Politics & Policy

I Like You, Ben Carson — Just Not like That

(Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty)
It's time you and your presidential campaign go your separate ways.

Ben Carson, I think you’re a great guy. And I really do like you . . . just not like that.

By “like that,” I mean, of course, as would-be president of the United States.

Try not to be too upset. I want you to know that I’ve really enjoyed our time together. So many wonderful memories come to mind. When Brian Kilmeade asked you if there were any scenario in which you would not go to New Hampshire and you confidently responded, “Yes — if I die,” – without even cracking a smile — it was one of my favorite moments in election history. I must have watched it a thousand times.

You really should be proud of yourself. After all, I’m a non-religious, socially liberal libertarian — meaning there are countless things I disagree with you on — but I still like you. Honestly, I sometimes can’t even believe it myself.

I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that just because someone is a ‘good dude’ does not mean he’s the One . . .

Of course, there are some things on which we do agree . . . such as your belief that political correctness is bad. You’re totally right about that! But the thing is, you also used that talking point as your answer to pretty much every question in some of the debates (that is, when you weren’t randomly directing people to visit BenCarson.com) which makes me think that you just might not know the kinds of things you’d need to know to be the leader of the free world.

I mean, seriously. You actually said on CNN that your solution to ISIS was to use a “truth serum” to “extract information” from terrorists. In the sixth Republican debate, you answered a question about whether or not Hillary Clinton enabled Bill by babbling on and on about how Internet comments sections don’t reflect our Judeo-Christian roots. Now, I’m sure you meant well, but not only did this answer completely ignore an issue that’s very important to me as a female voter, but it also made — to put it plainly — absolutely no sense at all.

#share#I’m not trying to be harsh. I think you’re a good dude. I admire that you’re so principled. I think your story and accomplishments are impressive. I always have immense respect for people who are able to achieve great things despite difficult beginnings. Not to mention that, as someone who gets so nervous about choosing the wrong five toppings at a build-your-own salad bar that she’s had to stop going to them, I find the fact that you separated Siamese twins to be beyond extraordinary.

Still, I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that just because someone is a “good dude” does not mean he’s the One . . . and I cannot deny that this is the case here.  

#related#It’s not that I won’t miss you. To quote the immortal words of Third Eye Blind, I wonder, “How’s it gonna be?” when you’re not there on that debate stage to say things like “the fruit salad of their life” and “Can someone attack me, please?” But it’s time to face the facts: Your numbers are very low. You finished dead last in South Carolina, and your prospects for future contests don’t look much better. You are, quite frankly, bombing, and it’s beyond time for you drop out.

Don’t worry. I am sure there are plenty of other opportunities for you out there. There are plenty of opportunity-fish in the opportunity-sea, and you’ll no doubt find one that will make you very happy.

I wish you the best., Dr. Ben Carson, and I really do mean that. If you’d ever like to meet for coffee or brunch sometime, please let me know. After all, I hope that this doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online

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