Ben Carson is not having an easy time of it lately. The conservative darling has based his entire presidential campaign on his rags-to-riches story, but it turns out that much of it — from his allegedly violent past, to the disproved claims of his being robbed at a “Popeye’s organization,” to his admittedly false claims of a scholarship offer from West Point — appears to be false. It seems that Dr. Carson’s troubles aren’t over. He has also been accused of plagiarism, and the publisher of his book America the Beautiful, Harper Collins, responded to Buzzfeed, who originally pointed the dodgy passages out earlier. Firstly, the literary agent who handles Carson’s work said:
“If it is determined that additional citations or attribution are required, the appropriate revisions will be made in subsequent printings.”
Harper Collins Christian publishing said:
“We have been in contact with the author and agent and will work with them to review the given information.”
The deliciously ironic part of all of this isn’t the lies or the plagiarism itself. It’s the fact that America the Beautiful details an incident from Carson’s college days, in which he was caught plagiarizing, learned his lesson, and had some kind of religious and moral enlightenment experience (something Carson claims has happened many times in his life). Carson writes in the book:
“During my research for one of the papers in an advanced psychology course, I found some passages that seemed particularly appropriate, and I included them in my writing. I did not, however, indicate that this was the work of someone else; frankly, I had never even heard of the term plagiarism.”
He later speaks of how his already stellar morals became even more so after he and the teacher sat down to talk about why plagiarism is wrong:
“Even though I did not know the implications of plagiarism, I certainly should have known inherently that what I was doing was wrong. I had done it before without consequences and probably would have continued doing it if I had not been caught.”
Despite Carson’s claims of having found redemption and having ascended to a plane of higher morality, he had no qualms about doing again in his recent book, America the Beautiful, most notably from a right-wing site called Socialismsucks.net.
The place Carson chose to plagiarize from is downright disturbing, considering his lead in the Republican primary polls. Socialismsucks.net is a far right-wing conspiracy site that places President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, and other Democrats in a collage with Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, going on to depict the left’s efforts to rebuild the middle class, provide affordable healthcare, and protect Americans from Wall Street gambling as some kind of twisted Nazi plot to destroy our union:
Politicians such as Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons, and Al Gore were not the first to push for socialistic national health care schemes, political controls on wages and prices, and land grabs in the name of the “national good” or a phony “environmentalism”; far too many want to solve real or imagined problems by using government meddling (up to and including totalitarian tyranny) in peoples’ lives and in their businesses. The consequences have been tragic.
If this doesn’t doesn’t convince people that Ben Carson is not only certifiable, but dangerously so, nothing will. The idea that a candidate for President of the United States and leader of the free world not only frequents such a disturbing website, but also agrees with and likes what they have to say enough to actually lift their ideas and publish them as their own book is truly beyond the pale. The fact that he is using such questionable resources to hide his utter inability to understand high school level economic theories makes his candidacy incredibly dangerous, and his support even more disturbing.
This is just more evidence of Carson’s inability to do anything honestly. Brilliant neurosurgeon or not, he’s a pathological liar and a thieving plagiarist. All in all, this is just one more piece of evidence on an already heaping pile that proves that the likes of Ben Carson has no business being anywhere near the Oval Office.
Here are the plagiarized pieces:
Here is the passage written by Socialismsucks.net:
Anytime you give to government the responsibility and authority to provide government-made jobs, old-age financial security, “free” health care, and “free” education and indoctrination of children, it will control the lives of the people who live under its jurisdiction, and individual liberty and freedom of choice are sacrificed.
Sure, security is important — but anyone can find security from a prison warden. But, despite socialist promises, bureaucratic programs of the poltiical [sic] state cannot guarantee security anyway. Instead the socialist state uses its coercive powers to seize the wealth and properties of those who have earned financial security by their own hands. Socialism does not help poor people; rather, socialism makes people poor so that they have to become dependent on the socialist state and therefore beholden to those in charge of the government. Socialism is the ultimate exploitative monopoly. No competitors (market alternatives) are allowed. All major industries, including food, banking, transportation, communication, and insurance are owned and operated as state monopolies.
Socialism is a system of authoritarian political control over the individual by bureaucratic central planners — very similar to fascism or communism. Socialism promises to use the power of the political state to forcibly redistribute resources (peoples’ earnings) so that the basic needs of all will be met. To do this, power must be centralized in the hands of the political state. When government has power over the lives and properties of its citizens, the citizens have no freedom — only the meagre privileges the state programs may dole out to them. In practice, socialism’s redistribution of wealth ends up with bureaucrats doling out poverty and dependency on the state.
If government could give you everything you want, it must have the power to take everything you’ve got. This is the real agenda of socialism. It is the confiscation of property in the name of a “fairer” distribution of it. It is the total political institutionalization of violence and exploitation in the name of abolishing exploitation.
Sure, there are several different brands of socialism — at least as many types as there are would-be people-planners who wish to impose their plans to control the moral and economic lives of other people. But are you willing to surrender your precious liberties to a Socialist State which promises “security” for everyone or government-enforced equality? Isn’t this what Hitler and other socialists promised the German people in his Nazi (national socialist) platform — a country in which government guarantees security and “equality” in exchange for giving up individual freedom? Will Americans continue to fall for the same scam?
Socialism is an old dream. Some dreams are nightmares when put into practice.
And here is the piece from Carson’s book [emphasis on plagiarized pieces courtesy of Salon]:
In the previous chapter, we examined the enormous benefits to our country and to the world of an economic system (capitalism) that encourages innovation, hard work, and entrepreneurship. Now, after examining the pros and cons of socialism, we have seen mostly negative effects, even in terms of its lauded compassionate components, which seem good at first glance, but reveal disincentives to work and fiscal irresponsibility in the long run. Because we live in a free and open society, those who advocate socialism are free to do so, but for the well-read individual, it is easy to discern the agenda of the socialists and how they are implementing that agenda in an attempt to bring fundamental change to America. The agenda? Total government control. For jobs, income, you name it. Anytime you give to government the responsibility and authority to provide government-made jobs, old-age financial security, “free” health care, and “free” education and indoctrination of children, it will control the lives of the people who live under its jurisdiction, and individual liberty and freedom of choice are sacrificed.
Sure, there are several different brands of socialism — at least as many types as there are would-be people-planners who wish to impose their plans to control the moral and economic lives of other people. But are you willing to surrender your precious liberties to a socialist state which promises “security” for everyone and government-enforced equality? Isn’t this what Hitler and other socialists promised the German people in his Nazi (national socialist) platform — a country in which government guarantees security and “equality” in exchange for giving up individual freedom? Will Americans fall for the same scam?
Since Americans are by nature individualistic and entrepreneurial, by definition, then, the socialist program is anti-American, to say nothing of totalitarian.
Socialism is an old dream. Some dreams are nightmares when put into practice.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.