No matter which candidate or candidates you personally like the most, one thing all GOP voters can agree on is that we have a uniquely strong field for the 2016 Presidential ticket.
I’ve been a particularly strong supporter of Donald Trump, primarily because I really value the intellectual honesty he’s brought to the conversation. I know a lot of people – primarily that enormous swath of well-amplified, conservative new media – may cringe upon hearing praise heaped on Trump for “honesty.” For saying so on Twitter, @RBPundit “muted” me…
Like most Trump supporters, I clap for the honesty he adopted immediately upon entering…even admitting dishonesty. https://t.co/AxllF1q9AX
— NAAPC (@NAAPC) September 4, 2015
— RB (@RBPundit) September 4, 2015
(In fairness and full disclosure: @RBPundit is a very well-known asset to the conservative movement with over 30,000 followers compared to my 300 some, was at the time engaged with several flailing Trump supporters, and had afforded me some back-and-forth before his dismissal.)
But I stand by my contention around Trump’s honesty and wrote about in some detail here. Perhaps the biggest measure of honesty that Trump brought to the conversation exists in this way: Before he inserted himself in the conversation, it was implicitly accepted that illegal immigration to and in the US was “okay.” The absolute strongest position most on our side were able or willing to take was that we needed to enforce the border before talking about what to do with those here. Because of Trump, messages are now resonating all over the planet that there’s a chance, however a slim one, that the US will no longer be a doormat for any who hope to come here illegally. That is a great thing and it would be a real failure not to give him that credit.
Much has already been made about Dr. Carson and Mr. Trump being polar opposites in terms of their personalities and communication styles. For any who can resist over-zealously mincing the rhetoric, that entire conversation can be encapsulated in a single observation: Both “outsiders,” the loud one and the quiet one are leading the polls.
And while, as noted, I greatly value the message Trump’s brash language on illegal immigration is sending to the tens of millions of existing and prospective illegal immigrants who have long dismissed the relevance of US borders — his plan to round up people and deport them just isn’t practical. Foremost among the reasons for this in my mind: The optics are just too dastardly. Mind you, it’s a fantastic and long overdue threat, and one that I hope remains part of the conversation until the problem is solved…but the imminent grainy cell phone videos of ICE agents forcefully throwing five-foot-nothing parents and their 28 kids in to the back of a paddy wagon for immediate deportation just won’t work. And I write that hesitantly even at this moment challenging myself on “Why not?” In the long run it’s a cost-benefit analysis that culminates with this: The benefit of perceived strength as achieved through the imagery of unapologetic enforcement will quickly be consumed by the cost of perceived inhumanity.
Don’t get me wrong; For years and still I often note that I’d rather do the right thing than look the right way. But in this instance, I think Dr. Carson offers us a path to both that Mr. Trump’s vision – however much I might value it’s existence in the conservation – does not.
Trump is talking about building a massive wall along our border. His laser-like reliance on this idea alone is among the very few, very thin shades of “He’s not the guy” that I get.
Carson, alternatively, is talking about several smaller walls here within the US. These are metaphoric walls that impede illegal aliens’ path to welfare and employment.
Mitt Romney was absolutely right when he talked about “self-deportation” being the answer to the problem. The antithesis of both Trump and Carson in terms of political courage, Romney allowed himself to effectively be eviscerated by the left and their allies in the media for making that point. But it’s the right point, and while Dr. Carson has spent more time qualifying how he’d let people stay — his solutions also set the precedent for plenty of people to leave.
“Yeah but don’t all the candidates basically make the same points that Carson is making?”
That’s fair, and for the professional pundits and analysts, let that be yet another lesson on why Trump has fared so well from a messaging platform that he alone has adopted. But I’m personally very partial to Trump, Carson, Cruz and Fiorina…and with Carson surging, I wanted to write about him specifically versus Trump in part for my own evolution through this primary process as much as anything else.
Much more Carson-related content to follow on these pages, as well. Consistent with my efforts via The NAAPC, I’m very excited about his taking up the importance of “unity.” Yes, you’d again be right to note that everyone on both sides talks about that…but Carson is doing so with specific focus on the forces in the US that create so much identity-based division (primarily by race and ethnicity), and in my opinion that’s the single most destructive element that exists in America today as it deprives not only millions of individuals the gift of liberty, but also our nation as a whole the meaningful contribution of all our citizens.
Again, we have a fantastic field this cycle — but at some point we all have to pick, and I’m beginning to lean heavily toward Carson.
For more from Dr. Carson, check out Pam Keys’ documentation on Breitbart by clicking here.
You can also see another piece I wrote about illegal immigration by clicking here. That piece is very important because it calls out the left’s plain sight bigotry and notes means and language by which we can unapologetically enforce our laws while at the same liberating and lifting up existing illegal immigrants and prospective legal immigrants. It’s stronger than what Dr. Carson is proposing, but if the thinking behind it makes it to his desk…he could still effectively incorporate it in to his messaging.
EDIT 11/19/15: I’m back to Trump and have been for some time, as per the many posts on this blog since I wrote the one above.