Dr. Ben Carson has officially ended his campaign for president, according to NPR. Last autumn, Dr. Carson was the frontrunner of the 17 Republican candidates. Now, he has fallen so far behind the other candidates that he sees no option but to drop out of the race. Instead, he has accepted the honorary chairmanship of the non-partisan group My Faith Votes.
“I did the math; I looked at the delegate count, looked at the states, and looked at the requirements. I realized it simply wasn’t going to happen and if that’s the case, I didn’t want to interfere with the process.”
Dr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and an author, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his surgical innovations by George W. Bush in 2008. The movie Gifted Hands, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., was made in 2009, based on his memoirs. He gained national attention after a speech he gave at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013 that criticized President Barack Obama. Dr. Carson was especially popular with conservatives and evangelicals. May 4, 2015, he announced his entry into the presidential race. March 2, 2016, he admitted he did “not see a political path forward,” as reported by the Washington Post, and on March 4, Dr. Carson officially ended his campaign.
Dr. Carson was popular with voters who were tired of politicians continuing business as usual in Washington. People who looked to an outsider to offer a fresh view flocked to his campaign. The fact that he was African American appealed to many voters who were dismayed by racist views expressed by some other candidates who seemed to have forgotten that the GOP was the party of Lincoln. His disdain for political correctness, considering it a hindrance on the freedom of speech, resonated with many voters who agreed political correctness has gone too far.
However, the drawback of an outsider is a lack of experience, and as the campaign progressed, many voters expressed dismay with his lack of familiarity with foreign affairs. The New York Times reported that his own staff had difficulty getting him to understand briefings. Others were upset that a doctor, an educated man, denied the reality of climate change, and his suggestion that Charles Darwin may have been influenced by the Devil. Dr. Carson not only disagrees with the Big Bang theory and Darwin’s theory of evolution, but his speeches also make it clear he does not understand the scientific theories he has criticized more than once. He also generated controversy by suggesting the Egyptian pyramids were not built as royal tombs, but as granaries to store the grain Joseph put aside in preparation for times of famine as described in Genesis 41: 35-36. New York Magazine suggested his entire campaign was just a money-making scheme, rather than an earnest attempt to win the Oval Office.
Although some of his views and positions were controversial — homosexuality being a matter of choice, Muslims being unable to run for president, comparing Obamacare to slavery — there is no doubt that Dr. Carson brought a “measure of civility to the race” that the remaining four candidates would do well to emulate.
Dr. Carson has accepted the honorary chairmanship of My Faith Votes, a non-partisan group that encourages people of faith to exercise their civic duty. Members of My Faith Votes are asked to pray for America and to vote in every election, supporting candidates who espouse biblical principles.
“I believe Christians in this country can easily determine the next president of the United States and all other national and local leaders, should they simply show up at the polls. When we do vote, We The People will once again solidify our commitment to the Judeo-Christian values upon which our nation was founded.”
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