An Ode To Ben Carson: Our Favorite Gifted-Handed Clusterfuck
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Super Tuesday 2016 has come and gone. Barring a miraculous influx of cash from an itchy pocketed donor with literally no one else to give money to (in which case, I would like to point them toward my IRS bill because the Feds are absolutely not playing with me this year), we are more than likely in the sunset era of Ben Carson’s run for President.
Before we bid the man’s campaign a formal adieu, I would like to take some time to appreciate all that the fellow has contributed to the clusterfuck that has been this year’s primary race. Even if it did come at the expense of damn near every single Black mama who kept a copy of Gifted Hands on their kids’ bookshelves.
If Benjamin did nothing else this year, its expose once and for all that being one of the foremost experts at one thing makes you little more than the foremost expert at that one thing. Unfortunately for Ben (but not unfortunately for myself, for whom the GOP debates had become my personal Wrestlemania), not every possible circumstance that the commander-in-chief will be faced with can be tied to performing complicated neurosurgery on Siamese twins. As a matter of fact, I’d wager that next to no scenarios could be tied to neurosurgery, unless the White House turns into a real life version of Olympus Has Fallen and the President is running around tending to open head wounds. That said, I respect Ben for not ever failing to mention that he separated Siamese twins ever — one time I finessed a Metrocard that had 20 extra bucks in it and I may or may not have brought it up in conversation for the better part of a month, so I understand. So what makes Ben Carson qualified to discuss Foreign Policy? Domestic Terrorism? Immigration? Economy? #TheseHands have qualified him, that’s what.
Ben’s willingness to apply barbershop logic to almost every turn in this primary race cannot go without mention. There were the ridiculous claims to his steel reserve at gunpoint (at a Popeyes no less). Hotepian arguments that Planned Parenthood exists in Black communities as a form of population control. Long-winded and misguided metaphors about fruit salads and #thesehands – the latter of which is sure to somehow end up as a corny Fabulous punchline, because that is all that Fabulous does these days, so please stop trying to convince the world that his next mixtape is going to be good, Fab fan, all 32 of you. (Editor’s note: Blasphemy! Don’t you dare form your lips to insult the Young O. G.!)
Carson’s “nothing-to-lose” approach to campaigning, despite the minimal buy-in, has continued to be the gift that keeps on giving. Whether it be damn near napping on stage as question after question continues to bypass him during debates, or fucking up the walk-out order for everyone for my raucous enjoyment, or trotting out his wife and what she certainly believes to be vocal chops during a campaign event, Ben made sure to let us know that he was here to do what he wants, when he wants it, political inevitability be damned.
Ben Carson’s ability to maintain an extended presence on the primary platform for no reason other than “I ain’t got shit else to do and Candy told me to pick up a hobby” exposes the farce that is primary season; having outlasted Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Rand Paul purely off the strength of his incorrigible obstinacy. While his campaign was always a nonstarter, he will come away with enough momentum for a book deal that can rake in a fair amount of coin and elevated speaking fees for whichever institution is desperate for a commencement speaker. I can genuinely say that I’ll miss his uninformed rambling of little consequence, if for nothing else than the positioning of his campaign in the rearview will indicate the last vestiges of comedy we had to cling onto in this 2016 race are over, and we have to firmly address “making America great again” — a circumstance that no amount of dark liquor and white meat will have me ready to truly wrap my head around.
Here’s to you, Ben’s campaign. (Soon-to-be) gone, but never forgotten.