A New York Times/CBS News poll has Ben Carson now leading Donald Trump in the GOP presidential contest. Apparently all somebody had to do to edge out Trump was to sink to his level and then keep going, by spewing even more extreme and bigoted positions!
For example, here are just a few of the things Carson has gotten press for over the last few weeks:
- He compared abortion to slavery — and women who have abortions to slaveholders — and reiterated his belief that all abortions should be banned, even in cases of rape and incest.
- He said he thought someone who is Muslim should not be president because that person’s religious beliefs are not “consistent with the Constitution,” despite the Constitution’s explicit rejection of religious tests for office.
- He blamed the Holocaust on gun control, saying that if not for Hitler confiscating guns, Germans — Jews and non-Jews alike –would have fought back against his plans for genocide.
- He also blamed the victims of the Oregon mass shooting for not attacking the shooter, saying HE “would not just stand there and let him shoot me.”
The reason Carson’s rise amidst these controversial comments is so important is because it shows that the more hateful and detached from reality a candidate appears, the more the far-right base will favor him.
Make no mistake — the demagogues of the Religious Right and the Tea Party are a problem, but base voters they are so eager to please with wild internet-fueled conspiracy theories and naked bigotry are arguably the bigger problem.
A September poll from Public Policy Polling found that 54 percent of Republican voters believe the president is a Muslim. Let that sink in.
This isn’t just benign wackiness that’s confined to Republican nominating contests, it’s a SIGNIFICANT chunk of the American electorate. And it’s the people who represent those views who are now IN CHARGE of Congress and fighting to get into the White House!
Rep. Paul Ryan looks all set to come in as the new Speaker of the House — and there’s a faction of House Republicans who are accusing this rigidly anti-choice, Medicare-slashing Ayn Rand fanboy of being “too moderate!”
And whoever the eventually wins the GOP nomination for president, we know he or she will be one of the most right-wing candidates, pursuing one of the most extreme right-wing agendas, ever.
The GOP lives to serve its base. Let’s not forget exactly who is in charge. Ben Carson’s rise is a good reminder.
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For much, much more on Ben Carson’s radical views, check out RightWingWatch.org.
Here are some particularly off-the-wall examples: