In Defense of Hugh Hewitt and Ben Carson

Last night, the crowd booed Hugh Hewitt for a question he asked of Ben Carson regarding the less glamorous side of war. In an exchange with Carson on engaging in the Middle East, he asked if Carson is okay with killing “thousands of kids” rather than using drone strikes to take out the enemy in limited strikes. Carson, who made his name in medicine by being a pediatric neurosurgeon, didn’t seem too flustered, but the crowd sure was.

Perhaps the phrasing of Hewitt’s question was a bit too harsh, or perhaps a bit simple given the various factors involved in engaging in warfare, but the underlying point – that there are unintended casualties in war – is a good question to ask of someone whose life prior to running for president has been all about saving people.

Carson has gone through this entire campaign by insisting on talking softly and refusing to carry a big stick. As a result, we’re not too sure what will actually happen when it becomes time to do the job he has to do. He talks well, appeals to evangelicals, and while he has been trending downward, I don’t think what he represents is a bad thing. He’s shown us that an outsider candidate doesn’t have to be bombastic or obnoxious. He clearly has the passion to be in this campaign. But, what will his passion be with regard to doing things as president that require doing, no matter the ugly cost?

Carson, for his part, answered the question about as well as anyone could. Like I said, the question wasn’t very gracefully presented. But it is one that any presidential candidate should have to answer. If you can’t answer it, regardless of your stance on the issue, then you should not be in the primary. Hewitt was right to discuss the subject, and Carson answered the question well.