Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
“With his mouth the Godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escapes.” These words from Proverbs 11:9 opened an eyebrow-raising speech given by Dr. Benjamin Carson at Washington’s annual Prayer Breakfast.
Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, offered some controversial remarks that have Obama supporters fuming.
Although he took a firm stance against a liberal agenda, if those who were so offended would take a moment to step back and digest what he said, they just might realize it made sense.
This is what Carson, a successful medical professional and student of history and politics suggests to remedy America’s troubled health care system.
“Here’s my solution. When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record and a health savings account, to which money can be contributed, pre-tax from the time you are born, to the time you die,” he said.
Carson grew up in extreme poverty, and through the motivation of his strong-willed mother accomplished what many middle- and upper-class Americans have not.
Because of his personal experience, he is passionate about the education of the underprivileged and pointed out problems with what he called a “dumbed down” educational system.
He pointed to a time in American history when other nations were baffled by a young, fledgling country’s success.
“See, anybody who had finished the second grade was completely literate. He could find a mountain man on the outskirts of society who could read the newspaper and have a political discussion, could tell him how the government worked,” Carson said, paraphrasing the discoveries of Alexis de Toqueville, a European analyst sent in 1831 to study the U.S. success.
What further angered the liberals in attendance at the Prayer Breakfast were his words of caution concerning America’s future. He struck a nerve when he began giving historical examples of what can happen to a government when it foregoes financial common sense and moral decency.
Referring to ancient Rome and the irresponsibility that caused the empire’s fall, he said, “They destroyed themselves from within. Moral decay, fiscal irresponsibility. They destroyed themselves. If you don’t think that can happen to America, you get out your books, and you start reading. But, you know, we can fix it.”
Carson also confronted the growing problem of political correctness which has become so prevalent in recent years. He believes people have become so easily offended and afraid to upset others that no one can speak freely or truthfully anymore.
“And people walk away with their feelings on their shoulders, waiting for you to say something. Ah, did you hear that? The PC police are out in force at all times,” he said.
After his address, Carson was met with an outpouring of support from the right and a fire storm of criticism from the left.
Kirsten Powers a liberal political pundit tweeted, “Just seeing the footage of Ben Carson at National Prayer Bfast on The Five. That was incredibly rude to the president.”
Since when is free speech “rude” in the United States of America?