IRON STONE, OKLAHOMA — Dr. Ben Carson is a neurosurgeon and also a 2016 Republican contender. Depending on the poll you look at, you might find him either ahead of billionaire Donald Trump, or trailing by a margin of error-like number. In an effort to sound as presidential as possible, Carson’s campaign says he’s been doing more and more radio interviews, including one he did recently for a show on XM Satellite radio in which he said that certain “lifestyles” hold more value than others; a comment that will cause backlash in some communities.
“We have got to stop paying attention to the ‘p.c. police,’ who say every lifestyle is exactly of the same value,” Dr. Carson told the show’s host, insisting that, “No, it’s not of the same value. It is very clear that intact, traditional families with traditional, intact values do much better in terms of raising children. So let’s stop pretending that everything is of equal value.” Though some have criticized Carson roundly for his remarks, at a press conference held just after he finished a rally in Oklahoma, Carson clarified and doubled-down on his sentiments.
“I’m just saying that if you hold all the same religious, political, and cultural beliefs I do, then I consider you worth a certain amount,” Carson told reporters. However, he said, “If you don’t completely agree with everything” he believes in, “you’re worth less.” Carson said that no one should be offended by this remark because “it’s just good common sense” to “discriminate against people based on your perception of their values.”
One reporter asked Carson if he meant to imply that members of the LGBT community weren’t eligible to receive the same battery of civil liberties as the rest of the country. “I’m not saying gay couples can’t get married or adopt,” Carson replied, adding, “I mean, clearly society would be better off with all those unwanted children staying in orphanages until they age out of the system, and of course gay couple getting married is an abomination and an affront to the one, true, clean, American God, but hey, all I’m saying is that your life is worth less than a traditional, Christian family.”
When reporters asked Carson how he could square his beliefs with the letter and intent of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, Carson threw his hands up in the universal “I don’t know” gesture. Written and ratified in the wake of the Civil War, in concert with the 13th amendment, the 14th ensures that no other race will be enslaved either literally or figuratively by forcing any law written in the country to be applied equally to all citizens, regardless of birth, gender, race, and in recent years, sexual orientation. “Clearly the intent of the 14th has been corrupted by activist judges and liberals,” Carson finally said, “because how can anyone think that the notion of all humans being treated the same under the law squares with the American values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Carson asked rhetorically, adding that “everyone knows” that “only conservative values are protected under the Constitution,” citing the “appendix of the damn thing.”
Carson said families like the Duggars and Sarah Palin’s brood are “the exact kinds of American patriotic families” that people should look to emulate. “Bristol is so anti-abortion that she gets pregnant with a new guy every couple years, and if anything is more pro-family than sexing around with your family, then I guess the Duggars are just out of luck,” Dr. Carson stated.
When reporters asked Dr. Carson if he felt there was anything odd about a man whose own skin tone would have made him property during the slavery era, and a separate but equal victim of Jim Crow laws insisting that anyone’s life or lifestyle is more valuable than another’s, Carson just stared blankly into space for a full thirty seconds. “That’s a gotcha question,” Carson finally said, “and I’m not falling for it. You think you can just be so clever and point out the bald-faced hypocrisy and shocking irony of someone like me implying that other people should be treated as second class citizens, but it’s not going to work. I’m smarter than you, as proven by my belief that there should be no rules of war in combat, and that stuffing tree bark up your colon can cure cancer.”