Dr. Ben Carson has endorsed Donald Trump for president. Many conservatives will be disappointed by the doctor’s decision, but it makes sense to me. In effect, one candidate whose quest for the presidency was founded on a cult of personality, not on any demonstrated ability in the realm of public policy or even demonstrated ability to discuss policy in any depth, is endorsing another such candidate.
Carson fits the profile of a Trump endorser. Like Sarah Palin, Scott Brown, and Chris Christie, he is unlikely to face an electorate in the future. His main chance at relevance lies in being elevated by Trump.
Major office holders who plan on facing voters have shied away from endorsing Trump (Jeff Sessions who won his last election with 97 percent of the vote, is an exception, assuming he plans to run in 2020). Candidates who, in effect, are in (or soon to be in) exile have much less to lose by backing Trump.
Carson’s endorsement seems more cynical than the others. He ran as a man of God intent on healing the country or at least minimizing hatred in politics.
Yet here he is, endorsing the candidate who transformed presidential debates into insult-hurling contests, who ridicules the handicapped, who gets off on insulting women, and who wants to round up and deport more than 10 million people.
How does Carson reconcile his campaign and his endorsement? He claims that “there’s two Donald Trumps. . .the Donald Trump that you see on television and who gets out in front of big audiences, and there’s the Donald Trump behind the scenes.” Carson insists “they’re not the same person; one’s very much an entertainer, and one is actually a thinking individual.”
The folks who eat up Trump’s public persona should take heed: the Trump they see is phony and Dr. Carson thinks they are entranced by unthinking entertainment.
Moreover, I’m not sure why being two-faced recommends Trump in Carson’s mind. Is this some sort of Christian virtue?
No. It’s just the best thing Carson could come up with to sell his cynical endorsement. It’s not good enough.