Editor’s Note: In commemoration of February as Black History Month, Newsmax.com reprints the following article from Newsmax magazine, an interview with Dr. Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon, Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree, and author.
As a world-class surgeon specializing in pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Ben Carson has seen all the symptoms before: growing listlessness and disorientation as a patient’s vital signs spiral downward.
But this time, it’s not some sick person on a gurney Carson is worried about. It’s the United States of America.
“I would say our society is in critical condition,” says Carson, author of the new book “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great.”
“If you look at our educational system, we are now in the age of information, the technological age, and yet we have 30 percent of the people entering high school not finishing. That is a disaster.’’
Newsmax caught up with Carson one morning after he had already performed three operations. As a pioneer of daring new surgical techniques that routinely cheat the grim reaper, “critical condition” isn’t a phrase Carson uses lightly.
Carson is a staunch opponent of Obamacare and big government. But even worse than the self-inflicted wounds sustained at the fumbling hands of the Obama administration, he says, is the scourge of political correctness now sweeping the nation. A lack of free speech is precisely what drove colonists to make their perilous journey to the New World in the first place, he says.
“And for us to re-impose it through the back door would make the Founding Fathers turn over in their graves,” he says.
Carson believes young people are laying down their critical reasoning at the altar of socially acceptable thought. As an example he cites the view that all lifestyles are of equal value. Carson dares to debunk the gospel of relativistic morality, saying different lifestyles lead to different outcomes.
“And that’s one reason I am so against this political correctness stuff, because it is absolutely destructive,” he says. “And it’s the same thing that happened to ancient Rome.”
Whether America is destined to follow the rise-and-fall pattern of other great civilizations is a favorite Carson theme. Despite his origins as the son of a single mother living in Detroit, Carson considers the big entitlement state a clear and present danger to what makes America special.
“Gifted Hands,” the extraordinary life story of his rise from humble means to become a world-famous neurosurgeon, was made into a TV movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr. In 2008, former President George W. Bush honored Carson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.
His new book takes on excessive government spending, highlights the nation’s Judeo-Christian roots, delivers a blunt critique of the nation’s woeful level of public education, offers a candid prescription for reviving American capitalism, and generally provides a manifesto for anyone who hopes to see the American dream restored to its erstwhile glory.
Carson laments the quality of public education. In his frequent visits with black school children, he often uses a little history lesson to motivate them.
“I tell them about slavery, when it was illegal for blacks to learn how to read. I say, ‘Now why do you think that was? Do you think that was just arbitrary? No, the reason they didn’t want you to be educated is because education empowers people. So why would you voluntarily do to yourself what was being imposed by an unjust system before?’”
So who’s responsible for America’s decline? Progressive intellectuals? Democrats and Obama?
Carson, not surprisingly, has a more thoughtful answer. As the comic-strip character Pogo once said: “We have met the enemy. And he is us.”
In a representative Democracy, Carson explains, the buck ultimately stops with “we the people.” The only ones who can preserve America are its people, he argues.
“Our Founding Fathers felt very strongly that our system of government could only function with a well-educated populous, with well-informed people,” Carson contends. “And if we ever reached the point where the majority of people were not well educated and couldn’t think for themselves, that we would be extraordinarily vulnerable to slick-talking politicians. That’s where we are right now.”
Many voters just pick the name on the ballot they recognize without knowing anything else, he says. Carson calls that “the epitome of irresponsibility.”
“What’s happening is a natural outgrowth of what happens when you give people power,” he says. “That’s what our Founding Fathers railed against. They said, ‘We have to put into our Constitution, and into our laws, systems that take into account the greedy and evil nature of human beings.’
“We’ve forgotten about that, and we’ve allowed it to run rampant,” Carson concludes. “And we are now seeing the results of it.”
Editor’s note: To get a copy of Dr. Ben Carson’s new book, “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great,” at a good price at Amazon — Go Here Now.
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