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The myth that the reason Blacks and many minorities voted for President Obama may be dispelled if Conservative Neurosurgeon Ben Carson becomes the opponent of Hilary Clinton or whomever the Democrats put up (based on candidate lists, unlikely to be a black person). I put this in racial terms because many Republicans & Democrats are of that belief inasmuch as there is ample evidence that like any other voters, blacks vote their perceived interest (e.g., Artur Davis loss to Ron Sparks in Alabama).

Ben Carson is likely the world’s leading neurosurgeon. He is Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom by George W Bush in 2008. Dr. Carson grew up poor, the son of a single mother and began to excel in school when his mother began requiring him to do a lot of reading instead of too much TV watching. He graduate high school with honors and received a Psychology degree from Yale. He attended the University of Michigan Medical School. His stellar biography does not lend itself to the type of Conservative he has become.

The media has been going heads over heals over new visibly politically active Ben Carson. I became aware of Ben Carson after watching the documentary of his life “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story”. Make no mistake; Dr. Carson is a medical and surgical genius second to none. His adoption of the current Right Wing ideology makes him seem like a political and sociological neophyte.

Dr. Carson made national headlines by going to the National Prayer Breakfast and making a Right Wing speech. It was immediately evident he went with an agenda as he immediately began his speech with a supposed disdain for political correctness. That was his cover to speak up against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), support for a flat tax based on religious tithing of 10%, and support for other Right Wing policies. The problem is not that he was not politically correct; it was that he gave a political speech in the wrong venue. What is dangerous is he did it in a non-confrontational and passive manner unlike the standard fire brand Right Wing. For the politically and economically uninformed much of what he said sounded plausible.

Ben Carson used his speech to plug his books, his website, and his scholarship program (plugging his scholarship nationally is fine for the good it does however). Even Right Wing Conservatives Cal Thomas and Rich Lowry objected to what Carson did at the Prayer Breakfast.

What was wrong with Dr. Carson’s speech is that he allowed a Right Wing and Evangelical ideology to cloud his intrinsic intelligence. In supporting a flat tax based on tithing levels he forgets basic arithmetic. He speaks about concern for a budget deficit and debt yet supports a policy that will make it worse. He forgets that he was on government provided healthcare which during his poverty was the springboard to his health maintenance. He forgets that a flat tax hurts those he purports to want to help by taking more of their disposable income, in effect a tax increase on the poor. He forgets that health savings account only work if you have disposable income to save, something the middle class lacks more and more.

Ben Carson is in the process as of destroying his legacy. He shows that even an intelligent mind can be co-opted. He speaks about having self-esteem problems earlier on in his life. One can only wonder if that seed remains. The platform given him by the Right Wing may just be that filler as his great neurological work is not giving the notoriety it rightfully deserves while intellectually inferior hacks like Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, & Herman Cain are giving the spotlight.

Ben Carson hinted at interest in a Presidential run at CPAC. In a national campaign where there is a debate, the policies Ben Carson support as well as his basic ideology will again be rejected by most Americans. Right Wing Conservatives think in Ben Carson they can get an Obama figure that will garner the minority vote in large numbers and the Black vote specifically. They continue to fundamentally misunderstand that Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and most others did not vote for Obama because he was black. They voted for him because of the policies he articulated. Blacks, Latinos, and others do not vote for Republicans in general because of a hostility they have to minorities and policies that give minorities equal access to success.



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Comment Preferences

  •  this has already been tested many times (6+ / 0-)

    just ask Senator Michael Steele, Governor Lynn Swann, or Senator Alan Keyes

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:01:22 AM PDT

    •  Well, AA *turnout* increased for Obama (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority, Samer, Lujane

      but the percentage actually voting for him didn't change all that much (heck, when it's already at 98%, there's not  * that * much room for improvement!)

      •  ? (0+ / 0-)

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:24:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What exactly is your question? (0+ / 0-)

          I really need more to go on than that.

          •  I'm not seeing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikejay611

            a connection between your answer and my comment or between your answer and the diary

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:40:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You said you were dispelling the notion (0+ / 0-)

              that blacks voted for Obama because he was black.

              Clearly, many blacks * did * vote for Obama because he was black.  Otherwise they would have stayed home and not voted at all.

              Seriously, Google is your friend here - it is undisputable that in both 2008 and 2012 the participation of African Americans in the presidential levels was much higher than statistical norms - and why?  so they could vote for Obama - and again that is clearly not because his policies benefit them more than other recent (or historical) Democratic politicians, it is because he is black.

              •  IMO the central point of the diary is different (0+ / 0-)

                the point of the diary, and of my comment, is that every now and then conservatives think they can run a black candidate and win just because the candidate is black.

                but this has been proven untrue over and over again.

                I have no fears about a Ben Carson candidacy, because I give voters in general and black voters in particular more credit than that.

                your authoritative google research does not prove that the ONLY reason they voted for Obama was because he was black.  in fact it makes more sense to assume that a black Republicon candidate, or a black candidate whose views were not beneficial to the community, would have received fewer votes, since other similiarly situated candidates have lost.

                If Rs had been fortunate enough to have had the FIRST black presidential candidate, it would have been a better test of the hypothesis.  If Colin Powell, or Ben Carson, or someone else had gotten the R nomination before the Obama presidency, it's possible that some black people would have voted for a black republicon just to try to make history.  But I don't think such a candidate would have gotten Obama level votes from blacks, nor do I think such a candidate would have won.  That's just my well considered opinion.

                Rs run women candidates thinking female voters will vote for any female candidate, and it often does not work.  Rs run black candidates thinking black voters will vote for any black candidate, and it often does not work.

                The actual experiences of Lynn Swann, Michael Steele and Alan Keyes and a lot of others are my evidence.  The small number of black Republican officeholders as compared to the candidates they run is my evidence.     Neither you nor google can refute that.

                Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:28:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't disagree with any of that (0+ / 0-)

                  my point is more that none of that is relevant to the title of your diary, which is focused on why blacks (might have) voted for Obama.

                  Ben Cardin - (apparently) being a Republican - is completely immaterial to why African Americans voted for Obama - which the evidence seems to suggest depend on two things:

                  1) African Americans overwhelming vote for Democrats, but usually with very little enthusiasm (i.e., as evidenced by their turnout lagging white voters).

                  2) In the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, African American turnout exceeded all historical norms, and in 2012 actually exceeded that of white people.   Overall this netted Mr. Obama two or three million votes more than he would have gotten if he were a white Democratic candidate and in some states (e.g, Virginia) was the deciding margin in Obama beating Romney.

                  The evidence is quite clear that a few million African Americans did get off their asses and get out an vote for  Obama because he/they are black.

                  But again, that has absolutely nothing to to with Ben Carson or any other African American who opts to run as a Republican . ..

              •  Or they voted for "O" cause they were black (0+ / 0-)

                ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:37:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The evidence suggests that several million (0+ / 0-)

                  African Americans did exactly that.

                  Which is immaterial to the Ben Carson situation, because if a Black Democratic candidate had not been running they simply would have stayed at home.

                  The point being that neither "black" or "democrat" by themselves is sufficient to get this demographic to turn out, but if you put them together, it is.

                  So unless Dr. Carson runs as a Democrat, that magically combination will not occur and everybody can rest easy . ..

              •  It does make sense - (0+ / 0-)

                - that a black voter might think that a black president could be more understanding about issues that are important to black people than a white president.  Particularly true once the candidates, both black and white, make their views on issues known.

                But at the same time, it is clear that if Alan Keyes (a black Republican) was running against a white Democrat (say Al Gore), don'tcha think more black voters would side with the Democrat - simply because that candidate could be more understanding of issues pertaining to African Americans?

                And am I wrong to assume that for every African American who voted for Obama because he was black there had to be at least three white voters who voted for Romney because he wasn't the black guy?  

                If so, then why all the attention to blacks voting for blacks?

    •  It was tested in Ohio in 2006 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority

      when Ken Blackwell ran for governor and lost by 22 points — but by more than 80 points in the black community.

      Lots of my Democratic friends were wringing their hands over the fantasy that he would rack up 50%, 60%, even 75% of the vote in the black community.

      On Election Day, I was a polling place observer for his opponent, Ted Strickland's campaign, at a large, overwhelmingly African-American polling place in an inner-city ward. All day the Blackwell people were outside, passing out a flyer that said, "Help us make history – help us elect Ohio's first black governor."

      And voters were taking them, coming inside, pitching them in a wastebasket, and voting for Ted Strickland.

      At the end of the day, I was watching the long reports spewing out of the touchscreens*. I saw machine totals like "Strickland 63, Blackwell 4." My favorite was the precinct where the Green candidate for governor got more votes than Blackwell.

      Black voters are not stupid, even if Republicans are.

      * Side note: This was our only statewide touchscreen election, and Blackwell was then secretary of voter suppress ... I mean STATE. So obviously fears about mysterious hacks benefiting Republicans were overblown.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:06:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Besides, haven't the GOP learned not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikejay611, Dark UltraValia

    to nominate somebody from a crazy religious sect?  Didn't the 2012 election teach them that?

  •  die, zombie lie, DIE! (3+ / 0-)

    TrueBlueMajority, above, lists the reasons why.

    jeeeeeeez.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:09:17 AM PDT

    •  thanks mally (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikejay611, mallyroyal

      it's insulting when people accuse black voters of looking only at skin color when deciding which candidate to support.  it's also ridiculous because it is obviously not true!

      it makes no sense when conservatives and/or liberals assume blacks will vote for any black candidate without regard to ideology, especially since we have disproved it so many times already

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:29:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very well, it seems like you might be referring (0+ / 0-)

        to me.

        In that case, I'm interested in why exactly African Americans turned out to support Obama in record numbers in 2008 and 2012 despite other Democratic politicians (think: LBJ) putting way more on the line for them.

        Seriously, why?  

        •  i reject the premise (0+ / 0-)

          that LBJ put more on the line.

          i'm fairly sure LBJ did not receive as many personal death threats, even at the height of Southern anger about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:08:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  LBJ put "losing the south for a generation" (0+ / 0-)

            on the line.

            In retrospect it wasn't "for a generation" - it was forever (as an editorial comment, what a bunch of total fuckwads, why didn't Lincoln just let them go, but whatever).

            In any event, that's pretty huge IMHO.

            Or should I say HUGH just so everybody understands?

  •  I always turn this around on it's head (4+ / 0-)

    I can't tell you how many times (especially on a certain internets videogame I play) I see the 'people only voted for Obama because he's black!'. I always respond with 'well, people only voted AGAINST him because he's black'. Then you should see their heads explode and 'of course you have to bring racism into it!!' etc.

    Like my pappy used to tell me; arguing with idiots on the internets is like trying to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    "We are not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people." - future President Paul Ryan.

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:30:41 AM PDT

  •  I almost feel sorry for Dr. Carson. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    I read his book "Gifted Hands" and was incredibly inspired and even began to incorporate additional reading time into my sons' lives.  But it appears he learned exactly all the wrong lessons from his struggles and ultimate triumph over poverty.

    But I hope he does test the waters and get into the 2016 presidential race.  It will be an added dimension to the death throes of the republican party.  Just wait till they find out Dr. Carson believes the pope is the anti-Christ.  (Dr. Carson is a Seventh-Day Adventist and this fact is central to their prophetic messages.)

    •  Yes, and wait till they find out that that (0+ / 0-)

      sect is anti-war, or at least they seem to be according to Wikipedia:

      Desmond Thomas Doss (February 7, 1919 – March 23, 2006) was the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor and one of only three so honored (the others are Thomas W. Bennett and Joseph G. LaPointe, Jr.). He was a Corporal (Private First Class at the time of his Medal of Honor heroics) in the U.S. Army assigned to the Medical Detachment, 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division. He died the same day as another Medal of Honor recipient, David Bleak.

      Drafted in April 1942,[1] Desmond Doss refused to kill, or carry a weapon into combat, because of his personal beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist. He consequently became a medic, and by serving in the Pacific theatre of World War II helped his country by saving the lives of his comrades, while also adhering to his religious convictions. Shortly before leaving the Army, Desmond was diagnosed with tuberculosis.[2] He left the Army in 1946.[3]

      How is that going to play with the corporate, MIC types that are still rather influential in the GOP?

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