear. This endorsement was the first real test of whether I really believed what I said I believed.
Don’t get the wrong impression here. I don’t blindly follow anyone but there are people who I do trust. Ben Carson is one of those people, so, after this endorsement I had a choice to make.
A time for choosing for me
Should I just cast that belief aside and jump to a conclusion because he has made a decision I do not understand and, at first glance, do not agree with?
Should I trust that he has more information than I have and give his judgement (that I say I trust) the benefit of the doubt here?
What to make of all this?
After listening to what Dr. Carson had to say and sleeping on it a couple of days I am now clear on where I stand today. I have decided to give Dr. Carson the benefit of the doubt and trust his judgement is sound in this endorsement. For more on how I came to this decision, keep reading.
Donald Trump – Not a Fan
Just so you will know where I am coming from, I am not a fan of Donald Trump. I do appreciate the excitement and conversations his campaign has generated. He has made both Republicans and Democrats discuss topics they would rather have just swept under the rug, as politicians often do with most difficult issues, such as illegal immigration. I do agree with some of the things he has said but often don’t agree with how he says them. I don’t believe his history matches and supports many of the things he is saying now and, therefore, have questions about whether he would follow through if elected. One of the claims many have made against him is he was painting in broad strokes and light on policy details.
What did Ben Carson do?
Ben Carson called Donald Trump and said, “Donald we need to talk.” Donald Trump replied, “Absolutely” and the doctor made a house call, a Trump house call. The meeting was actually at a resort restaurant but house call sounds better than resort restaurant call so I am going with that.
Dr. Carson asked questions to diagnose the sincerity and knowledge of the important issues facing America and how he planned to address them if elected. He said if those answers had not measured up to his standards he would have been out of there. I think you will agree doctors are adept at asking questions and evaluating the answers as they do this every day with every patient they see. This experience and judgement was important in this interview for Dr. Carson. According to Dr. Carson,
“I needed to know that he could listen to other people, that he could change his opinions, and that some of the more outlandish things that he’s said, that he didn’t really believe those things.”
He must have learned something significant he was not expecting. Otherwise he would not have broken his commitment to not endorse a specific individual.
What did he ask for?
The obvious question is did they discuss possible positions in a Trump administration, cabinet member or even Vice President? They did not. The only stipulation Dr. Carson had was that he would be helping to formulate policy details. Remember that criticism of Trump being light on policy details? Dr. Carson has detailed plans and this is his best chance to have any of them implemented. The two areas discussed at their press conference were health care and education. They may have discussed others as well. Ben Carson will be working on formulating policy for Donald Trump’s campaign, and if he is elected, his administration. That will be good for America.
The Carson Factor
With Ben Carson now supporting Donald Trump that can help ensure the GOP nominee is chosen by We the People, not the political class. If his endorsement helps Donald Trump secure the 1,237 delegates he needs during the primaries then the backroom deals by the political class at the convention can be avoided. That will be good for America.
Ben Carson is THE candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democrats fear the most. His support for Donald Trump and credibility that comes with that support will help defeat the Democratic candidate in November. That will be good for America.
What if seeking counsel from Ben Carson and his association with him over the next 7+ months opens Donald Trump’s eyes to what a personal relationship with Jesus Christ really looks like? What if this collaboration even leads him to either begin or improve his own personal relationship with Jesus Christ? That is the absolute best thing that could happen for Donald Trump and, if he is elected President, will also be good for America.
His influence now instead of after the nominee is decided will have more weight and afford him the opportunity to wield more influence, both inside the Trump campaign and in the upcoming primaries. After the nomination is locked up there will be many more endorsements and people “wanting to help.” I believed Dr. Carson’s ideas would be good for America when he was a candidate and that has not changed. Getting some of Dr. Carson’s policies implemented instead of none will be good for America.
What are the downsides to this endorsement?
For Dr. Carson many of his supporters will immediately abandon him, saying he has sold out and become a politician – something he said he would never do. It is a given his detractors will push this narrative. Some will see this as a loss of credibility for Ben Carson instead of a gain in credibility for Donald Trump. Many will say he broke his commitment to not endorse a specific individual. He did, but at the same time this was also an endorsement for We the People as his comments below explain.
“The key thing for me was recognizing that the political establishment was pulling out all the stops to try to stop Trump. It seems to me that’s thwarting the will of the people. The people are the ones who are supposed to make the decision.”
There are no downsides for Donald Trump or America.
The only downsides I see fall directly on Dr. Ben Carson.
As Ben Carson said when he endorsed Donald Trump,
Watch, read and listen for yourself
If you haven’t yet and do want to see Dr. Carson’s thoughts on this decision his interview with Neil Cavuto (about 12 minutes) will provide some of those. You can see that here
How Carson Arrived at Trump provides a little more backstory on their relationship.
UPDATE: 3/19/16 – The interview/explanation below is the best I have seen to date on this endorsement from Dr. Carson. Highly recommended reading. It includes this prayer from Dr. Carson.
So where does that leave me?
After digesting the events of the past few days for myself I still do not see myself being an active and vocal Donald Trump supporter. I don’t consider myself a Trump supporter at all. However, after this endorsement I do have hope Dr. Carson will have a positive influence on Donald Trump and his campaign and that is something I did not have before this endorsement. That is “yuge.”
I will be watching to see evidence of this influence and hope it will be easy to recognize. If it is evident it would help me make a FOR vote in November instead of an AGAINST vote. I am still a Ben Carson supporter. However, I still plan to watch more old westerns than political “news” going forward, keeping in mind,
It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about America.
If We the People can all evaluate and make decisions over the next few weeks and months through this prism, America will be better off and maybe even “Great Again.”
Until next time…
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