By Nicholas Riebel || Staff Writer
I want to start this article by making something clear: I respect Dr. Ben Carson as a great neurosurgeon. There is no doubt that, in that specific field of medicine, he knows what he is talking about, and knows what he is doing. My concern is, when he steps outside of that realm, he ventures out into the rest of the world where he is truly ignorant.
He is, as you may know, a leading Republican contender for president of the United States. He can, I think, be rightfully described as a Tea Party politician with strong evangelical support. There are signs that he could eventually eclipse Donald Trump and become the GOP front runner (although I think this is incredibly unlikely, for reasons I will explain soon). There are even signs that, if he were to somehow win the Republican nomination for president, he could actually defeat Hillary Clinton, if she becomes the Democratic nominee (http://nbcnews.to/1Mizs2A). This should be deeply concerning, and extremely disturbing, to us all. And yet, he seems to have a sort of popular appeal. Perhaps it is because he is generally nice and soft-spoken. People do seem to like that.
Yet, like most of the Republican candidates running, Ben Carson would be a disastrous president. The controversy on his belief over what the ancient Egyptian pyramids were used for demonstrates the inevitable disaster of his becoming president. If this is indicative of his worldview, this should be alarming to anyone who would consider voting for him. He believes that, rather than being the tombs of deceased Egyptian pharaohs, they were actually used to store grain, and is adamant in his belief (http://bit.ly/20ylYcD).
Now, we all have our own crazy pet theories, ideas, and conspiracies. I personally believe, for example, that college, health care, and other things are too expensive, and the government should take a role in making them more affordable. But it’s more likely that Donald Trump will be our next president before that were to happen. But, I’m not running for president (right now). Ben Carson is, and he believes that the Egyptians made huge pyramids to store grain (this is a Biblical reference for those who don’t know, that they stored grain because one of the people in the Bible had a prophetic dream that Egypt would face famine in the years to come). This, combined with other things he says, makes me wonder whether he lacks the common sense required, not just to be president, but to function in society.
This may sound too mean and unfair. Perhaps I’m letting my blatant partisanship show too much in going after Carson, who’s entitled to his own opinions, no matter how crazy they may be. After all, it’s only about the pyramids, who really cares? Well, I care because this is a larger problem with him, and most of the other Republican presidential candidates: they deny reality.
For lack of space, I will focus on one issue in particular: global warming, or, if you prefer, climate change. Republicans win elections by pretending it doesn’t exist, and promising to fight any efforts to combat and reverse it (see Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin’s victory in the gubernatorial race in Kentucky last Tuesday). The Republican candidates for president, such as Carson, don’t believe in this “climate change,” and that even if it did exist, it’s just a “theory.” A theory just like that the pyramids were built for pharaohs. But despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Carson will stick to his preconceived notions, ignoring all else.
This more than anything is why the Republicans are dangerous as a party. They only see what they want to see– what they need to see– to validate their world view. Because if the pyramids weren’t built to hold grain, well, maybe the Bible becomes a little less credible in the eyes of the world, and Carson doesn’t want that. (But, considering I’m speculating on Carson and how he sees the world and how he believes things, I could definitely be spectacularly, hilariously wrong.)
But I don’t think I am. I try to accept reality, whether I like it or not. Carson just tries to get us to accept his reality, something he shares with his fellow Republican contenders. And in the extremely likely event that global warming is real and worsening, this is something we cannot humor in the GOP. We need a president who believes in reality.
Junior Nicholas Riebel is a staff writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.