Despite many predictions to the contrary, Donald Trump has held on to his frontrunner status in the polls, since the shocking statements that pundits thought would surely doom his candidacy have only made him more popular among Republican voters. As of now, the only serious competition he is getting is not from Jeb Bush or Scott Walker, but from Ben Carson. Surging in the polls, Carson now wins support from 23 percent of likely GOP voters, compared to 27 percent for Trump, in the latest CBS/New York Times poll.
This means that about half of all Republican voters now support either Trump or Carson for president … both of whom have embraced wild conspiracy theories and spout extreme rhetoric that places them far out of the mainstream.
While Trump’s rants about the supposed dangers of vaccines and immigrants are well known, as are his questioning of President Obama’s birth certificate and his frequent claim that a cabal of oppressive but incompetent politicians are running America into the ground, it seems that Carson is getting a pass because he doesn’t share Trump’s bombastic tone.
While Carson may not use Trumpian rhetoric, that doesn’t make what he says any less absurd.
While Trump thought that the 2012 election was a “total sham,” Carson isn’t even sure “there will even be an election in 2016,” wondering if Obama will grant himself an illegal third term or cancel the election because of the national debt or Occupy Wall Street-inspired “anarchy.”
Framing the president as a dictator, Carson claims that Obama is driven by “Mein Kampf” and has ushered in “a Gestapo age.” If Americans don’t stand up to Obama, Carson warns, then we will end up just like Nazi Germany.
Carson has said that America today is “very much like Nazi Germany,” warning that Obama administration officials are “acting like the Gestapo” and Obama won’t “be happy unless Fox News were shut down and there was no more criticism of his actions.” “If there were no Fox News and if there was no conservative radio, we would already be Cuba,” he said. “I know [Obama] realizes that they’re impeding his agenda of fundamentally transforming this nation into something else, the sad thing is that a lot of the people that agree with him and support him have no idea what they’re wishing for.”
So egregious is Obama’s presidency in Carson’s eyes that he has accused the president of committing treason and opening up the country to terrorist infiltration and the dangers of Ebola-tainted urine.
Carson may heap outlandish criticism on the president, he has plenty of vitriol left over for gay rights advocates.
He has urged Congress to pass a “creative” law overturning the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision on marriage equality, insisting that the federal government is under no obligation to recognize it and that Congress must “rein in judges” who back marriage equality. Rulings that struck down state bans on same-sex marriage are “unconstitutional,” Carson has said, and Congress must “reprimand and remove” the judges who made such decisions.
Carson, who briefly drew attention this spring for deep thoughts on gay sex in prison, also signed a National Organization for Marriage pledge to ban same-sex marriage and “prevent the promotion of a redefined version of marriage in public schools and other government entities.” This comports with his earlier comments about having the federal government “monitor institutions of higher education for political bias and withhold federal funding if it exists.”
And remember, this is the only candidate who has stayed competitive with Trump.