Dr. Ben Carson is the most articulate, intelligent, thoughtful candidate (for any office) I can recall. His calm, measured responses in the recent debate are indicative of this. His inspiring life story reflects the higher qualities of the American dream, and increasing numbers of voters find him a breath of fresh air in the political arena. He is the anti-politician we claim to admire.
Yet the qualities that make him a valid candidate for leadership are the arguments some use against his success. In our current culture, his greatest strengths might become his greatest liabilities. I say this as no criticism of Dr. Carson, but of our culture.
The same public that continually complains about career politicians winning repeated elections by spending the most money, repeatedly elects career politicians with the most money. They choose style over substance, and rhetoric over thoughtful discourse. They question if Carson is too “nice,” “talks too slowly,” “isn’t political enough,” or (perish the thought) “makes too much sense” to be president. At what point did leadership qualities disqualify from leadership?
I am not endorsing Dr. Carson, but consider this. If we are ever to be free from the type leaders we claim to deplore, shouldn’t we at least be willing to consider someone who models the characteristics we need? BECAUSE of those characteristics? If so, now is as good a time as any.
Will the voters, while professing admiration for the man, continue electing the very politicians they bemoan? Or, counter to conventional wisdom, will they elect a candidate based on character rather than flair? That remains to be seen. Personally, I never underestimate the foolishness of the American electorate.
It’s said that we get the leaders we deserve. If so, and someone like Dr. Carson doesn’t win, it will be because he’s the kind of leader we need, but not the kind we deserve.