Wednesday, November 04, 2015

What Happens To All The LGBT Progress Towards Equality If Ben Carson Becomes President?


Yesterday Chuck Todd, in his Meet the Press First Read, explained why he thinks Ben Carson, who many observers look at and laugh, is actually a strong GOP frontrunner-- and he's basing it on an analysis of the latest polling numbers. He wrote that "[n]ot only is Carson leading the Republican horserace with the highest percentage yet in our poll (29%), he also hits 50% when you combine GOP voters' first and second choices-- the only Republican presidential candidate to do that."
Then take the fact that he's raising the most money in the Republican race (his campaign reported raising $10 million in October alone, putting it on pace to raise $30 million for the quarter). And then add in that he gets the most social-media interaction when it comes to Facebook. Anyone who wants to dismiss Carson as Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann is making a big mistake. Sure, it's more than possible that Carson doesn't ultimately become the GOP nominee. But NBC/WSJ co-pollster Peter Hart (D) makes a convincing case that the 2016 dynamic on the Republican side could have some similarities to 1964, when Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater. "What if the cake is baked?" Hart asks. "This is not a status-quo electorate."
And Republican primary voters trust him more than the rest of their "deep bench." According to a new poll, Reuters points out that it's Dr. Ben's fingers Republicans trust most on the nuclear button.
Asked about handling the nation’s nuclear weapons-- another insight into voters' views on foreign policy-- 34 percent of Republicans said they would trust Trump. He trailed only Carson, with 39 percent saying they would trust Carson to have his finger on the proverbial button. Only 27 percent said they would trust Rubio.
Distinguished writer and Human Rights Advocate Jim Patterson, apparently doesn't trust Carson nearly as much, especially not on equal rights for the gay community. Below is a guest post he wrote for us:

Dr. Ben made quite the impression on PolitiFact at the Boulder debate

Dr. Ben Carson leading the GOP on LGBT issues?
by Jim Patterson

The big takeaway from the GOP presidential debate in Boulder, Colorado, is best described as likability. Every candidate largely came across as likable, except establishment candidate Jeb Bush. The presidential would-be Bush made critical political mistakes in attacking Florida Senator Marco Rubio and rambling on the issue of fantasy football.

Each candidate spoke about economic opportunity and presented pro-growth policies. Rubio spoke about the need for vocational education rather than “free” college education, advocated by Socialist candidate Bernie Sanders. “Free” college educations offer the promise of a growing labor force of “college graduate” with “careers” as fast food workers struggling economically. This is another false promise to address income inequality.

Perhaps the GOP presidential candidate with the highest likability factor is the soft-spoken Dr. Ben Carson. Immediately after the debate, Carson’s popularity continued to rise to the dismay of former frontrunner Donald Trump, Secret Service code name “Humble.”

Carson has made a number of controversial statements of late such as Jews in Nazi Germany needed guns to defend themselves. His message here is if Obama confiscates weapons, Jewish Americans in 2015 would be unable to defend themselves if a Hitler-like politician came to power and created a Nazi state. Okay.

Dr. Carson has also made controversial statements about gays as I have written in previous columns. He steered clear of LGBT controversy in Boulder and came away as something of a political wise man.

The loaded CNBC questioner asked Dr. Carson why he supported Costco when the company is among the most gay-friendly in America. Carson gave a convincing and, I believe, appealing response to many Americans without sounding divisive.

Carson told voters he believed the U.S. Constitution provided equal protection to all Americans. He said he supported traditional marriage and denied his belief made him, or any other person who held this religious belief, homophobic.

He said he would not be politically bullied into changing his view. He turned the argument to identify the political bullies as the bigger U.S. social problem than people of faith. Carson makes a far more appealing argument than past "faith leaders" like the offensive and divisive Rev. Jerry Falwell.

The Dr. Ben Carson at the Boulder GOP debate is, to borrow a political slogan from a past campaign, a "kinder and gentler" candidate who opposes same-sex marriage in a "kinder and gentler" way than past Republicans and past Democrats turned Republicans.

In 1992 and 1996, Bill Clinton never spoke in favor of marriage equality and as president signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Similarly, 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama did not support same-sex marriage. Clinton, Obama, and dozens of others evolved on same-sex marriage and Republicans will as well-- some decade.

Dr. Ben Carson’s soft spoken defense of his support of traditional marriage signals he is a politician who understands the Constitution, Equal Protection and may one day, one soon day if he is elected president, be able to evolve on same sex marriage and bring millions of others along with him. This is a hopeful message for America.
Back in March, Jim seemed a lot less hopeful when it comes to Carson, pointing out that "he has apologized before when he ventured into the subject of homosexuality."
Sexual subjects Dr. Carson includes in his book [One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future] are homosexuality, bestiality, homophobia, gay marriage, morality, and North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). These subjects come up time and again throughout the book for an estimated 35 pages.

In a chapter on political correctness, Dr. Carson states the political correctness police (PCP) forbid … “mention of homosexuality in anything other than a positive context.” It is interesting Dr. Carson feels his “prison” explanation for homosexuality is a “positive” statement.

After his address to the National Prayer Breakfast, Dr. Carson was asked about his opinion on gay marriage. He said he believed in traditional marriage and “that no group has the right to change the definition of marriage to suit their needs.” He proceeded to mention NAMBLA and bestiality. Why? They are nontraditional sexual relationships he does not believe in.

Carson found “secular progressives” tried to “paint me as a homophobe who thinks that gay marriage is equivalent to bestiality.” Does Carson think so? “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he writes unconvincingly. He appeared in CNN and MSNBC to refute he made any such comparison.

Gay activists at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine charged Carson a homophobe and he withdrew as commencement speaker. Carson met with “some prominent members of the gay community at Johns Hopkins” and learned “bestiality is particularly abhorrent in the gay community and the mention of it evokes a very a very emotional response.”

It is shocking to me that Carson, who is 65 and an academic at Johns Hopkins University, has no gay friends with whom to discuss gay issues until he puts his foot in his mouth. Further, as a member of a minority he seemingly had no concerns for the lives of another minority groups, i.e. gays. Assuming Carson is a rational human being, why would he even imply or associate a relationship between gay people and bestiality? One reason could be he intended to make the association.

In a chapter on bigotry, Carson, after a lengthy section on religious bigotry, addresses homophobia-- in two paragraphs. Dr. Carson does not support gay bashing and he is thankful it is waning.

In his second paragraph, Dr. Carson observes that hate speech is being directed at those who don’t embrace the gay agenda. This is legacy bigotry language straight from the late GOP Senator Jesse Helms. I ought to know as Helms used it against me in 1994.

Carson does not include Helms in the index. I suspect because segregationist Helms is on record a few times using the N-word and calling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “a Communist,” though he lied about it in his memoir. Carson ought to be asked about his thoughts on Jesse Helms.

One Nation is heavy on religious messaging and the message that Ben Carson is retired and wants to make a contribution to politics. His life story of rising from poverty in Detroit to a remarkable 35-year medical career is inspiring.

The book lacks the inspiration of Carson’s life and his completely confusing, complicated, and chaotic understanding of the LGBT civil rights movement is hard to understand. Perhaps, Carson, as are other 2016 GOP presidential candidates, is evolving on LGBT issues. Based on this book and Carson’s “prison” explanation of homosexuality, he has a long evolution ahead of him.

Human Rights Advocate Jim Patterson is a writer, speaker, and lifelong diplomat for dignity for all people. In a remarkable life spanning the civil rights movement to today’s human rights struggles, he stands as a voice for the voiceless. A prolific writer, he documents history’s wrongs and the struggle for dignity to provide a roadmap to a more humane future. Learn more at

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At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOOOOOOOOOOO One expects the Carson Inquisition! Our chief weapon is lies, fear and lies; two chief weapons, fear, lies, and ruthless errancy! Er, among our chief weapons are: fear, lies, ruthless errancy, and near fanatical devotion to the Reagan! Um, I'll come in again...”


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