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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Is Volume The Only Difference Between Carson And Trump?

Two of the leading candidates who are trying to win the Republican Party's nomination to run for the office of  President for the 2016 elections are Dr. Ben Carson and Donald Trump. These two candidates share some similarities  First, neither one is a professional politician. But more important than that, both describe themselves in self-aggrandizing ways from Trump's I built that salespitch regarding his economic empire to Carson's apparently character first description of how he grew up including the enticing offers he has brushed aside to pursue more noble goals. 

But what is paired with the claims of both are overly simplistic approaches to some of today's issues. And sometimes, these proposals are not just naive, they can pose great dangers to the rest of us. For example, listen to how Carson describes how we should interact with Putin and Russia (click here for Charlie Rose's interview with Ben Carson). Regarding American-Russian relations, Carson does more than to just suggest that we should arm Russia's closest neighbors with nuclear weapons and missile defense systems. Here, we might want to consider how our government and people would react to Russia arming Central American nations with the same. In addition, he seems to forget that when ballistic missile defense systems were being proposed for Eastern European nations, top military leaders in Russia threated to strike back with the use of tactical nuclear weapons. He also said that he would tell Russia that they cannot define a no-fly zone over Syria because we were there first. In actuality, Russia was in Syria long before we were. After all, Russia has been a major arms supplier to Syria long before the civil war started there.

In short, Carson says that we should not "back down" to Russian aggression in the world. Here, it's as if Carson's medical education squeezed out his memory of the Cuban missile crisis when we came so very close to a global nuclear war because Kennedy took a somewhat less virulent, but similar, approach to Khrushchev.

Likewise, Carson shows no real understanding of the TPP. For in that agreement, it is established that corporations can sue governments, but turnabout is not allowed. What could happen with the TPP is an expanded version of what is happening around the world with the WTO. For example, the WTO is now threatening to place sanctions on the U.S. because of some of the consumer warning labels that currently exist on products.

On the other hand, we have Trump's promise to balance the budget while cutting almost everyone's taxes, along with his claim that not only can he build a border wall on the Mexican border, he will get Mexico to pay for it. Such show more examples of a kind of thinking that is overly simplistic. Here, Trump makes no mention of why people from Mexico and some other Latin American nations migrate here. Many people migrate because of conditions forced on their own nation by U.S. interventions and trade policies. Also, Trump promises to stop travel to the U.S. by Muslim foreigners until the government he leads has figured things out.

Now some are making the mistake of underestimating both Carson's and Trump's political abilities by listening to their positions on today's issues. For the sometimes malignant naivity they show in their stance on certain issues distracts us from seeing why they are succeeding in the polls--we should note here that their performance has yet to be measured by counting votes. So why are they currently succeeding?

So far, Trump and Carson are playing to the Republican base--that is to social and religious conservatives. And here, we should note that conservatives tend to embrace, sometimes passionately so,  authoritarianism. Now these conservatives certainly do not have a monopoly on authoritarianism, but their emphasis on traditional values and their reliance on their understanding of our nation's Founding Fathers promotes their own special brand of it. We should also note that truth for authoritarians tends to be more determined by the credentials of source(s) involved than on the facts and logic of positions being proposed. So both Carson and Trump are putting more time into highlighting their credentials than in learning about and truly understanding today's problems. And many conservative voters are content with that. These voters simply want to vote for a person they can trust because such allows them to return back to living life normally. Thus, Carson's and Trump's campaigns, at this point in time, are not only succeeding, they are very similar.

However, there is a significant difference in their campaigns as well, and that is due to a difference one should expect to exist between an I built that self-promotion versus the character first one. While one candidate's self-promotion is way too loud, the other one's self-promotion is just one or two notches above mute. This makes volume the only difference between the campaigns of Donald Trump and that of Dr. Ben Carson. 

BTW, below are fact check sites for both candidates

  1. The fact check website for Ben Carson (click here)
  2. The fact check website for Donald Trump (click here)

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