|National Prayer Breakfast 2013|
Dr. Ben Carson urged us to let go of “p.c.” Speech and respectfully discuss important issues while fabric of our nation is being challenged. He made these remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, a gathering of many hundreds of leaders and their friends, including the President and Vice-President of the United States. He spoke plainly about public education, debt and our health care system’s problems.
Bob Beckle on “The Five” said Dr. Carson was disrespectful of “authority” – and then his fellow panelists shushed his objections – albeit for time constraints. But it demonstrated how quick we are to shut off prickly points of view that differ from what we think is right, proper and good.
Dr. Carson’s remarks were pointed, and I can see why Mr. Beckle bristled. It is disquieting to see powerful people publically opposed! Dr. Carson was not disrespectful, however, especially given what many who oppose our President freely say. He reminded us that freedom of thought and speech is the bedrock of our nation’s liberty – as was the founding fathers’ expectation of an educated body of voters.
Dr. Carson said before those whose job it is to govern, we aren’t educating our children – or ourselves; our national debt is out of control, and we are not offering the health care to all our citizens we could and should. The emperor has no clothes.
But he offered specific solutions that he knows Americans and their leaders can achieve, because we are smart!
None of these solutions have more government.
His solution is that we take responsibility for our lives, while helping those whose circumstances and choices have sunk them. Dr. Carson has earned the right – although it is his birthright as an American -- to speak his mind. He is what Americans respect: a self-made, generous citizen, who gives the credit to his mom.
Though having only a third–grade education, Sonya Carson believed she could raise her boys to be men who would prosper. She did not believe she or they were victims. She taught her sons thrift and diligence – by her own determination. (More information) She and her sons came out of the same poverty and racism that is drowning third and fourth generations of Americans.
We must rise above -- and help others soar. Dr. Carson used an image – an eagle soars because if has two wings, right and left. America is not soaring. How we are debating and using our power is pulling us down. The left side of political spectrum urges many things that are caring, wise and vital. Yet, much that the right cautions is as compassionate, sensible and necessary.
Public policy debate is unraveling our national fabric – in a world of forces opposed to liberty. Pointing out our nakedness and blaming each other for it will not clothe future generations or us! But owning up to our part in the unraveling and working to reweave what we can is the opportunity we have.
The course our elected leaders are charting is and will have consequences that may be unpleasant and unforeseen – much the way framers of our Constitution could not have anticipated what their failure to abolish slavery would cost future generations. We would be wise to consider the consequences of our current course – even speculating on what might be unintended consequences.
Having this conversation is complicated by how we talk about our positions – left and right. Dr. Carson’s remarks set a high bar for a good conversation! And the President’s remarks were equally worth the time to attend, as were Andre Botticelli’s spontaneous words, and Gabrielle Douglas’ closing prayer. I hope you will listen to it all. (National Prayer Breakfast 2013)