The Corner

The Power of Ben Carson’s Closing Statement

Ben Carson packed quite a bit into slightly more than 30 seconds of his closing statement, and each element resonated.

First, the lament — something is indeed broken in the United States. It’s a brokenness that people feel, that they’ve experienced. It does not feel like “morning in America,” and when Carson shared our sense of loss, it stung:

In the two hours of this debate, five people have died from drug-related deaths, $100 million has been added to our national debt, 200 babies have been killed by abortionists, and two veterans have taken their lives out of despair.

Next, however, he pivoted to hope. We are not broken beyond repair. He returned to his natural role — the role he’s played for decades as one of nation’s most inspirational figures — the man who calls us to something better:

This is a narrative that we can change. Not we the Democrats, not we the Republicans, but we the people of America, because there is something special about this nation and we must embrace it and be proud of it and never give it away for the sake of political correctness.

Note, however, the crucial turn at the end, when he identified the ideology that causes so much woe. In Carson-speak, “political correctness” doesn’t simply mean tone-policing and speech codes, but rather a systematic worldview that fosters dependency and helplessness while silencing and marginalizing moral and political opposition. Political correctness is a fundamental threat to hope and freedom.

From the beginning, Carson has brought real value to the GOP primary. There is much ground to travel before the first votes are cast, but the Republican field and the conservative movement have been better for his presence. Here’s his closing statement in full:

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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