Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson compared abortion to slavery in an interview on Sunday, insisting women who are raped or victims of incest should not be allowed to terminate their pregnancies. “Think about this,” Carson said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “During slavery -- and I know that’s one of those words you’re not supposed to say but I’m saying it -- during slavery, a lot of slave-owners thought they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave, anything that they chose. And what if the abolitionists had said, ‘I don’t believe in slavery but you guys do whatever you want’? Where would be?”The New York Times would have you believe that Carson is leading in two new Iowa polls and tied in a third in spite of statements like this, not because of them:
Mr. Carson’s support has not been dimmed by his statements on the unsuitability of a Muslim to be president; his linking of gun control and the Holocaust; and his likening of President Obama’s health care law to slavery. On the contrary, 57 percent of Republicans in the [Des Moines Register] poll rated as “very attractive” his comparison of the health care law to slavery, and 73 percent said his opposition to a Muslim as president made him more attractive.And we've been through this, of course with Donald Trump -- who also says offensive things and is still leading everywhere except Iowa.
What's going on? Yes, the things Carson and Trump say fire people up, but what do they have to do with suitability for the presidency?
Well, you have to think about what the GOP's crazy base wants. The base wants Republicans in Congress to smash the status quo right now, despite the fact that this is literally impossible, because the GOP doesn't hold the White House and doesn't have congressional majorities big enough to overturn vetoes.
But when Republican base voters perceive tyranny in America, they don't just perceive it in government. They think the culture is tyrannical. They see the culture -- the "politically correct" culture, in their words -- as a liberal-fascist dictatorship, just like the Obama presidency.
The difference, in their eyes, is that Carson and Trump actually are striking serious blows against this fascist dictatorship. Congress hasn't found a way to repeal Obamacare or crush Planned Parenthood or permanently block the next debt-ceiling increase or make gay marriage illegal again, and that makes GOP base voters furious at all the party's politicians because, dammit, they ought to be able to do something -- but Ben Carson can say "Nazi, Nazi, Nazi" and get away with it, and Donald Trump can say that undocumented immigrants are feral rapists and get away with that, and that, to Republican voters, is a real blow against the liberal-fascist power structure.
So to you, to me, to the non-conservative media, and even to the Republican mainstream, it looks as if Carson and Trump have never demonstrated that they can be at all effective in government -- but to the base they are demonstrating it, and the rest of the candidates have demonstrated nothing but helplessness, because they've never undermined totalitarianism.
I suppose there's more to the Trump/Carson phenomenon than this. But I think this is the foundation.