The end of Dr. Ben Carson’s
presidential campaign elaborate book tour unfortunately did not mean an end to Carson’s involvement in the Republican primary race. Following in the calculating and self-serving footsteps of also-ran Gov. Chris Christie before him, Carson discarded what few principles he had left and endorsed Donald Trump to win the nomination, in an obviously play for personal gain and political influence that could be dredged out of whatever remains of the Republican Party. He confirmed as much today when he announced that Trump had promised him a position in his “administration” should he win the election, “certainly in an advisory capacity…we haven’t handled out all the details but it is very important that we work together in this country … Again, I’m not going to reveal any details about it right now because all of this is still very liquid.”
It is a puzzling move on the part of the eternally nonsensical Carson, who promptly abandoned the millions of black Americans who admired for his achievements as a surgeon by endorsing Trump, which in itself is an endorsement of the bigotry and discrimination against minorities that characterizes the Trump campaign. It also makes one question his judgement once again, considering that Trump one compared him to a “child molester” and called him a pathological liar.
Given Carson’s well-demonstrated ignorance of the laws of the United States, it should come as no surprise that he may not have understood that his endorsement in exchange for a position, apart from being appalling from a moral standpoint, is also potentially illegal.
18 U.S. Code § 599 states that “whoever, being a candidate, directly or indirectly promises or pledges the appointment, or the use of his influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”
Accusations of being a opportunistic Uncle Tom who has abandoned his commitment to anything but his own personal gain have dogged Carson throughout his “campaign.” He has blatantly reinforced negative stereotypes about African-Americans with his bizarre and fabricated stories about his childhood aggression and purported violence. He delegimitizes the very real concerns of race in regards to police brutality and social discrimination, asking blacks to “de-emphasize race and emphasize respect for each other” while calling the Black Lives Matter movement “silly” and “sickening bullies.” He even hired known racist and Jim Crow advocate Charles W. Pickering to be his Mississippi campaign chair and compared women who abort the babies of their rapists to “slave owners.”
He is a traitor of the most despicable kind in a time of deep racial tension; instead of using his position of prominence in the Republican Party as the sole African-American candidate to provoke a real discussion on race in his party, he continually laid down and spouted the FOX News version of racial relations in America, consistently portraying black Americans to second-class citizens addicted to welfare and entitlements despite the public safety net’s critical role in his own successes and heavily implied that the systematic repression of black Americans in this country is due to their own moral deficiency. If it wasn’t clear enough before, this announcement proves that he is a man of no principles and no conscience.
Colin Taylor is the 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.