Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hey Dude, Ben Carson is Black!

Last time around it was Herman Cain pitching himself as the "real black man."  This election year, it is Jonah Goldberg claiming that Ben Carson is more "authentically African-American" than Obama, and that once again Democrats "hate" this.  There are all kinds of arguments you can make for Black Republicans, but being more "real" or "authentic" is probably not the best course to take.

Jonah is your typical conservative pundit.  He rose to notoriety through the National Review, published a book a few years ago condemning liberals by comparing their views to fascism, replete with a smiley face Hitler on the cover.  In it, Goldberg shows how the worst of 20th century totalitarianism can be laid at the doorstep of liberal ideas, blasting everyone from Mussolini to the Black Panthers.  It has a slight bit more academic rigor than the usual conservative book along these lines, but ends up collapsing under its own argument because Goldberg refuses to admit that conservatism failed to offer any shining path out of these liberal dystopias.  Especially, if we look at the Spanish Civil War, and what happened in Greece and Portugal as well, where religious conservative fascist leaders rose to power out of the chaos that was created during the inter-war years.

Like Carson, Goldberg has a very poor grasp of history, as he views it through a very biased lens.  One might argue that Goldberg is doing it more for rhetorical sake, whereas Carson seems genuinely deluded in his beliefs but the result is the same.  The odd part with Golberg's praise of Carson's "blackness" is that Carson is not promoting it himself.  Quite the opposite.  Carson has gone out of his way to avoid painting himself as a more real black man than Obama, taking exception to the President's policies at a National Prayer Breakfast, which is what has endeared him to conservative voters.  His "up from poverty" narrative and strongly held religious convictions is what has captured the imagination of the religious conservative base of the Republican Party.

Of course, Carson being black helps allay some of the worries that conservative Republicans have about being labeled racist.  Understandably, the GOP is quite proud of its handful of prominent Black and Hispanic leaders, as it illustrates in their collective mind that they are promoting a big tent just like the Democrats, even if they have this nasty tendency to come down on the wrong side of key issues that concern race and gender in society.

Yet, here is Goldberg throwing out the same silly argument Herman Cain tried to use in 2012, which ended up making Cain the brunt of jokes on television.  One would hope that an editor-in-chief for the National Review would come up with better arguments than this for Carson's candidacy, especially when Dr. Ben is currently doing so well in Iowa and appears to have jumped ahead of Trump in national polls.  It's not like Carson needs black votes in the Republican primaries and caucuses or would even run against Obama next Fall, assuming he were to win the nomination.

What is telling here, isn't Carson's "blackness" but that Republicans continue to refuse to accept Obama's "blackness," which has eaten them up so much for the past eight years that they still run against it even when he is not up for re-election.  It is this "blackness," or lack of it in Jonah's mind, that resulted in the Birther movement, which dogged Obama for three years into his first term until he was "forced" to produce his long form birth certificate to placate Donald J. Trump, which he did in front of the media at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner.  I doubt Obama will waste his time with Goldberg.  He'll leave it up to the liberal media to do that.


  1. Carson: "Obamacare is the worst thing to happen in the USA since slavery"

    the guy is nuts

  2. Well, yes, but our dear Jonah would probably agree with the good Dr. Ben.