This One Ben Carson RNC Quote Proves He Hasn't Changed Much
Returning to the political stage to support Donald Trump with a vibrant array of quotes, Ben Carson made a speech at the Republican National Convention that was just as strange as any of the ones he delivered before suspending his own presidential campaign in March. Though the neurosurgeon was noticeably more animated than usual, his criticism of Hillary Clinton, whom he claims indirectly supports Lucifer, stole the show. It hearkens back the days when he claimed the pyramids were built to store grain. Just when it seemed as though it couldn't get any more bizarre, Carson pushed the envelope.
Throughout his campaign, Carson conflated America with God, and promoted what he believed to be the founding fathers' original values. He even went as far to base his tax plan on biblical tithing. At the RNC, this theme dramatically came full circle when he passionately denounced secularism, progressivism, and change. Eventually, he went on to relate such "radicalism" to Satan himself:
And I hate political correctness, because it's antithetical to the founding principles of this country, and the secular progressives use it to make people sit down and shut up while they change everything.
In line with his frequent invocation of the Bible and Christianity, Carson led a pointed assault on Hillary Clinton which no one before him has dared attempt. It all started with a briefing on Clinton's senior thesis on Saul Alinsky, the man credited with founding modern community organizing. Clinton wrote that thesis in 1969 at Wellesley College, years before her political career began.
One of the things that I have learned about Hillary Clinton is that one of her heroes, her mentors, was Saul Alinsky. And her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky. This was someone that she greatly admired, and that affected all of her philosophy subsequently.
Claiming that he affected all of her philosophy is certainly hyperbolic, but the rant doesn't end there. According to Carson, Alinsky acknowledged the devil, leading him to conclude that Clinton is the antithesis of everything American:
Now, interestingly enough, let me tell you something about Saul Alinsky. He wrote a book called Rules for Radicals. On the dedications page, it acknowledges Lucifer, the original radical who gained his own kingdom ... So are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer? Think about that.
Politifact immediately investigated Carson's claim and found that Alinsky's book does indeed acknowledge Lucifer. The site concluded, however, that it was meant to be more controversial than literal. In the beginning pages of his book, which explains how to influence policy, Alinsky wrote:
Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.
Carson's RNC spiel might be his most convoluted yet. But if there's one thing he's outspoken about, it's his faith. His resolve to interpret the Bible literally, even though he's a scientist by profession, has rendered him something of a puzzling figure. It's possible, however, that Carson's rant was a part of a Republican National Committee strategy to appeal to Evangelical voters who aren't sold on Trump. As the general election creeps nearer, their votes will be vital, particularly in conservative states.