In Ben Carson Republicans have found a candidate who truly makes George W. Bush look like an intellectual giant, and yet another representative of a right-wing cultures in which belief is more important than knowledge.
In May, I wrote a post titled “Ben Carson’s 13 Craziest Beliefs,” , which proved far more popular than I ever expected. It wasn’t hard to compile a baker’s dozen of Carson’s more astounding statements. In fact, I had a hard time keeping the number down to 13.
Every time I thought I’d done enough research Carson spouted more insanity. He seemed an endless font of the stuff, to the point that it was frightening to remember that this guy used to operate on people’s brains. It was even more frightening to consider that Carson has surged to front of the GOP presidential pack. Scarier still is that with every new revelation of some off-the-wall Carson belief or statement, his popularity among the GOP base only grows — along with donations to his campaign.
Here are 13 more of Ben Carson’s craziest beliefs.
1. The pyramids of Egypt were built for grain storage, not storage for dead Pharaohs.
“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain,” he told students, according to the video posted.
Man, the Discovery channel has some explaining to do. At least according to Carson who bases his “theory” on his particular reading of the bible and the story of Joseph (famous for his amazing technicolor dream coat, you’ll recall). Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph went on to become Pharaoh’s top aide. (Carson also admired Joseph for being “the best slave he could be.”) He told Pharaoh of a dream he had that famine would come to Egypt, and advised him on grain storage to see Egypt through the crisis.
So, Joseph builds huge pyramids to store grain? There are a couple of problems with Carson’s “theory.” First, according to John C. Darnell, Professor of Egyptology at Yale, Josephs story is set during Egypt’s Middle Kingdom — five centuries after the pyramids of Giza were built. Second, the ancient Egyptians already knew how to build granaries that that required far less resources and time to build than the pyramids. By Joseph’s time, they’d long had a practice of storing surpluses of grain for hard times to come. Joseph probably just did it on a larger scale.
The idea that the pyramids were built as granaries went out sometime around the Middle ages, but that didn’t stop Carson from doubling down on it, when asked about recently.
2. Making a rap video will convince more African-Americans to support him.
You hear Carson say at the end, “I’m Ben Carson, and I approved this message,” but when it hit the airwaves to overwhelmingly negative reception Carson was quick to blame it on his young staffers.
What’s worse than a rap that tries to rhyme “Carson” with “awesome”? Thinking that the key to reaching African-American youth is to set the same old rhetoric to a lame rap beat, without addressing any of the issues that are important to African-Americans, like police violence, criminal justice reform, discrimination, racial inequality, the school-to–prison pipeline, etc.
Carson compares himself with Barack Obama more and more often lately. In this case, he’d do well to remember that Obama managed to reach out to African-American youth without releasing a rapping campaign ad. He didn’t need one.
3. Rape and incest victims who seek abortions are like slave owners.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked him: “Just clarify, if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would six million Jews have been slaughtered?”
Carson replied: “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed … I’m telling you that there is a reason that these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
Carson was being interviewed about his new book, A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties, in which he points to Nazi Germany to argue against gun control.
6. Government would be more efficient if government workers spied on each other.
In other words, instead of shrinking the government, Carson would expand it by establishing an agency that would direct government workers to spy on each other. He also proposed a “citizens council” of 300 people that would represent the interest of “ordinary citizens.” How membership in that council would be decided — election, appointment, etc. — or how it would differ from Congress is anybody’s guess.
7. President Obama is fostering a “race war” in an effort to “destroy society.”
In an interview for the conservative Iowa blog Caffeinated Thoughts, Carson claimed the president Obama uses his “bully pulpit” to foster “race wars,” in an effort to “destroy society.”
“No, I think I would use the bully pulpit to help people realize what we have in common rather than what separates us,” Carson responded. “What it’s been used for for the last several years is to create wars: a war on women, race wars, any kind of anything involving people of two different races, income wars, always class warfare, religious wars now, age wars. You know, these are exactly the kinds of things you want to do when you want to destroy a society, not when you want to bring people together.”
10. There’s a war on “what’s inside of women, but not a war on women.”
At a campaign event at the Arkansas Capitol, Cason said Democrats were wrong to say that Republicans were waging a “war on women.” “There is no war on women,” Carson said. “There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country.”
11. Liberal speech on college campuses should be policed.
During an interview with radio host Dana Loesch, Carson said that as president he would task the Department of Education with monitoring and punishing examples of “extreme political bias” on college and university campuses. Carson also explained that conservatives would not be targeted by his Orwellian speech monitoring.
12. America would be Cuba if it wasn’t for Fox News.