The Strange World of Ben Carson

Ben CarsonDue to circumstances beyond our control, we now turn our jaundiced eye to Ben ‘Copernicus’ Carson, the novelty candidate of the 2016 Goat Rodeo. He’s at the top of the heap in evangelical Iowa (motto: Better Dead Than Well-Read), and so I suppose we need to look into this phenomenon.

First, we turn to The Atlantic, where the inestimable David A. Graham took the thankless task of looking at Ben Carson’s campaign finance, which seems to be a grifter’s paradise. Here’s the short-hand: his fundraising staff is shared by our old Pal Newticles:

“The 2012 Gingrich campaign and the 2016 Carson campaign share staff, and they share candidates who have proven they are able to rise to the top of the field—though the former speaker’s campaign showed that such success can be fleeting. Both campaigns have also been accused of using a campaign as a tool to sell books. Late in 2011, Gingrich and his wife Callista seemed to be combining a tour for their various books along with his stump appearances, requiring a delicate balancing act to adhere to the law.”

Newticles-Breakfast-at-TiffanysOK, that might be guilt by association, but as you may recall last week, Noot gave the good doctor some advice about how to grift run a campaign and do a book tour at the same time. Noot was widely thought to have used his 2012 Goat Rodeo run to keep Callista up to her kneepads in baubles from Tiffany.

“Carson is now doing something similar, spending some time doing book events—which can’t be paid for with campaign cash—while also doing some fundraisers and campaign events. (The campaign notes that he isn’t suspending all political activity.) Leon Wolf at RedState rolled his eyes at the move. “If Ben Carson wanted the job of being President, there is no way that a book tour would prevent him from doing everything in his power to expand his campaign right now and to take over the lead for good from Donald Trump,” he wrote.”

Q.E.D., bitches.

Graham also looks into the burn rate and where the money is going:

“One of the most important metrics in fundraising numbers is the burn rate—the proportion between the cash that campaigns are raking in, and the amount they spent in the same time period. Carson’s burn rate is 69 percent. That’s generally considered high… As as logic holds, it’s generally preferable to have a lower burn rate now and save for later in the campaign. But a lot of that depends on how the money is spent: Is it building a long-term organization that will provide for the campaign going ahead? If so, spending now isn’t an all-bad thing.”

So, where is the money going?

“In Carson’s case, a majority of what he’s raising is being plowed right back into fundraising costs—$11.2 million of the nearly $20.8 million. That means 54 cents out of every dollar Carson raises is going to raise more money. Carson’s campaign only spent roughly $3 million on everything else—merchandise, office supplies, field staff, space, travel, and so on. Compare that to Clinton, whose biggest expenses included media buys, payroll, and online advertising, spending that’s designed to build a real campaign infrastructure and future strategy.”

This past weekend Carson made the connection between abortion and slavery which was pretty astounding, but not unexpected. We now turn to some of the crazy things that Ben ‘Reichstag Fire’ Carson has said, which usually involves Hitler, Nazis, and/or slavery, sometime all at once.

We’re going to break it into categories to make the craziness easier to digest.

Policy Statements:

Religion-based Statements:

OK, all of that is pretty nutty. Very nutty. To me, the more alarming aspects are those dealing with his theocratic views. Theocracy is absolutely the enemy of democracy. Give theocrats the power of government and you will end up in the Middle East.

Religion and the Doctor

Dr. Carson is a member of the Seventh Day Adventists, which is historically (I believe from the Second Great Awakening in US history; we go nutty from time to time as my US history prof said…) a doomsday religion, based upon a prophesy from the founder about the end of the world. When the world didn’t end as predicted (Google “The Great Disappointment” – and skip the hits about Chimpy), it was a mathematical error and new dates were set, which comically were also in error. Now they just sort of say vague end times stuff. They’ve learned? Sure, why not.

Adventists are a particular sect of Christian protestantism that believes in the literal word of the Bible, from Creation through Exodus with all stops in between; there is no interpretation. It’s a really fascinating, uniquely American over-the-top split from mainstream protestant religions (and it is often lumped together with Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christian Science as a cult). Carson believes these things unequivocally.

As with most protestant denominations, Adventists have an antithetical relationship to the Catholic Church, but unlike most other protestant denominations, Adventists believe that other protestant sects are in league with the Debbil. From their own website:

Seventh-day Adventists are convinced of the validity of our prophetic views, according to which humanity now lives close to the end of time. Adventists believe, on the basis of biblical predictions, that just prior to the second coming of Christ this earth will experience a period of unprecedented turmoil, with the seventh-day Sabbath as a focal point. In that context, we expect that world religions—including the major Christian bodies as key players—will align themselves with the forces in opposition to God and to the Sabbath.

And if that isn’t telling the other religions that they are going to go to Hell, I don’t know what is.

Again, one of their core tenets is in Saturday worship, and they are willing to die on the cross for that:

“Anyone worshipping on another day than the seventh-day Sabbath [Saturday] will receive the mark of the beast.” (Ted Wilson, the global president of the Seventh-day Adventists)

So, no scheduling surgeries on a Saturday. Or emergency meetings.

Get off the cross, someone needs the wood

The Xristian Xrazies see him as someone loyal to his faith, which, you know cannot be that much different from theirs, and they love anyone who climbs on the cross. They see him as some sort of Jeebus champion and so they cheer him on, not realizing that he sees them as his mortal enemy in league with Ol’ Scratch, and Carson himself is cheering them on into the fire.

So, you want to guess why the nutty Dr. Carson is running for president? I think the answer is right in front of us.

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19 Responses to The Strange World of Ben Carson

  1. purplehead says:

    Excellent post, Dr. Tengrain. Thank you for filling your thoughts and time with this awful shit (so we don’t have to, as they say).


    • tengrain says:

      Thanks Purplehead – Dr. Carson is exactly the kind of dangerous theocrat I worry about the most: congenial, seemingly likeable, and completely ruthless in embracing his particular version of Godliness.

      He’s dangerous and it is a remarkable case of stupidity that the Evangelicals don’t see that he would not hesitate to use the office of the president to really fuck-up their shit. He’s be a converter-in-chief when he is not actively promoting bringing of End Times.




      • Osirisopto says:

        The good thing is that as long as he’s running from the republican side he’ll never be elected president, and probably won’t make it out of the primary even as veep.


  2. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    A few months ago, I met a young woman who had been raised as an Adventist, in a bar, attending an astrophysics lecture. She was great, she really had a sense of liberation from a cult that had mentally abused and stunted her. There’s a way out from under the theocrats’ thumb, it’s a pity that Carson, with his intelligence, couldn’t find it.


  3. A.J. says:

    “They see him as some sort of Jeebus champion and so they cheer him on, not realizing that he sees them as his mortal enemy in league with Ol’ Scratch, and Carson himself is cheering them on into the fire.”

    Wait ’til they find out he’s black.

    The other day I got a re-run of an old email that claimed the only reason blacks overwhelmingly voted for Obama was because he was black. “OK. Plausible,” I responded (not getting into why they would not vote for Romney in any case). But I asked the sender, “If Carson is the GOP nominee, how may Republicans will NOT vote for him (or at all) just because he’s black? The white supremacists in the GOP will never vote for Carson. There’s a reason overt racists are drawn to the Republican party, and that’s because they sense its subtle racism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tengrain says:

      AJ – That’s a great question, and while it is easy to say that all Republicans are racist it probably is more accurate to say that all racists are Republican.

      I’m sure there are some GOPers who will vote for him, but I think/hope he will be surprised at how quickly his support dissolves because: racists.




  4. roket says:

    IMHO, Ben is nothing more than a token. And most of his spelling challenged followers haven’t seen his picture. Anyway, that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.


  5. purplehead says:

    Ackkkk. I saw my first Ben Carson bumper sticker, and it was on one of those brand new huge Dodge Ram pick-ups. Driven by a 50-is something white guy with a ball cap. In a very conservative [white] part of the state. That shocked me. And really made me think this yahoo hadn’t seen a picture of Benito yet.


  6. Infidel753 says:

    If a religious cult apparently believes that the end of the world is desirable and can hardly wait for it to happen, is it a good idea to put a member of that cult in charge of several thousand nuclear weapons?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fumon says:

    Okay, let me get this straight: Republicans believe that government can’t function and want to be elected so that they can get paid to prove this fact…and Carson believes that the world is about to come to a firey end and wants to be President so that he can prove this fact…

    Is that an accurate summation?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. j1216 says:

    This is seriously spot on. I am affiliated with the SDA organization. As in occasionally show up to church. They are so obsessed with this end of the world thing that it is sick and demented. They constantly talk about the “time of trouble” and I was frequently told the “bad people would come take our Bibles” away. They are obsessed with not having their Sabbath infringed on, I have actually known them to cease receiving the mail on Sabbath as to not impact God’s law. SDAs are obsessed with this magical mythological future were they will be persecuted. End of days. Their Prophet EG White left them end of the world predictions and they really love to talk about this. One of those being the Catholic Church will be key player to bring about the end day persecution. They love to sit about the spout flawed incorrect myths/urban legends about the Catholic Church as it is truth. I have heard random rubbish about the Catholics from the pulpit. The stuff they say is at best rude, cruel, and mean. Not very Christ like if you ask me. In general quite a few SDAs seem completely obsessed with a wide array of conspiracy theories. So much so, I was once told by a lady at church that George Bush would bring about the end of the world and I should have voted for him so we could go to heaven. What?! He won…not seeing any progression toward heaven crazy lady. In fact recently quite a number of SDA’s were obsessed with the Blood Moon and the Pope speaking to Congress. These marked the end of days. The world was supposed to financially collapse sometime in September and things would end. Nothing happened, now they have moved on and changed their tune. Their strange delusions amuse and mystify me. With that said…they do have a pretty good health message. The whole fruits, veggies, and what not. Of course there have been many lovely “cults” that did have good healthy thing going on.


    • tengrain says:

      Thanks J1216 –

      I loved my college’s History of Religion in America class, and the SDA was one of the more colorful parts of it.

      Despite my pleas for everyone to be wary of theocrats, I’ve nothing against people’s various faiths or choosing a faith at all. Sometimes I wish I did profess a faith, but it’s never been enough to make me seek one. I just don’t care one way or the other.

      Thanks for you comment, it was thoughtful and filled in some of the blanks.




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