Tyler McArthur with Ben Carson

The author with Dr. Ben Carson at the 2014 Heritage Foundation President’s Club Meeting.

The first time I ever heard of Ben Carson was in 2012 when he came to speak at my university. He wasn’t a politician back then, just an accomplished but humble man with a hugely inspiring story to tell. I remember the example of his mother more than anything else from his speech. She was an illiterate, impoverished black woman who understood that “once you go on government benefits, you never go off them.” Her faith and hard work are what pushed Ben out of childhood poverty to become the successful person he is today.

Now he’s a potential presidential candidate. Just a week before he acknowledged his interest in running, Dr. Carson was at The Heritage Foundation’s annual President’s Club Meeting, where I had the chance to briefly chat with him. I left our conversation feeling like I had met an extraordinarily caring and kind, quiet, unassuming, and gentle person.

Later that night, he delivered the President’s Club Meeting keynote address. He spoke about political correctness, taxes, and healthcare — all issues close to the hearts of conservatives. But his sincerity and experience give his words added meaning. As a famous doctor, he knows exactly why he opposes Obamacare (and he has more than a few ideas on how to fix it). Because of his childhood experience in Detroit, he knows about poverty (and has some very good ideas about that too). And as a non-career politician, he says things in a way that you want to hear, without all the hedging and qualifying that so many political leaders employ today.

Whether or not he becomes the Republican nominee for president, Ben Carson’s frankness and integrity is a breath of fresh air in a political environment that is sometimes very toxic. At the very least, he has my respect and admiration.

The Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and does not endorse candidates or political parties. The views expressed herein are the author’s own. 

Comments (5)

Ginny Sand - November 12, 2014

Dr. Ben Carson is the kind of gifted leader who comes along once in a lifetime — the kind of unique individual that most of us doubted still existed. His story and message so resonate in our core that that he seems like a throwback to the quintessential American that Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about. His extraordinary life and accomplishments demonstrate that the miracle given to us by the Founding Fathers is somehow still alive, if not well. Mr. Smith, er, Dr. Carson is going to Washington just in time, as this country is on life supports and we need his talents STAT!

Bill Krell - November 14, 2014

I believe Dr. Ben Carson will be an inspiration to this country. I have mentioned his name to several folks but as yet no one has heard of him. I hope that changes rapidly.

Dean Hansen - November 14, 2014

Ben Carson is a good and Godly man. My wife and I have read one or more of his books. I believe that he would have strong voter appeal here in rural Nebraska.

John Clancy - November 16, 2014

Dr. Carson strikes me as a liberally educated man, liberal in the sense that John Henry Newman understood it, or Milt Friedman. His thinking tends to be wide and deep and yet he has a practical sense. He is truly a breath of fresh air, a much needed leader who sees evil and names it, the first step in overcoming it. Common sense is rare, but he speaks in straightforward terms, terms that are common, and, in the process, he is quick to point out how the left deceives with political correctness. America needs to listen to him.

Johann - November 17, 2014

I echo all the previous comments and strongly recommend and urge ALL Americans to read Dr. Carson’s book ONE NATION ” What we can all do to save America’s Future”. I feel that breath of fresh air right now.

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