STATESIDE STORIES: Dr. Ben Carson, Gaining on Trump

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Trump and Carson


by Mary Foran

This year before the vote is turning out to be
highly entertaining and an amazingly
historic race for the White House


So, just exactly who is this Dr. Ben Carson, whom the popularity polls show is gaining as a close second on Donald Trump for the Republican Party nominee for President of the U.S.A.?

Dr. Carson is a soft-spoken, gentlemanly, moderate to conservative, former pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital who is giving the brash Donald Trump a real run for his money, of which The Donald is said to have billions.

Carson was born September 18th, 1951 in Detroit, Michigan, receiving his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. He became, at the age of 33, the youngest division director in Johns Hopkins’ history.

Ben Carson is also the author of six volumes on his personal struggles and triumphs in which he lays out his philosophy on what it takes to succeed in life, all published by Zondervan, a Christian publishing company.

Carson’s political views are described as traditional and based on common sense. He sees danger in “political correctness” and is an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Barack Obama, the current US President.

Ben Carson announced his bid for the nomination of the Republican Party back on May 4th with a 40-minute video entitled “A Breath of Fresh Air. A New Prescription for America”. It detailed his biography from his birth, to being raised by his divorced, single, black mother, through his outstanding medical career and his current campaign.

Ben Carson’s demeanor can be said to be the exact opposite of Mr. Trump’s. Compared to Trump, Carson is gentle, intellectual and has a self-confidence derived from overcoming the odds. Some doubt, though, that a medical career is the right kind of background for dealing with the demands of the Presidency and politics.

Carson’s popularity in the polls (The Washington Post gave him a 20% to Trump’s 33%) makes him a serious contender in the Party contest.

As if that weren’t enough of a c.v. item, Ben Carson was the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins at the head. In 2008 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then President George W. Bush.

Carson delivered a widely publicized speech criticizing Obama’s policies at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, becoming a popular conservative figure in the media for his views.

Both of Carson’s parents came from rural Georgia. His father was a Seventh-Day Adventist Minister. His parents divorced when he was 8 and his brother Curtis was 10, at which time his mother Sonya raised the boys alone. DNA tests have shown that Carson’s ancestry is 20% European and 80% African of the Makua people.

Carson graduated from Yale University where he majored in Psychology.

While Trump is a successful businessman and a billionaire, Carson is an esteemed medical doctor turned author and now politician, striving to put his expertise in the White House. But both candidates are outsiders to the Washington D.C. political culture, which is just what the people are looking for. The other nominee hopefuls are all career politicians, and whether they are Senators or Governors, they are all getting low numbers in the polls.

Clinton and Sanders

Politics as usual are out and outsiders are in so far in this race for the nomination.

On the Democratic side of the equation, Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed Socialist, is creeping up on the frontrunner Hillary Clinton and surpassing her in some states. Vice-President Joe Biden is developing a following and some have even suggested that Secretary of State John Kerry might run.

Hillary Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, is appealing to women voters to break the glass ceiling and vote for her. But she is mired in scandal because of her handling of Bengazhi and government emails. And people wonder if Bill Clinton would be referred to as the First Gentleman in a Hillary Presidency, as she was referred to as the First Lady. Old traditions die hard.

Carly Fiorina, the Republican woman running for the Republican nomination, a former CEO of Hewlit-Packard, might just break the glass ceiling herself, if Trump and she don’t get into name-calling in the upcoming debates.

The truth be told, this year before the vote is turning out to be highly entertaining and an amazingly historic race for the White House.



Featured image: Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore, CC BY2.0, Flickr. Ben Carson by Marc Nozell, CC BY2.0, Flickr
Hillary Clinton by Keith Kissel, CC BY2.0, Flickr. Bernie Sanders by Shelly Prevost, CC BY2.0, Flickr

(All photos are cropped)