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Thursday, May 23, 2024

 A little more than a week ago, the country stood in awe as former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson rose from the dead — or at least partially awoke from his constant state of slumber — to endorse Mein Drumpf as the Republican nominee. While some are caught up in whether this is a Chris Christie-like attempt at securing a vice presidency or cabinet position, we at the Alligator have taken this opportunity to look back critically at Carson’s campaign. After intensive study and research, we’ve conclusively diagnosed him with the Benjamin Carson disease.

Recalling the condition showcased in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” in which one is born old and grows aesthetically younger with growing age, we’ve characterized the Benjamin Carson disease as a case in which one is born with promise and intelligence but makes progressively dim-witted remarks with rising fame and political influence. 

Before recent years, Carson’s story was one exclusively of admirable success. From a rough Detroit neighborhood, he worked his way into Ivy League schools and eventually established himself as a world-renowned neurosurgeon, best recognized for his role in the first-ever successful separation of twins conjoined at the head. Carson’s success became an inspiration for the African-American community. It’s the quintessential American story: a rise from the bottom up. So, in terms of our Alligator diagnosis of the Benjamin Carson disease: born with intelligence and promise? Check.

How, then, did we go from Carson’s brilliance to his campaign’s great political car wreck? Well, his strong religious faith and history as a Seventh-day Adventist kept his social views rather conservative, evident in his anti-gay-marriage, pro-life, anti-evolution and pro-creationist stances. And while the world may never know why he dove into politics after his retirement from medical practice, once he joined Fox News as a contributor in 2013 and gained significant public attention for his comparison of the Affordable Care Act to slavery, it soon became clear he’d stretch out his political fortune as far as possible.

So given Carson’s complete lack of governing experience and already conservative presence, his best bet for this 2016 campaign was to run solely on rhetoric tailored to sects of GOP voters.

Without fail, he resorted to Islamophobia, telling MSNBC in September 2015, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge with this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” (Wait, don’t we already have a Kenyan, Muslim, communist, lame-duck dictator as president already?) Then he pronounced his firm defense of the Second Amendment when referring to the Roseburg, Oregon, shooting in October by claiming, “I would not just stand there and let him (the gunman) shoot me.” Dim-witted remarks with rising fame and political influence? Check.

This is not the first case of the Benjamin Carson disease we’ve seen, and it most certainly won’t be the last. For all of you pre-meds out there, watch out: You’re already on track to catching this illness. Be especially wary of basing your worldview exclusively on Seventh-day Adventist principles, and be even more especially wary of pandering to ignorant views held by certain GOP voters. Else you may fall victim to the Benjamin Carson disease, for which the only known cure is to hire a professional neurosurgeon to separate you from the amalgam of yourself you’ve created … Please clap.

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