Diary

Ben Carson: A good man without solid political principles

Ben Carson is a good man. He is, in fact, an American success story.

Carson has never held political office. He is relatively new to the political world. Based on what I have seen from him, Carson does not seem to have a principled political foundation beneath him.

A solid political worldview is essential. It is more important than personal experience and virtues. Those who vote for people are misguided; what counts is what the candidate believes and what they stand for.

I do not believe that Carson has immersed himself in the lessons of the Founders and the other great classically liberal political thinkers of the past. I don’t believe he has read works from the great free market economists, whether they be from the Austrian or Chicago schools.

What else could explain Carson’s unprincipled, unfounded comments that keep making news?

Asked by Glenn Beck whether people have the Second Amendment right to own semi-automatic weapons, Carson responded by saying:

“It depends on where you live. I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people, and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it.”

What this answer reveals is that Ben Carson did not and/or does not understand the fundamental meaning behind the Second Amendment. It reveals that he accepted the premises of the gun-grabbers. And so did his “clarification” of his response, in which he endorsed dangerous “smart gun” technology.

Asked by John Harwood whether the federal minimum wage should be raised, Carson responded by saying:

“I think, probably, it should be higher than now.” “I don’t necessarily blame people for saying, ‘Look, I can stay home and make this money, or I can go and work this little chicken job that doesn’t have many benefits,’ ” he said.

“However, recognize that if you go and take that chicken job, you gain skills, relationships, the possibility of moving up the ladder. So a year or two or five down the road, you’re no longer in that position. This is what people have forgotten.

This response demonstrates that Carson hasn’t learned free market economics 101. Again, he is accepting the wrong premises, this time from the economic progressives. Also, it shows he hasn’t read the Constitution. There is no provision allowing for a national minimum wage in Article 1, Section 8.

And in yet another economic lapse, Carson recently pandered to Iowa farmers when he said:

“Therefore, I would probably be in favor of taking that $4 billion a year we spend on oil subsidies and using that in new fueling stations” for 30 percent ethanol blends, he added.

We can’t have candidates going around endorsing government preferences in the energy market. What Carson should have said was that he was in favor of ending all subsidies and allowing consumers to choose what they please. Again, another indication he knows nothing about free market economics.

To reiterate, we should not seek to elect a man and his personality. Positions matter, and principles matter. Unfortunately, Ben Carson is trying to “think” and “feel” his way through the primary. That simply is not going to cut it.