For more than a few months many campaign experts and pundits have been trying to figure out how and why semi-prominent surgeon and political nut-boy Ben Carson has been doing so well in the Republican race for president. He has maintained healthy numbers in the polls and seems locked into a strong second place position in a field of candidates where experience and common sense are viewed as huge liabilities.
But it wasn’t until last week that Carson managed to prove he has lost more than a few shingles off his roof. Ben has his own space program going and he’s out there on the fringe talking nonsense in a soft, nonthreatening manner that is quite similar to the voice level heard among so many sitting sadly by themselves today in Day Rooms of mental institutions, off in a corner, wearing paper slippers, slowly eating apple sauce, unaware that nobody is listening.
Somewhat incredibly though, a small percentage of people are listening to Gentle Ben. And he is indeed running for president of the United States. And each day he takes the field and gives new meaning to crazy.
A few days ago, Ben was asked about the latest mass shooting on a college campus in Oregon where nine died because a mentally deranged young guy had 14 guns and no girlfriend. WWBD: What would Ben do?
“I’m glad you asked that question,” one of the two leading presidential candidates of the Republican Party replied. “because not only would I not probably not co-operate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.’”
And there it is. Ben is clearly a movie buff.
Ben probably saw himself as Little Bill in Unforgiven who was confronted by William Munny in a saloon showdown. Little Bill was a bad-ass sheriff, a bully who had beaten to death Munny’s only friend, Ned, and hung the body outside the saloon.
In the scene that perhaps excited Ben, Little Bill is promising free drinks and prattling an empty-headed moron, a guy the crowd listens to because he’s wearing a badge. Little Bill is surprised though as Munny arrives, rifle in hand and shoots the skinny bar owner. Then Little Bill and William Munny confront one another.
“Well, sir, “ Little Bill says, “You are a cowardly son of a bitch because you have just shot down an unarmed man.”
“He should have armed himself if he was gonna’ decorate his saloon with the body of my friend,” Munny tells Little Bill.
At that moment, Little Bill seems to recognize Munny and says, “I guess you are Three-Fingered Jack out of Missouri, killer of women and children,” And Munny tells him, “I have done that…killed women and children. I have killed most everything that walks or crawls and now I have come to kill you, Little Bill, for what you done to Ned.”
Right here is where Ben Carson starts taking notes. He must have been mesmerized because, clearly, it has had a huge impact on his outlook.
“He’s got one barrel left, gentlemen, “ Little Bill announces to his saloon pals who are either cowering or heading for the nearest exit. “After he has used it, pull your pistols and shoot him down like the cowardly, drunken scoundrel he is.”
Ben wanted the students at that Oregon Community College to charge the shooter. After all, he only had four weapons on him. If Ben had more time to think he probably would have woven a few scenes from Saving Private Ryan into his answer. After all, the Germans on the bluff above Omaha Beach had multiple weapons but they were beaten back because we charged them.
A few days later, Ben was on CNN where he insisted that the number of Holocaust victims would have been greatly reduced if more Jewish people in Europe owned guns. Here he is on that topic: “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed.”
(We pause here for a quick, commercial-free reminder: This guy, Ben Carson, is running for president of the United States and according to many polls is placing second to Donald Trump as the potential candidate of one of two major American political parties, the Republican Party.)
His supporters list several reasons why they would consider voting for him: “He seems like a nice man. He speaks softly. He is a fine Christian. He speaks his mind.”
He is also a few quarts short of a gallon. But when it comes to Ben Carson’s preposterous campaign, count me in with Chauncey Gardiner who said in Being There: “I like to watch.”