This year’s presidential race is interesting and unusual to say the least! There are 17 GOP candidates, three of whom have never held political office. Donald Trump has stirred a movement in the country that has seldom been seen. He leads the field. His rise to the top was not based upon his commitment to defeating ISIS. It has not been based upon his plan for getting our nation out of the current debt crisis. It has been based on his rhetoric relating to illegal immigration in the country.
I have the utmost respect for Mr. Trump. He is obviously a marketing genius, a real estate guru and a deal maker extraordinaire. Pundits wonder how he has stayed on top for so long, each predicting his decline. Listening to political commentators, I sense that they just don’t understand that the electorate is fed up with professional politicians, are ready for change and are starving for action. People love Trump’s rhetoric because it is in your face and disrespectful of political elites.
I have to believe, however, that another non-politician is a better choice. Ben Carson is all that people love about Trump but even more.
Carson has been publicaly railing against political correctness since his key note speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast where he spoke of the danger of President Obama’s direction for our country, with the President sitting just 6 feet away. In the same speech he warned of the danger of political correctness to our nation’s future.
Is Dr. Carson a marketing genius? I suspect not. Donald Trump has made his name a household word over time. Do we need our president to be a marketing genius? I can’t see any reason why we would. Carson, who’s name recognition is about 50%, has developed awareness one speech at a time as grass roots people hear what he has to say and embrace it enthusiastically.
Trump’s arrogance is unapologetic. His lack of respect for others, particularly those he disagrees with is not only obvious, it is wielded with pride. Carson understands that a leader must be the leader of all, and as such it is important that he listens to people of every philosophy. It is not that he is willing to give up his principles but that when he listens to and understand others, he can lead them more effectively. Not only is Carson not arrogant, he is only in the presidential race because grass-roots voters drafted him through an ongoing effort of encouragement and support.
Donald Trump’s art of ‘making the deal’ is impressive but is that what we need from our President? I think not. Ben Carson’s incredible leadership skills were recognized early in his career when he was tapped, at 33 years of age to be the youngest division leader in the history of Johns Hopkins Medical Center. He demonstrated his effectiveness by leading teams of typically strong-willed professionals in complex projects at the leading edge of medical capabilities. That is what we need from our President, someone who hears what others have to say, treats them with respect and draws them along toward the necessary objective.
While it feels good to listen to Donald Trump put down the political establishment, I wonder if his temperament is what our country needs in a President. What we really need is a leader who has a strong back-bone and yet is confident enough to let others express their point of view. I don’t want my president to be a person who lashes out when someone makes his life difficult, as Trump did after the first debate, complaining that he got harder questions than others. Dr. Carson and other candidates got difficult questions that were potentially embarrassing, and yet nobody else complained, spewed hateful comments or hurled childish insults toward the moderators. Not only did the Donald seem to take “difficult questions” personally, he now seems obsessed with trying to damage Megyn Kelly’s reputation. He keeps bringing her up weeks after the debate with no reason to do so. If a person can’t “let it go” is it a good idea to make him commander and chief of the world’s greatest military with nukes at his disposal? We need a leader who is even-keeled and can handle the ups and downs of leading the free world with dignity and professionalism.
Dr. Carson is a man who has dealt with life and death decisions on a regular basis throughout his life. He has handled more stress than any other candidate has even contemplated. At that, he remains a humble man with strong principles and is committed to doing what is needed to pull the United States of America back from the brink of financial and cultural disaster. We have spent the past 7 years with a narcissist in the White House. I have no desire to put another into the Oval Office, even if it is someone with conservative objectives. I want my President to be a leader of nations, not a name-calling bully.
I hope and pray that all who are so excited about Donald Trump will think through the next 4-8 years. Ben Carson is a leader who has a comprehensive plan for the US from foreign policy to immigration to fiscal policy. I hope they will look at Dr. Carson as a more favorable alternative: one who has the same characteristics that people like about Trump, but will be a more effective leader.