To understand Ben Carson’s surge, you have to compare-and-contrast him with Donald Trump.
Carson and Trump are twins, fraternal rather than identical. On the surface, in terms of style, they appear as different as can be; more deeply, in terms of the content of their utterances, they are very similar. Both specialize in grand displays of egomania; turning the tables on anyone who gives them trouble; making great promises without any indications of how they would carry them out; making bombastic statements about history backed by less than no knowledge; bullying – Trump through direct verbal intimidation, Carson more subtly, by invoking the race card – there is the possibility hanging in the air that if anyone goes after him, he will attribute the attack to racism; as well as the Science card – i.e., he’s so brilliant! He couldn’t be wrong! For both, these strategies make them invincible. Continue reading