So this is how "Run, Ben, run!" ends; not with the presidency, not with the Republican nomination, not even with an ounce of surviving self-respect, but as a rich, white, liberal Democrat's butler.
It is to weep:
“Why would you get behind a man like Donald Trump? I’ll tell you why,” Carson told reporters gathered in Palm Beach, Florida. “I’ve come to know Donald Trump over the last few years. He is actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America.”
Wow, he's starting to sound like the Proprietor. Which is usually a good thing, but not in this case.
“There are two different Donald Trumps,” he added.
Yeah, Doc, that's kinda the problem. Although actually there are as many Donald Trumps as are necessary for Donald Trump to get what he wants at any given time.
“There’s one you see on the stage and there’s the one who’s very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully. You can have a very good conversation with him. And that’s the Donald Trump you’re going to start seeing more and more of right now.”
Donald Trump's cereberality is the kiddie pool at Munchkin Land, as he's displayed over pretty much the entirety of these debates. But let's take Gentle Ben's first sentence at face value for the heck of it. What does that say about the second sentence? That Trump had to trash conservatives by posing as an angry, white supremacist-flirting, over-promising, poor-exploiting, violence-encouraging, hypocritical fraud - and total asshole - in order to capture a third of their votes? That he had, and has, to lie flagrantly to win? How is that any different from Hillary Clinton? And how does that line up with the core milieu of Dr. Carson's candidacy of mild-manneredness, calm consideration, and more ethical approach to politics? It's like Billy Graham coming out of retirement to tour with Twisted Sister.
“There’s a lot more alignment” on positions between himself and the businessman, Carson said, both “philosophically and spiritually.”
Bullshit. I think Carson has quietly sold his mail-order business - which was all his presidential campaign was for its final three months - and soul to Trump. Which means that, unlike Chris Christie, Dr. C may actually have gotten something for his.
But it comes at the cost of his honor and reputation. Carson has bowed the knee to the man who, not too long ago, said of him:
“It’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper,” Trump told Erin Burnett OutFront, speaking about Carson’s autobiography. “That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that … as an example: child molesting. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.”
Now? Gentle Ben just shrugs it off:
Carson dismissed some of the attacks Trump had leveled at him while the retired doctor was still a top contender in the GOP primary.
“We buried the hatchet,” Carson said, noting that it was just “political stuff.”
If this constitutes "turning the other cheek," then that's fine. As the LORD replied to Peter when he asked if he should forgive a brother who wrongs him seven times, "No, seventy times seven". Forgiveness is one of the core tenets of Christianity, and this would be Ben Carson living out his faith. Perhaps even a witnessing opportunity. Something of which Trump is in day-glo obvious need.
But does that require an endorsement for the highest office in the land of a man who is the antithesis of everything Dr. Carson has ever claimed to stand for? Contrast this Christian charity to the latent hatred he maintains for Ted Cruz, whose only "sin" was taking advantage of what turned out to be a Carson campaign mistake on Iowa Caucus night, which didn't cost Carson any votes in a contest in which he was an also-ran, and for which Senator Cruz subsequently apologized. Where's his forgiveness and cheek-turning for the Texas senator with whom he really does have a lot of philosophical and spiritual alignment? Wasn't that "just political stuff" as well?
It's easy to see what Trump gets out of this: PR cover for his footsy-playing with David Duke. "See? Some of my best friends are Negroes. Though I still don't let him get near the cutlery". And what does Carson get for stabbing Ted Cruz in the back and turning his back on everything he's ever stood for? Eight months of media tarrings as an Uncle Tom in direct proportion to how visible he is in Trump's campaign.
Which is why I think he won't be very, or at all, involved in it. Ben Carson has served his purpose, and will now be sent away by his fellow "political outsider," the better to ponder what a truly awful idea that really is.