Ben Carson, One Nation - A Book Review
Ben Carson is not afraid to speak his mind. In fact, he begins his book saying that Americans have been lulled into quiet compliance through political correctness which has stifled our dialogue rather than open the doors to communication and exchange of knowledge. He says, "If we don't have enough basic information to manage our lives, we will give up our freedoms to those who promise to take care of us".
Dr. Carson implores that we go beyond pure knowledge saying "the wise use of knowledge is more important than knowledge itself", contrary to the adage that knowledge is power. and that we need to "act like mature adults who can tolerate hearing something about which we disagree and still remain civil and open-minded."
He feels more emphasis is placed on sports and athletes than on the value of a good education. We see this in the comparison of teacher's salaries , those who shape the minds of future generations, to the multimillion dollar stadiums where all star high school athletes compete for trophies. He says few schools have a showcase full of trophies for nerds of which Ben Carson was one.
He was a student who carried a slide ruler in a holder on his belt, but that was not always his chosen path. His beginnings were typical of those raised in dire poverty: he had a horrible temper and poor self-esteem and started life in an impoverished neighborhood of Detroit.
Ben and his brother were raised in the sixties, a time of civil unrest and upheaval in a changing world. Through the efforts of his mother, who married at thirteen, he and his brother learned the value of reading. Despite the family's limited means, Ben's mother ensured that he would gain a world view through study by requiring her sons to read two books a week. She enforced this strict guideline by making them submit a handwritten book report to her, which she would mark up and review.
Civil Rights Issues in the 1960s
Dr. Carson is a retired Neurosurgeon whose many accomplishments include successful separation of conjoined twins and other medical feats that defy the imagination. He's a graduate of Yale University, former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, widely regarded as one of the world's greatest hospitals 1.
He retired following a distinguished career as a doctor, a professor and surgeon to pursue other interests. He's been married to the same woman, Candy Carson, for nearly forty years and has three sons.
Johns Hopkins Hospital Complex
Ben Carson, MD
Like most successful people, Doctor Carson recommends that people start with education to advance our situation. He suggests that we've lost our way in schools that cater to teaching to the standardized testing rather than impart the wisdom of those who led the way.
He talks about the value of his own education, obtained at great sacrifice, and speaks about what he attained through his various jobs he held while putting himself through college. He shares a lesson learned in how to motivate people who are not interested in working, something he learned as a supervisor for a highway cleanup crew. He put this information to use and dramatically improved the productivity of his team.
He talks about the problems of long term government dependency and the derailment of the working class which has been promulgated through the subsidization of able-bodied workers. He speaks to the issues of minimum wage and of the responsibility of families toward each other, including the elderly and the disabled. He talks about the role of government and the problems of government dependency. He reminds us about our spending policies and the enormous US debt that will serve to sabotage our children's futures.
He believes our nation would do well to return to the values imbued by our forefathers as they formed our nation including a return to God who governs our outcome. What does a neurosurgeon know about government? He reminds us that our founding fathers included five doctors whose opinions contributed to the establishment of our new nation.
He's not afraid to speak about his beliefs and has done so recently in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast in February 2013.
Speech at National Prayer Breakfast February 2013
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Ben Carson, MD
Carson Scholars Fund
- Carson Scholars Fund | Discovering Promise ... Rewarding Excellence
"Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and his wife, Candy. CSF seeks to combat the American education crisis..."
He talks about our compassion for the poor and says our policies "should mean providing a mechanism to escape poverty rather than simply maintaining people in an impoverished state by providing handouts". He claims this is a mechanism of manipulators, whose ultimate intent in these kind of programs is to gain a huge block voters who, although they fail to contribute to the collective tax revenue base, continue to have a say in how much taxes others need to pay.
He's not afraid to quote the Bible and God's words of wisdom for us through the ages. In fact, he was criticized for his stand on the definition of marriage and for statements he made about his beliefs. Dr. Carson says we need to move beyond the personal attacks that are made in retribution for speaking about our beliefs. He claims that the opposition shows the weakness of their argument when they launch into personal attacks on someone's character rather than support their side of the argument with facts.
Ben Carson is an outspoken leader, whose ideas are worth considering, even if we don't buy into all of his recommended solutions. He proposes direction and action on the part of each of us, rather than leave our futures in the hands of those whose plan for us feels more like slavery than freedom.
God Bless America, 1970 John Wayne Variety Show
2 Chronicles 7:14
"If my people, which are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
How Can We Fix America?
Ben Carson advocates that we study the track record of potential candidates and vote based on our beliefs rather than look for someone whose name sounds familiar or who has promised us any number of benefits.
Among many other action points, he challenges us to do each of these things:
- Learn a new fact about American history each day for a month
- Replace television and Internet surfing with reading
- Learn the names of our state and government representatives
- Research their voting records
- Study various media and news report outlets to determine if the facts are real or spun
- Ask an older and wiser person for his or her perspective on a controversial issue.
- Identify a member of an elite class and ask how they would recommend that you assist those stuck in poverty
Ben Carson advocates a return in our nation to a "place where our public education system is the envy of the world". Only with "improvements in education, combined with wisdom and knowledge" will our country turn around.
Reading about our potential future leaders is the only way to know what they stand for and the policies that they propose. By studying the achievements of our candidates, we will gain the advantage of making informed choices.
This book will provide valuable insight into the character and beliefs of Ben Carson. I highly recommend reading this book to anyone who plans to vote in the upcoming elections.
- U.S. News & World Report (usnews.com). 2014
- The Carson Scholars Fund Website
© 2014 Peg Cole
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