I have about as much respect for Dr. Ben Carson as I do for any prominent person in the world today.
I’ve interviewed him extensively and found almost no area of disagreement with his views.
I respected the campaign he ran for the presidency this year and was disappointed that he didn’t get more support.
But, his advice to Donald Trump to apologize for questioning whether Barack Obama was constitutionally eligible for the office of the presidency was just plain wrong.
It was part of a trap laid by CNN’s Jake Tapper, a good reporter and good Democrat, who knows how to sow division within the opposition with a good question.
“Do you think it’s time for Donald Trump to acknowledge that all that birther nonsense was a mistake and to apologize so that African-American voters, to whom he’s reaching out, might be more willing to listen to his message?” he asked in an interview last week.
The correct answer to that question is: “What do you mean by ‘all that birther nonsense’?”
A smart person in the public eye needs to know how to deflect a hostile question by making the one asking define his terms.
That was Dr. Carson’s first mistake.
The second was answering the question the way he did: “I think that would be a good idea.” He went on to fall right into the trap of accepting the premise that concerns about Obama’s eligibility equate with racism by saying both Democrats and Republicans should push “all the hate and rancor out of the way” in this campaign.
How is that true?
Who believes support from black voters hinges in any way on this question?
Who believes that Donald Trump or anyone else who raised the question of Obama’s constitutional eligibility did so because they were motivated by racism?
How is the so-called “birther issue” even relevant with Obama’s term ending Jan. 20, 2017, and the American people faced with a choice between two candidates – both of whom questioned Obama’s eligibility, the first being Hillary’s campaign in 2008?
And how in the world does Dr. Carson’s answer help defeat Hillary Clinton, which I know is his priority?
It’s very strange and disappointing.
The left seeks always to divide and conquer. Dr. Carson knows this, but he fell right into a carefully set trap.
The fact remains there were and are legitimate questions about Obama’s constitutional eligibility that have been swept under the rug – one more part of our nation’s foundation of the rule of law chipped away forever.
It was done just through this kind of gotcha, sound-bite journalism by what Rush Limbaugh calls “the drive-by media.”
If the term “drive-by media” were in the dictionary (and it probably should be), you would see a YouTube video illustrating how it works with this question from Jack Tapper and this answer by the normally quick-on-his-feet and brilliant Dr. Carson.
But, on this one, Tapper hit the bull’s-eye, and Dr. Carson was the victim.
It’s tempting when talking to the so-called “mainstream media” to try to sound ever-so-reasonable – to try to find common ground and play the part of the misunderstood “conservative.” It’s what has turned a Republican majority in Congress, the most powerful branch of the federal government, into a group of quivering, spineless, politically worthless and neutered quislings.
Dr. Carson is a national hero, a gutsy fighter for truth and justice. He’s also a great surgeon. But his diagnosis on the motivation of those who pressed the issue of Obama’s constitutional eligibility is just plain wrong.