As one of the front runners in the GOP primary contest, Dr. Ben Carson has created quite a ruckus on the right. His brilliance, his wit, his demeanor, his character have all contributed to his popularity among many in the Republican Party. However, there is one component of Dr. Carson that makes him particularly attractive to conservatives, but also one that makes him highly unqualified to be President of the United States. This is his total lack of any political experience on any level of government. Yes, I just said that lack of experience is a bad thing.
First, to rebut the angry conservatives who will rant and rave that I am a RINO, please; let’s not get into such pointless shouting. Second, this is a legitimate criticism despite the rhetoric of the right. Dr. Carson’s lack of experience is not an asset, it’s a liability. Maybe not in terms of electability among the GOP primary voting bloc, but in terms of the governance of our nation it could end up to be rather counterproductive to have him as President.
As a matter of practicality, experience is always an asset. Lack of experience is never a liability; except when it comes to running for the highest office in the land? That’s logically inconsistent. Let’s take a company, for example. Let’s say that this company has been run horribly for the past several years, and that the employees and board of trustees want a new CEO. It would make no sense to hire someone who has not held an executive position beforehand, or to hire someone who has never even worked in that field.
Why is it any different with politics?
Now this is not to say that we need to have a career politician as the next President. However, what is needed is one who has the experience and prudence to carry out the duties of the office, and to ensure that the office is being run according to proper constitutional standards. This is a difficult balancing act that requires experience, experience that Carson lacks. While he may have some good rhetoric on the debate stage, when the debates end and the term of office begins, rhetoric ain’t worth the paper it’s written on. What really counts is know-how, political savvy, and experience.
Given that Dr. Carson has never held any elected position before, I am extremely hesitant to say that he is qualified for the position of President. This is not to disparage his intelligence, or competence, or even (shock) his race. He’s a brilliant man, hands down. But he doesn’t have the necessary skills to transfer into another line of work, especially when that line of work involves the governance of 300+ million people, and en masse threats by hostile foreign powers.
It would be imprudent to hand over the most powerful position on the planet to a man who has no previous political experience. As establishmentarian as that may sound, it’s a point of practicality and not a desire to maintain the status quo. Believe me, I am one who strongly desires to see change in the Capitol. I am no friendly supporter of the culture of power and corruption that defines Washington. However, that change must bee effectuated by people who have experience in the game, and know how to properly work the system. Rand Paul or Marco Rubio are much more preferable candidates to Ben Carson because they have garnered that experience over the years, and have a foundation to stand on. Carson has no such political foundation, and that is not a risk that the United States should take.
If the time ever came, who do we want to make the decision about pushing the red button: a man who has dealt with difficult political questions for years as an elected official, or a man who has not dealt with those kinds of issues in any way whatsoever? It’s a pretty easy answer, in my view.