Dr. Ben Carson
Dr. Ben Carson

There’s a lesson somewhere in Dr. Ben Carson’s transformation from world-class Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon to logically challenged Fox News commentator. It’s hard to believe that the brilliant surgeon who led the first successful separation of twins conjoined at the head is the same man spouting intellectually irresponsible pronouncements  — for example, calling Obamacare “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery” — on national television.

Carson made his debut as a regular Fox News contributor this week, and Barry Rascovar collected some of the doctor’s more head-scratching statements at Maryland Reporter. What’s shocking and ridiculous is not that the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient is politically conservative; it’s that his arguments are shallow to the point of being dishonest. According to Carson, not only is Obamacare “slavery, in a way” — it’s also “communism.” To back this up he references a fictitious quotation of Lenin that shows he not only misunderstands socialism but is almost willfully obtuse about how the Affordable Care Act actually works. 

And to top it all off, he believes the IRS scheduled him for a tax audit because of his right-wing views. An accusation for which he offers no evidence.

They’re the kind of statements we’ve come to expect from “the almost one-time governor of a state where nobody lives” (to quote The Newsroom), but to hear them coming from a genius in the medical field is a real novelty.

11 replies on “Examining Ben Carson’s Troubling Transformation”

  1. It’s so far from genius it makes me wonder if it’s not a PR maneuver to boost his visibility…nothing like notoriety to bring you into the national spotlight!

  2. Bob:

    It is disappointing to read your condescending characterization of Dr. Carson. You may disagree with his policy suggestions, but “logically challenged” and “irresponsible” are adjectives that cannot legitimately be used to describe one of the great problem solvers and life-savers in our City. I can’t think of anything involving more intelligence and responsibility than taking on the challenges of pediatric brain surgery.

    I do not agree with all the policy choices of Dr. Carson, but I have listened to his messages. His positions were formed though his genuine life experiences and a strong moral and religious code. These are reasons people should listen to him, respect his positions and experiences and then draw their own conclusions whether they agree with him or not.

    Bob, your mocking tone may appeal to PC liberals, but your intolerance of different views reinforces the polarization and incivility of our political process today. What has that gotten us…dueling press conferences and a shut down government!

    It would be refreshing for media folks to be more responsible by fostering a logic driven discussion of ideas and policies instead adding to the din of partisan name-calling.

    Time to raise your game!

    1. @Baltimore City Guy – You’re completely missing the point here. Bob isn’t taking issue with Carson’s beliefs, but with his anything-to-win tactics (resorting to essentially lying, making up sources, etc.). It’s that kind of behavior that makes it nearly impossible for anyone on either side to give each other credit. It’s that kind of behavior that creates a circus. Carson is proverbially spitting in the face of anyone trying to make progress – Republican or Democrat. I would actually think that conservatives would be more appalled at this behavior than the Dems, if only for the fact that guys like this make the entire party look bad and as though the GOP has no real footing.

  3. Thx Baltimore city guy for taking the time to respond at length. Bob… Guess u didn’t like his White House Breakfast Prayer either. Dr. Carson is using his status to speak up where many do not. Thank God!!! And since when is Baltimore Fishbowl a platform for such liberal PR??!! Disappointed to c that this was first article to be highlighted.

  4. While I consider myself slightly right-of-center, where politics are concerned, and I have many reservations about the Affordable Care Act, I agree with the basic point that Bob is making. Wherever one stands with regard to Obamacare, to say it is the “worst thing to happen to this nation since slavery” is hyperbole of the worst sort. Laws crafted and enforced in the Jim Crow era (in more than a third of the USA) MUST be considered worse than Obamacare. Dr. Carson…if a law took away your right to vote…where would it rank in the Obamacare – Slavery ranking? Should Obamacare have its detractors, of course, but informed discourse is more constructive than baseless emotional statements.

  5. I think it was completely fair for Bob to criticize Dr. Carson for his inflammatory remarks. He never attacked his beliefs, just how they were expressed.

    We appreciate all the comments! Debate and divergent points of view make for a better, more engaged community. Thanks to all for keeping it respectful and civil.

  6. Is this supposed to be fair and unbiased reporting? Baltimore Fishbowl. YOUR world. Beneath the surface; way down and dirty.
    Also, check your grammar.

  7. I can’t believe the Baltimore Fishbowl printed this liberal agenda piece, let alone headlined the email blast with it.
    I find it “intellectually irresponsible” for Robert OBrian, who maybe has a degree in liberal arts, to mock the national health care opinion of Dr. Ben Carson who has worked in the field of medicine for over 30 years.
    Furthermore, I hate to break it to Robert, but nobody knows “how the Affordable Care Act actually works,” that is part of the problem.
    I am so disappointed in the Baltimore Fishbowl(BF). Come on ladies, step up your game…I expected more from you all. Please provide your readers well written and informative articles. Oh, and just because someone throws in the word “obtuse,” it does not make it a well written piece. One more biased piece like this and I’m looking for the “unsubscribe” button too.

  8. Dr. Carson has just as much a right to his opinion as you do and I find your article extremely insulting, biased and a poor excuse for journalism. I am offended that this was the headline on your newsletter that was delivered to my email. I will be unsubscribing.

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