I happened to notice that Ben Carson was slated for an interview on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” while channel surfing after work on August 12th. I decided to watch.
When I heard Dr. Carson speak about Planned Parenthood, I felt certain that I had just witnessed his self-immolation on live television.
Of the founder, Carson said the following: “I know who Margaret Sanger is. I know that she believed in eugenics and that she was not particularly enamored with black people. One of the reasons that you find most of their clinics in black neighborhoods is so that you can find a way to control that population. I think people should go back and read about Margaret Sanger, who founded this place, a woman who Clinton – by the way – says that she admires. Look and see what many people in Nazi Germany thought about her.”
I immediately hit rewind and recorded the comments. I sent it to a radio host, who aired the clip the following day.
As a student of American history, I was already aware that some of the early leaders of the Birth Control League – which would change its name to Planned Parenthood – were eugenicists.
I had looked into Sanger after seeing a clip of her saying, “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world,” in a 1957 interview with Mike Wallace.
While some of the Sanger quotes repeated in conservative circles are embellished or totally fabricated, there is no doubt that she was a eugenicist. She openly wrote about strategies for limiting births of people she deemed inferior.
In a 1923 New York Times article, Sanger wrote: “Birth Control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtlessly practiced. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”
Dr. Carson’s words were poignant and veracious, but I felt certain that this was meaningless. I thought he was done. I sent a message to friends saying as much.
RealClearPolitics data show that Carson had 6.2% of the Republican vote on the night before the Cavuto interview. A week later, 9.2. A month later, 20. I don’t know if his comments about Planned Parenthood had anything to do with the tripling of his support, which took him from a minor contender to second place, but I do know I was wrong. The comments certainly did not represent a nationally-televised implosion.
I guess it should be unsurprising, then, that Carson saw no real drop in the polls after saying “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”
It seems clear that American voters are hungry for candidates who say what they mean and mean what they say, whether it’s pretty or not. Whether they agree with it or not. The people want honest opinions. Not waffling, not pandering, not catering to the PC Mafia.
This trend may be the reason why the most braggadocious bombast in the lot is leading the Republican field. It may also give some clarity to aggrieved Democrat pundits who struggle to rationalize the rise of Socialist Bernie Sanders.
Hillary Clinton represents the antithesis of Carson/Trump/Sanders. She hides from cameras. She refuses town halls and precludes debates. She speaks in vagaries and smiles a lot. The same can be said for Jeb Bush.
It is refreshing to see honesty rewarded, but finding a person who can calmly promote a rational course of action that will benefit the populace and protect the rights of individuals is also important. Voters should keep that in mind the next time a candidate talks about looting the natural resources of subordinate countries to reduce the debt or threatening superpowers with military intervention to improve trade deficits.