Ben Carson, the world famous pediatric neurosurgeon, now known in political circles for his advocacy of conservative principles, has announced his bid for the 2016 Republican nomination for President. In a tweet sent out today, Carson stated his intentions:
Dr. Carson is a revered figure amongst the many patients and families whom he has helped, black families who admire his rise from the streets of Detroit to the top of his field as a much heralded brain surgeon, as well as a growing coalition of conservatives for his calm, reserved demeanor and strong value system.
His inspirational autobiography, “Gifted Hands” describes his ascension from a broken family to the pinnacle of an intense medical specialty which even the best and brightest cannot easily achieve. For the past 20 years, teachers and parents have encouraged disadvantaged children to read his story; today, conservatives outside of the political world see Carson as their champion — an intellectual social conservative.
The famously soft spoken Carson stated Thursday at the recent CPAC conference,
“If you’re white and you oppose a progressive black person, you’re a racist. If you’re black and you oppose the progressive agenda, you’re crazy.”
By the time he was 8, his parents had divorced, leaving his illiterate mother to raise him and his older brother Curtis. Carson’s mother, Sonya, who had only a third grade education, insisted that her sons read two books and watch no more than three TV shows per week. Carson went on to graduate third in his high school class and won an academic scholarship to Yale University, where he majored in psychology.
When Carson arrived at the top ranked Johns Hopkins Hospital as a neurosurgery resident in 1977, he said that he was sometimes mistaken for an orderly, who were often the only black hospital employees at the time.
The late Dr. John Freeman, an internationally renowned Johns Hopkins pediatric neurologist, wrote of Carson in his self-published memoir.
“He could walk into the patient’s room the evening before surgery, meet the parents for the first time, speak to them for a few minutes, and it was as if God had entered the room.” Freeman went on to say that Carson is one of the very few individuals that I can honestly say ‘walks on water.’”
Carson’s caseload was enormous for a neurosurgeon, operating on 400 patients per year. What’s more astonishing was the challenging nature of his cases: He dealt with the most feeble patients, with the most severe conditions imaginable. He gained national notoriety when he successfully separated twins conjoined at the cranium in 1987, a feat which had never been accomplished previously.
Since retiring from his position as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, Carson’s star has risen amongst those who have felt abandoned by today’s political class. His intellect, combined with a certain calm eloquence, and no nonsense Christian values make him a favorite amongst social conservatives. At a recent Tea Party Conference in SC, he came in 4th in a straw poll, besting possible Presidential opeful, Jeb Bush.
Carson first turned many political heads at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, at which he cooly lambasted proressive taxation and the Affordable Healthcare Act, all while President Obama looked on from 10 feet away.