Dead Man Walking

I have been writing political columns for many years now, and I remember using this term (“Dead Man Walking”) about eight years ago, during the election cycle for the 2008 presidential-race. I was referring to Rudy Giuliani then. He was leading in the polls and his supporters were all excited. I just (mischievously) had to burst their bubble. As he began sinking in the polls later on, I even engaged in not-too-subtle schadenfreude.

Look; as calls go in this political media-game: that was a “ground-ball”. You don’t win contemporary republican presidential nominations by being washy washy on the abortion issue. If you don’t advocate a strong pro-life position, you wouldn’t become the republican presidential nominee: not since the end of ‘World War Two’.

In Giuliani’s case, one just couldn’t be supportive of “gay-rights”or appear in “drag” on mainstream media while running as a republican. You don’t talk about “gun-control”or “gun-restrictions”; or support amnesty for undocumented immigrants; or push “urban-issues”; and so on, and so on (like Giuliani did) while expecting not to pay a price in republican primaries. Probably most disadvantageous of all for Rudy, was being an obnoxious New Yorker with some pizzazz.

So Rudy died on the vine. And even now he refuses to go rest in peace. He shows up at every media- opportunity to give his unapologetic partisan slant. As politicians go Rudy Giuliani is over-rated; but this is nothing new for the republican party lately.

Doctor Ben Carson is 2015’s Rudy Giuliani. There are some differences between the two men relative to personality; but the end-result will be the same. Carson will lead in the polls for a hot minute, but he too will fall by the wayside before next spring. Ben Carson will not become the first black president of the USA.

Carson is relatively mild-mannered and soft-spoken when compared to Rudy; and he tries to project a level of humility which can be deemed refreshing (if genuine). However, his political-positions are infantile; and his overall political-philosophy is nothing but a mixture of fundamentalist-christian- views and unfettered capitalism. This is a guy who personifies the view that success in one’s profession doesn’t mean you are a deep-thinker. It may only suggest that you were a skillful opportunist with a little luck.

For years Dr. Carson has peregrinated the right-wing republican circuit, where Christian- fundamentalists abound. He has peddled a life-story whereby he implied that by God’s grace he was saved from a life of potential violence to become a successful doctor: acclaimed in neurosurgery. As a black man pushing his ‘weed’ to predominantly white audiences -given to salivating over stories of redemption and salvation- Carson made himself a whole lot of money. He was also a spokesperson of sorts for at least one questionable medical product, which he claimed cured his prostate cancer.

Now we can all view this Carson train-wreck with both dismay and disappointment, since it is without doubt that he has embellished a lot in his biography. The book he wrote detailing his life story is now under serious scrutiny. And the projections that he was heading towards being a black-street-thug with a propensity for violence, cannot be verified by mainstream-media, despite many interviews with people he grew up with.

He claimed to be the victim of a robbery on the premises of a fast-food chain store in Maryland, and yet there are no police records of such an event. Even his ‘West-Point-scholarship’ story is being called into question. Why would a successful (in fact: exceptionally bright) student, deliberately traverse the land of the hyperbole (time after time and again) is beyond comprehension. It is true that his background was less than modest. He was (and is) a poor negro boy who did well for himself and pulled himself up by the bootstraps. And yet the very programs that helped him get a high-quality education and move up the socioeconomic ladder, he now possibly wants to shut down. The future of said government programs that helped his poor mother raise him, are constantly under verbal attack by he and his republican colleagues in this presidential race. How ironic!

Ben Carson isn’t the first black person to run for the position of POTUS (President of the United States of America). He wouldn’t be the last either. Frederick Douglas is on record as being the first black man to garner a delegate at a nominating convention of a major political party. About a century later, a Brooklyn woman named Shirley Chisholm is said to have also picked up a few delegates by running in the Dems presidential primary. Thirty-odd years ago, activist Rev. Jesse Jackson also garnered some delegates. Beyond these aforementioned blacks there have been others like Ron Dellums, Ron Daniels, Al Sharpton, Carol Moseley-Braun and Herman Cain, who attempted runs for the presidency: albeit with different motivations and expectations. They all failed to make significant challenges to the eventual winners.

Barack Obama is considered the first black (or negro) president: but that is factually and scientifically untrue. Obama is neither black nor white. He is both black and white. His mother was white (Caucasoid) and his father was black (Negroid). He is mixed. He is essentially a mulatto. And yet this is a country, which -for the most part- refuses to deal with this reality. There is so much dishonesty in US politics it is now sickening. Why? Mainly because the USA (the United States of Amnesia) refuses to deal honestly with issues around economics, race, racism, justice and equality. And I posit that one of reasons Dr. Carson felt he had to embellish his personal narrative is because of the subliminal pressure to make himself appealing to whites (even more so than blacks). Let’s not get things twisted: in the USA (the United States of Amnesia) racism is the billion-pound gorilla always sitting in the back of the room.

Ben Carson is on record as stating that Barack Obama exacerbated racial divisions in this country. He claimed that blacks were just ‘grateful (and thankful) for what we had’, more than harboring racial animosity towards whites, or being overly concerned about racial issues. He seems to suggest that racial-polarization is a post-Obama phenomenon. Given these types of remarks it isn’t surprising to hear him claim that the Pyramids of Egypt were built to store grain. It isn’t surprising to hear him discredit Charles Darwin’s theories on evolution as being inspired by ‘the devil’. It isn’t surprising to hear him erroneously claim that none of the ‘founding fathers’ held elected office.

Carson is a man who genuinely believes that this country was founded on christian principles and christian values alone. This is a man whose plan for revamping the taxation system of this country, amounts to the biblical view of every worker “tithing” anywhere between one-tenth to one-seventh of one’s earned income. A position which would blow holes in federal and state budgets, much wider than Victoria Lake, the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans combined. How absurd!

Probably the one thing that Carson and I agree on is that the average voter doesn’t go deep in evaluating candidates and their positions on issues more helpful hints. If they were deeper-thinking as voters, then Ben Carson wouldn’t be leading in any polls, anywhere in the USA. Stay tuned-in folks.