The buzz across America is not President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, but the speech given by renowned John Hopkins Hospital neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast. On several fronts, the eloquent Dr. Carson took the president, who was in attendance, to the woodshed. Equally striking was that the president appeared unfazed or uncaring that much of the dialogue was directed at him.
Carson, sensing America needed an urgent wake-up call to the misadventures of its political leaders, began his presentation by explaining that, “pc (political correctness) is dangerous. “What we need to do is forget about unanimity of speech and unanimity of thought and concentrate on being respectful to those people with which we disagree.”
This disclaimer set the stage for the former Detroiter to boldly talk about the “spirituality, direction and future” of the nation. He proceeded to hang the proponents of victimization, guilt and despair out to dry.
On America’s shortcomings,Carson questioned why it takes so long for America to respond to the failure of education. “Although we’re living in an era of advanced technology,” he noted, “30 percent of students who enter high school in this country do not graduate, and 44 percent of college students don’t complete their degree in four years.”
He referenced his latest book, America the Beautiful, which, in part, references a sixth-grade exit exam from the 1800s. “I doubt most college graduates today could pass that test,” he said. “We have dumbed things down to that level. … And the reason why that is so dangerous is because the people who founded this nation said that our system government was designed for a well-informed and educated populous. And when they become less informed, they become vulnerable. And that’s why education is so important.”
Carson meticulously destroyed generally accepted themes supported by the president. His common sense views on Obamacare, for example, are contrary to the president’s big government mandated health care plan. The young and the elderly, says Carson, are best served through the equivalent of a medical investment package. “Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let’s put it in their HSAs (Health Savings Account).”
In reference to the exploding national debt — which increased more during President Obama’s four years in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency –Carson mocks government’s spending addiction that dug a more than $16 trillion hole.
“….count one number per second — which you can’t do because by the time you get to a thousand it would take you longer than a second but one number per second — you know how long it would take you to reach 16 trillion?” he queried. “More than a half million years. We have to deal with this. ”
As relates to Obama waging class warfare and obsessing with taxing the rich,Carson prefers a flat-income tax. “Some people say, ‘Well that’s not fair because it doesn’t hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.’ Where does it say you’ve got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot.”Carson said. “It’s that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs.”
Carson’s speech highlighted the policy deficiencies of Obama, for sure. But it also held in disrepute the conventional wisdom that we should automatically march lockstep with, but fail to question the actions and the motives of those who profess to be our savior.
Seldom has a public figure created so fully a recognizable and inimitable new world of words, images and mine fields. The speech was a refreshing liberation.
President Obama stood and applauded. It’s not clear if the he got the message.