The Corner

Politics & Policy

Ben Carson and the Pyramids

As National Review’s designated attack submarine targeting Ben Carson, let me play against type and argue that Carson’s theory about the pyramids doesn’t really matter in the context of the 2016 presidential race, and that rejecting Carson because of his beliefs in this area is a stupid litmus test for the presidency.

Carson thinks the Egyptian pyramids were built by the biblical figure Joseph to store grain; most archeologists would disagree. So what? How likely is it that Carson’s theory on the pyramids’ use or builder is likely to influence any of his decisions as president? What, is it going to ruin our relationship with Egypt?

There are a ton of insane beliefs out there. Back in 2006, more than half of all Democrats said they felt it was either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that “people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?” In other words, not too long ago, half of the Democratic party were 9/11 Truthers. We heard similar thoughts from Jesse Ventura, Cynthia McKinney, Mike Gravel, and Ron Paul.

I’d much rather have a president with farfetched beliefs about the construction of the pyramids thousands of years ago than the destruction of the Twin Towers 14 years ago.

Is believing the Pyramids were giant grain silos any stranger than, say, sitting in Jeremiah Wright’s church for years? Or talking to Eleanor Roosevelt’s ghost, as Ben Shapiro reminds us? Is it any stranger than the persistent messianic portrayals of Barack Obama in 2007-2011 or so?

Just about everybody has some belief about how the world works that others would deem strange. ( “Can you believe that guy? He actually thinks that the little cracker becomes the body of Christ during mass!” )

Walter Cronkite contended that Karl Rove helped organize an Osama bin Laden video.  Novelist Alice Walker praised a conspiracy theorist’s contentions about reptile people walking among us. President Kennedy’s press secretary, Pierre Salinger, spent the last years of his life promoting increasingly far-reaching conspiracy theories about the destruction of TWA Flight 800.

A Gallup poll found that 73% of Americans believe in at least one of the following: ESP, haunted houses, ghosts, telepathy, clairvoyance, astrology, mental communication with the dead, witches, reincarnation, or channeling. Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Mikhail Gorbachev made statements indicating they believe in UFOs.


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