Current Republican presidential front-runner Ben Carson is proving himself a master of misstatements, vague and uninformative replies, and even just flat out making things up.
Carson claimed in his 1990 autobiography Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story that he attempted to stab a childhood friend but was thwarted by a fortunately placed belt buckle—a story that friends, classmates and neighbors all denied to CNN. He declared in a 1998 college commencement speech that the Egyptian pyramids were built, not as pharaohs’ graves, but by the Biblical Joseph to “store grain.” Oh, really, Ben? And Carson says he “didn’t have any kind of relationship” with Mannatech, a company that claims its nutritional supplements cure everything from autism to cancer… but he has given speeches for them, accepted a $2.5 million endowment at Johns Hopkins from them, and was even on the Mannatech website homepage. Sure, Doc, that doesn’t sound like you have any relationship with those guys. None at all.
Now the soft-spoken, Jesus-loving neurosurgeon has offered up his opinion on the War on Drugs, and it’s a doozy. Speaking with John Dickerson on Face the Nation Sunday, Carson replied to a question about the “human side” of addiction with a rambling non-answer, blaming addiction on “political correctness.” Huh?
Dickerson says that 25 percent of New Hampshire voters say that drug abuse is the most pressing problem to them, and asks Carson, “As a doctor, what’s your sense of the human side of addiction? Where does it come from, and how can it best be treated?” Carson (who always looks about as lively as a sloth on Ambien) says “There are all kinds of addictions. And usually addictions occur in people who are vulnerable.”
Hey, that’s not a bad start. What else do you have to say, Doc?
“Addictions occur in people who are vulnerable who are lacking something in their lives, so we really have to start asking ourselves what have we taken outside of our lives in America? What are some of those values and principles that allowed us to ascend the ladder of success so rapidly to the pinnacle of the world and the highest pinnacle anyone else had ever reached, and why are we throwing away all of our values and principles for the sake of political correctness?”
Carson continues his drivel by saying drug abuse, specifically the scourge of heroin, is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by NOT giving up on the War on Drugs.
Dr. Carson, the world is at long last recognizing that drug abuse is a health issue, not a criminal one. The War on Drugs is a massive, epic failure that has ruined millions of lives. And “political correctness” is not at the root of substance abuse problems. Poverty, criminalization, high unemployment rates, lack of access to medical care… there are many factors that lead to drug abuse and addiction. Political correctness is not one of them. You’re a doctor, which means you’re (supposedly) intelligent, right? Use your neurosurgeon brain, do some research and get your facts right. Perhaps Sir Richard Branson would be willing to set you straight.