Dr. Carson’s Speech

I went to Grant Davies’ blog, What We Think and Why, and watched all of the nearly 28 minute Dr. Carson speech. I recommend watching it. I just had to re-post it here:

Here are some of his major themes:

1. Political correctness keeps us from saying what we really think and that keeps us from talking about important things.

2. But, we should be respectful with those who we disagree. That’s a major theme of this blog. Hostility just tends to entrench people in their beliefs.

3. Carson’s Mom taught him to use his brain to solve problems, which resulted in him thinking his way out of poverty by not accepting excuses for his poverty status, taking advantage of education, educating himself and thinking himself out of poverty.

4. He and his wife put their money and talents where their mouths are to help others to the same. They started the Carson Scholarship Fund.

5. Why is education so important? He encourages us to learn from ancient Rome, which died from within.

6. He mentions we have a fourth branch of government: Special Interests.

7. Everyone should pay some tax, we shouldn’t punish the guy who puts a billion dollars into the pot and with health care we should empower individuals.

8. He closes with a great story about the origination of our National Anthem and a very nice imagery of the bald eagle as the nation’s symbol.

An enterprising reporter ought to ask President Obama what he thought of Dr. Carson’s speech. However, I think I can predict the answer. My guess is he’d say he liked it and agreed with it, and then say that’s why Federal government needs to help do those things.

13 thoughts on “Dr. Carson’s Speech

  1. Didn’t Dr. Carson ask the president (not directly) to change the tax system and the health care system?

    Or maybe I’m confused about what you mean by “help do those things”. He talked about a pretty wide spectrum of stuff – although the main theme seemed to be education.

    • I can see the confusion. I’d say that Carson’s main theme was liberty. But, education is a good example to illustrate what I meant.

      I think from Carson’s viewpoint, education means not accepting excuses for individual failure and going beyond school and the conventional wisdom to learn and solve problems. I think Obama might say he agrees with this and then say that’s why the Federal government needs to be involved in education to make sure this happens.

  2. Here’s one difference between the left and the right in regards to how the world works: Dr. Carson described the conservative concept that each of us is responsible for ourselves, that we need to look to ourselves to solve our problems and not the government. Conservatives believe in equality of opportunity, but not in a guaranteed outcome. Obviously (at least to conservatives) is that if a successful outcome is guaranteed, there is little incentive to work hard or be frugal with your cash.

    The left on the other hand, well, let me quote Obam from his visit today:

    “Our job as Americans is to restore that basic bargain that says if you work hard, if you meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead.”

    It’s clear that Barry either has no clue about basic economics or he simply delights in pandering to voters. When you guarantee workers a successful outcome if they “work hard” and meet their “responsibilities”, it’s virtually certain that what is heard is “we will guarantee that you get ahead”. Even if the rest of the words are heard, it simply means that we will have new definitions for “work hard” and “responsibilities”.

    The left hasn’t come to grips with the reality that it’s a rat race out there and that if you do your best, you “might” be successful, but that isn’t guaranteed. The best we can do is to do our best
    and have a government that protects what we earn from foreign and domestic pirates.

    • I often tell my friends that Obama sounds just like me…when I was in 10th grade.

      It is like fingernails down the chalkboard to hear a President say that ‘we can’t cut [spending, that is] our way to prosperity’.

      We shouldn’t let you pass the 10th grade unless you can figure out that government spending comes from somewhere. And the fact that it comes from somewhere means that you are not creating prosperity.

  3. What is the value of political labels like “left” and “right” in terms of creating discussion? I don’t mean this as a member of the politically correct police (though I’m sure I could find my badge somewhere if I looked hard enough) I simply mean it encourages a kind of sports team mentality about politics.

    If I’m on the “left” and I agree with what you’re saying, should I disagree anyway because you’re on the other team? Or should I switch teams? What if I do switch teams and then I decide that there are some things who people on the “right” say – should I switch back? How many beliefs in common do I need to hold with my fellow “lefties” to be considered “left”? What do I have to say to prove my loyalty to my side? If I am faced with overwhelming evidence that my “team” is wrong, will my sense of loyalty blind me to the truth?

    • Hi Wally — I agree that labels can oversimplify. Humans naturally look for ways to simplify the complex world we live in, whether we’re discussing politics, global warming, entertainment (is she an actor, singer or songwriter?), the economy or how we group books in a library.

      To steal a biological term, you lose something of the parts with you place them in a taxonomy. In his book, “Everything is Miscellaneous” ‘leftist’ 🙂 David Weinberger gives great examples of this in non-political topics. A couple that stick out in my mind is the Dewey decimal system and our own filing systems (like the folders we put on out computer). How much trouble have you had maintaining a good filing system on your computer? It’s tough because many things cross categories. In this sense, he proposed ‘tags’ are a bit better.

      But, back to politics, I have no problem with not using labels.

      I like discussing the merits of an issue. It’s a fallacy (Appeal to Popularity or Bandwagon) to agree or disagree reflexively with something just because others in your category also agree or disagree.

      • Using “labels” can facilitate a discussion. Sure, it does tend to generalize to some extent, but it eliminates having to say, “people who believe A and B and C and D and E, but not F and G and H.” As long as we all understand that we are talking in general terms and that most folks don’t fit into nice categories of socially and fiscally conservative or liberal, I think it enables a conversation to be directed to a point rather than get bogged down in lengthy descriptions of the actors we all know well.

        That said, as long as we use political labels to identify certain ideologies with which we agree or disagree rather than to imply that its members are bad or good because of those beliefs, labels can be helpful. I think Seth nailed it when he indicated that a big difference between Obama (the left) and Carson (the right) is that Carson would leave it to the market (private individuals) to solve the problems whereas Obama would feel the need for government to intervene – supposedly because there may be “bad” actors in the private marketplace acting badly due to their human nature. But just substitutes another group of potential bad actors and assumes that because they work for the government, they’ll behave better – hasn’t history shown that to be wishful thinking?

  4. Pingback: A Few Random Morning Links … | The Pretense of Knowledge


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