Dr. Ben Carson to Run for President

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has officially announced that he is running for the Republican presidential nomination. In an interview with Washington’s WJLA Sunday evening, Dr. Carson threw his name into the ring. “I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” he said.

Dr. Carson joins a quickly-growing slate of candidates, including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, and Rand Paul. Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, and Mike Huckabee are among the other Republicans expected to announce their candidacies in the coming weeks. In such a field, it will not be easy for anyone to stand out; the primary season promises to be a strong one for the GOP. Carson has one glaring disadvantage – this is his first foray into politics. On the other hand, his biggest weakness could prove to be his greatest strength.

Dr. Carson is a favorite among hardline conservatives who like his brash rejection of liberal policies and his willingness to speak his mind in front of the cameras. That willingness has gotten him in trouble a few times. John Hopkins canceled a planned speech in 2013 after Carson compared same-sex marriage to pedophilia, he was roundly criticized for saying Obamacare was the worst thing to happen to America since slavery, and he was forced to apologize in March when he said that prison sex proved that homosexuality was a choice.

According to Carson himself, he is trying to sand off the rough edges of his public demeanor so that he can present his message to a broader base. But supporters may well hope that he doesn’t remove too much of the grit that makes him such a popular and polarizing figure. After all, it is his fiery passion that sets him apart from the typical politician. It could be the thing that helps him overcome a moneyed field and a lack of name recognition.

Another thing that works in Carson’s favor: the recent upheaval in Baltimore. Carson lived in Baltimore for 35 years, so he has plenty of authority to speak out about what has happened there. And because he preaches hard work and responsibility as cures for ailing communities, he could be the perfect antidote to the Obamas and the Sharptons. Black America has not had a conservative firebrand to look up to in decades. By preaching a message that has been all-too-uncommon among black leaders, Carson could lead a revolution that would shock the mainstream.

Obama and the Democrats are steering us straight for the rocks, but this is bigger than any one man. Bigger than any one party. Bigger, even, than the presidency. This is about the heart and soul of our country. There may be no one better suited to heal these festering wounds than Ben Carson. He is, after all, a surgeon.

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