BuzzFeed Asks Whether Ben Carson's Political Ambitions Could Ruin His Legacy

(Spectrumbot) #1

BuzzFeed News Reporter Joel Anderson has considered the impact Dr. Ben Carson's presidential run might have on his legacy. The world renowned neurosurgeon has taken steps toward a run at the White House, and Anderson wonders whether the latest episode in Carson's exceptional biography will ruin the unblemished view of Carson as "folk hero" (a title assigned by the New York Times in 1993) earned in one of the most difficult and prestigious occupations in America.

Carson's autobiography, "Gifted Hands," in particular, has helped to reinforce his legend as a success story for black Americans.

But he’s now risking this previously unassailable legacy in national politics, where reputations are broken as often as made. He’s making a series of sharp-edged statements that undermine his previously universal appeal, particularly in communities he once sought to set an example for. He has traded one kind of national stature for another one, hotter but also faster burning.

Anderson continues, "[Carson's] former colleagues—to a person—bemoan his loss to the field of neurosurgery." The article contrasts Ben Carson the soft-spoken medical professional with Ben Carson the outspoken politico. Anderson addresses Carson's Seventh-day Adventist faith ("In Carson’s home in Maryland, there is a portrait of him sitting alongside a beaming, brown-haired Jesus hanging over the stairwell), his successes as a physician, and his audacious speeches in the political arena.

Read "Could Running For President Destroy Ben Carson’s Legacy?"

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Kade Wilkinson) #2

This may actully improve views of Carson, as BuzzFeed is the only major media outlet with the distinction of being “more distrusted than trusted” by the entire political spectrum.

(Allen Shepherd) #3

I don’t see what the problem is here. Did Romney hurt the Mormons? I don’t think so. I believe it made them look even more mainstream. Carson is articulate, and can be smart in his retorts. He is no dumby either. He has carried himself well so far. I have not heard him speak much, but what little I have heard is reasonable.

I don’t see how he can hurt the SDA church.

(Frank Peacham) #4

I think Carson political ambitions will led to positive articles on his churches education and medical work. As a side line the life and teachings EGW could be cast either positive or negative.

(Interested Friend) #5

How can he help Adventism when he is publically reported to have gone politicking on Sabbath?

He should stick to medicine and help succor those who are suffering as much as lies within his power.

In The Grip of Truth

(jeremy) #6

he may believe that politicking is he’s way of witnessing…but regardless, it’s unfortunate he’s in a race everyone will lose to hillary…of course if he ends up being hillary’s surgeon general, everything will be worth it…

(George Tichy) #7

Not the church. But he sure can damage his own legacy. A preeminent surgeon, with a great record, now adding so many negative items to his record, is not a good thing.

(le vieux) #9

My opinion (for the little it’s worth) is the same as it was when rumors of a potential presidential run first started. He should, as IF said, “stick to medicine and help succor those who are suffering as much as lies within his power.”

Whether or not his campaign could hurt or help the SDA Church, remains to be seen, but the media and his opponents will eat him alive. The media hates conservative Blacks. Thanks to “group-think,” they are not supposed to voice their “unorthodox” opinions, and are often accused of being “House Negroes,” Unfair, yes, but that’s politics in the good old US of A.

(le vieux) #10

I think he’d be a good Surgeon General, but there ought to be a better way to get there than slogging through the mud of dirty politics.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #11

to use a prayer breakfast for his political platform shows poor judgment and poor taste. not presidential in the least. That is Chicago ward level politics. Tom Zwemer

(Thomas J Zwemer) #12

a specialist is a very broad person honed to a very fine point. in this case that fine point wasn’t politics. Tom Z


When was the last time anyone besides a politician or military leader ever became president?

USA needs a surgeon to cut the depraved and perverted culture out of its body.

(k_Lutz) #14

Jimmy Carter, the peanut farmer, was a statesman, not a politician, and true Gentleman. God bless him.

Trust God.

(George Tichy) #15

That incident at the breakfast killed him right before the start line.

(George Tichy) #16

USA needs people electing a Congress that is functional and not one whose only goal is to oppose to all and any of the President’s initiatives and projects.
The problem in America are not the politicians. The real problem is the “smart” voters that can vote against their own interest… And with pride!

(Kevin Paulson) #17

I still haven’t figured out how neurosurgery qualifies a man to be President of the United States. Surgeon General, maybe. So far as his candidacy hurting the church is concerned, I tend to agree with those who think it won’t. As Allen noted, Mitt Romney’s running for president didn’t seem to hurt the Mormons.

(Ron Corson) #18

I think it is interesting to see the opinions of people who would never vote for a political conservative anyway tell us how Carson will hurt his legacy or how horrible it was to come to national attention by actually addressing issues at the Prayer Breakfast. But the fact is that it is just a way to complain about a conservative candidate and that is not something that any political liberal ever has a hard time doing.

He will probably run for a time to get some of his ideas out there that he may think should be considered. He will not last too long in the Primary as he is in a field with some very powerful Republican candidates who have been elected to higher offices. So ultimately he can’t beat a Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or Marco Rubio. He would likely beat a Jeb Bush or Chris Christy though since they are seen as democrat lite. And the Republicans have done nothing with the Progressive Republicans of the last couple elections, John McCain and Romney. But if he does make a fairly good showing in the Primary he can probably become a political appointee in a Republican administration. (I know some of you think Hillary Clinton will win, I guess because she is some kind of legacy, but that did not work for her in 2008 and probably won’t in 2016 either, and she is way weaker now with her record as Secretary of State!).

So will it ruin his legacy. Not at all except with the political left who cared little that he was a conservative until he actually spoke and the media carried his conservative ideas. And of course that upsets them because in a world of diversity political liberals draw the line with conservative ideas as being a part of that diversity.

(George Tichy) #19

I still haven’t figured out how come he is polling so high, even higher than Bush sometimes. I know it’s going to normalize soon as the campaigns progress, but isn’t it amazing how people are so naive?

(Kim Green) #20

Ron, you would most likely see me as one of the “liberals” on Spectrum…but when I vote, I vote for the candidate that I think is the least offensive of the lot and the one that I believe can do the job best. I DON’T vote party lines ever. And as far as Carson’s “legacy” being “political” will impact it- he will most likely be regarded well as a doctor and less well as a potential politician. The ultimate damage to his reputation will depend on how far down that political road that he travels.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #21

the one with the best apocalyptic mind set will win. Tom Z