The most recent polls for the Grand Old Party nomination have billionaire Donald Trump and famed surgeon Ben Carson leading with Jeb Bush still set in third place. Many political pundits and journalists have gone to social media, the television and others to rationalize an apparent strange phenomenon: two non-politicians storming to the front lines of American conservative politics to project their ideal future for this country.
One is a misinformed braggadocio who proposes to build a huge wall on our southern border and have Mexico pay for it. He thinks he will have Russia and China respect him because right now we are not respected. He has laid out a tax plan which most are saying will cost this country trillions of dollars. He will give us free health care. He will do all of this, and make America great again. Guess who? Donald Trump. He is our first contestant and a well-known one. He hates politicians and does not even want the job. The reason he is so selflessly doing his duty, is not for fame, but because we need him.
The other is the smooth talking surgeon who is most famous for his undeniably impressive accomplishment back in 1987 when he was the first surgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head. His rise started back in 2013, when at the National Prayer Breakfast he was highly critical of President Obama. After that the history books were written, and Dr. Carson went down in conservative folklore. Ever since, Carson has waged the war on PC culture. He accomplishes this by comparing Obamacare to slavery and equating homosexuals to pedophiles and “practitioners of bestiality.” Anyone in the media who criticizes this, Dr. Carson immediately calls out for misquoting him or being too politically correct. Does Dr. Carson not know the difference between political correctness and being a bigot? No, he does not. Just recently he said that Muslims who do not reject their faith should not be the president. He says Islam is incompatible with the Constitution. No, Carson, your beliefs are not compatible with the Constitution. As it explicitly states, “We shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Now I’d like to go over his views on science. As a doctor, one of the most celebrated and respected surgeons in the country, if not the world, he should be a strong supporter of scientific literacy and education, correct? False. Dr. Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist, believes that the Earth was created in six days, in which god rested on the seventh. He denies evolution and said in an interview with Adventist Review that, “Ultimately, if you accept the evolutionary theory, you dismiss ethics, you don’t have to abide by a set of moral codes, you determine your own conscience based on your own desires.” Now, to the millions of people who do not deny the science of evolutionary biology, this can be insulting. Especially to our intellect, when 97 percent of scientists say that evolution is true. Dr. Carson also denies the Big Bang Theory, which Lawrence Krauss discussed in his very astute criticisms of Dr. Carson denial of science, in The New Yorker.
The worst thing in an anti-science party or candidate is their refusal to accept the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is having no serious effect on our planet and that humanity can do nothing to stop it. This is possibly the only area where we need unified support to battle the incoming and already sustained effects of the warming of our planet. This is why we must be scientifically literate as a society. Dr. Carson is a very smart man, but he is no scientist. This puts us in the position to vote not for someone who rejoices in anti-intellectualism, but instead someone who will stand up for science and humanity. It is up to us to vote for the right candidate. That’s what an informed electorate does.
Dr. Carson and Donald Trump are in fact politicians, whether they want to admit to it or not. They prey on our people’s baser instincts instead of doing what is right. They will not be the ones who make America great again, no matter how many hats they make or how many times they insult the media and the government. I am for reform and progress, but there is none with this lot.
Mark Kobzik is a junior majoring in English/Journalism.