Right words, wrong place

Obama critic should have chosen better time to air concerns

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We love people who tell it like it is, and who speak truth to power.

But there’s an art to knowing when to do it.

Benjamin Carson may be a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, but when it comes to the art of knowing when to tell it like it is, he’s no Picasso.

Conservatives in cyberspace have been applauding Dr. Carson for days now for his in-your-face keynote speech at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday – in which he took a scalpel to the national debt, failures in education, the tax system and health care.

He knew what he was doing, too. He knew the president was a couple seats away. And he prefaced his remarks with a rant – 100 percent true – about political correctness and not being afraid to speak one’s mind.

“I have discovered ... in recent years,” he said, “that it’s very difficult to speak to a large group of people these days and not offend someone. ... The PC police are out in force at all times. ... And we’ve reached the point where people are afraid to actually talk about what they want to say because somebody might be offended. ... (A)nd it keeps people from saying what they really believe. ... (W)hat we need to do in this PC world is forget about
unanimity of speech and unanimity of thought, and we need to concentrate on being respectful to those people with whom we disagree. ...

“I’m very, very compassionate, and I’m not ever out to offend anyone. But PC is dangerous. Because, you see, this country – one of the founding principles was freedom of thought and freedom of expression, and (political correctness) muffles people. It puts a muzzle on them, and at the same time keeps people from discussing important issues while the fabric of this society is being changed.”

That’s something that has to be said, and something conservatives love to hear. They also have been cheering Dr. Carson’s approach to the tax system (it’s not supposed to punish the wealthy, he says; proportional taxation is fine, even biblically supportable) and health care (he favors creation of health savings accounts to encourage individual responsibility, as opposed to the nation’s current path of government-centric reforms).

But as much as we appreciate and agree with the doctor’s prescription, his bedside manner is another thing.

The prayer breakfast should never be about politics. Nor is it muzzling oneself to know when to speak up and when not to.

Even stalwart conservative columnist Cal Thomas writes that Dr. Carson owes President Obama an apology.

“His remarks were inappropriate for the occasion,” Thomas writes. “It would have been just as inappropriate had he praised the president’s policies.”

There was nothing wrong with what he said, just when and where.

It’s also regrettable because Carson not only has powerful ideas for American civic renewal, but a most compelling personal story to back it up. He used his mother’s ironclad orders to read incessantly – including the Bible – to rise from a fatherless household in a dangerous, despairing urban environment to become one of the most respected surgeons in the world.

We hope folks can wring
from his remarks the
medicine that could help turn this country around. Freedom. Responsibility. Fair taxation. A strong educational system that doesn’t try to fool itself and others about the real state of things. Spirituality. And a realization that, like an eagle, this country can’t fly without a left wing and a right wing.

We just wish he’d picked another place and time to say it.

Comments (26)

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carcraft
20738
Points
carcraft 02/14/13 - 06:32 am
13
3

Somebody needs to speak the

Somebody needs to speak the truth, the American press and media are not. At least we know Obama has heard the truth!

ymnbde
7526
Points
ymnbde 02/14/13 - 07:11 am
8
2

right words, only place

he had for speaking truth directly to power... was there ever a more courageous example?
Should a religious (black) man not speak his mind when there are political men (white) in the room? Should he have been a modern day Hattie and just stayed in the back until he was called forward, then said "I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my (religion) race and to the motion picture industry (political correctness)"? Religious people are just as good as politically correct people, and should not need sit in the back of the bus any longer.
Separation of church and state is the new "separate but equal." Speak (drink) in a church (black water fountain), but not in public (white water fountain).

ymnbde
7526
Points
ymnbde 02/14/13 - 07:34 am
10
2

right words, only place

and there was never a better example of speaking truth to power.
Should he have said, "I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race (religion) and to the motion picture industry (political correctness)"?
Separation of church and state is the new "separate but equal." Is Dr. Carson not allowed to speak (drink) in public (the white water fountain)?
Christians are free men, too.

Rhetor
862
Points
Rhetor 02/14/13 - 07:45 am
4
17

sigh

Using the National Prayer Breakfast to promote ignorant right-wing politics? The conservatives may be right after all--the country is going to pot.

ymnbde
7526
Points
ymnbde 02/14/13 - 08:14 am
17
2

if this man is ignorant

then there is none, not one, among humanity who isn't...
the new racists are being confronted. They have no defense, other than to call us ignorant.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 02/14/13 - 08:14 am
14
2

The nerve of someone to

Unpublished

The nerve of someone to introduce religion at a Prayer Breakfast. How inappropriate. {end sarcasm}

Riverman1
70696
Points
Riverman1 02/14/13 - 08:25 am
18
3

Oh, get out of here. If you

Oh, get out of here. If you want to see something inappropriate look at when Jimmy Carter went off on President Bush at Coretta Scott King's funeral with a pack of liberal urban myths. The national press ignored Jimmy's uncouth, hostile attacking remarks that were bascially lies. Dr. Carson WAS POLITE.

grouse
1586
Points
grouse 02/14/13 - 08:28 am
0
1

So, the Chronicle supports

Unpublished

So, the Chronicle supports being able to speak what one wants, but castigates the physician for being not politically correct regarding a quasi-religious event? First of all, there should be no National Prayer breakfast, and secondly, right-wing radio and TV have never been stifled as far as saying anything they want, no matter how outrageously inappropriate.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 02/14/13 - 08:46 am
17
3

Polite AND factual. Two

Unpublished

Polite AND factual. Two traits that his liberal counterparts can't seem to grasp.

Gary Ross
3346
Points
Gary Ross 02/14/13 - 08:50 am
16
3

The Bible tells us...

...there is a time and place for everything under Heaven. To speak the truth at a Prayer Breakfast is the right place and the right time. He should have said more! Political correctness is poison.

deestafford
18397
Points
deestafford 02/14/13 - 08:56 am
16
1

I sincerely disagree with you and Cal Thomas on this

Not once did Dr Carson mention democrats or republican or Obamacare. All of his points were based on biblical teachings. I read Cal Thomas's column here yesterday and then went and read it at Townhall to see the comments. There were over 100 comments and over 99% were against your and Thomas's position on this. Let's face it, the only reason Obama is there is for political cover because you will recall he did not attend the first prayer breakfast during his presidency.

seenitB4
72837
Points
seenitB4 02/14/13 - 09:02 am
15
2

Smart mother

The man is a genius....& pc is killing us....I say more power to the man & thank you for having a backbone to say what YOU THINK!

Little Lamb
40206
Points
Little Lamb 02/14/13 - 09:03 am
12
4

Equal Time

President Obama will demand equal time for praise of his administration at next year's prayer breakfast. At that point, politics will become the central focus of the prayer breakfast.

On a slightly different subject, I really wish someone would have taken up Joe Wilson's mantle and reminded President Obama that he lied again at this week's State of the Union address. At least after the address Newt Gingrich called Obama on his "all my proposals are fully paid for" lie. But it would have been cool to have heard it shouted from the House floor one more time.

itsanotherday1
34790
Points
itsanotherday1 02/14/13 - 09:28 am
14
2

Where else, and how else,

Where else, and how else, could Dr. Carson have had such a commanding podium to speak from? I think it was a stroke of genius; I can't think of any other circumstance his message could have gotten so much play.

crkgrdn
2172
Points
crkgrdn 02/14/13 - 10:03 am
7
2

Just as it was 2,000 years ago, it is now

If Jesus were to enter the public square today, we now know what would happen. He would receive the same awful reception that he received in Jerusalem. What Cal Thomas and this paper wrote about Dr. Carson are testament to that realization.

So sad as we begin the Lenten Season.

Little Lamb
40206
Points
Little Lamb 02/14/13 - 11:09 am
3
5

Speech

I wonder if ACES is waiting until the Sunday edition to publish their editorial about Augusta State Representative Earnest Smith's co-sponsorship of a bill limiting freedom of the press? Here's the story:

Contains Nudity

dichotomy
26703
Points
dichotomy 02/14/13 - 11:25 am
10
3

Do you think we would even be

Do you think we would even be talking about Carson if he had did this in a corner somewhere with a local reporter? I think he did EXACTLY the right thing when he had the opportunity. And, if anything needs to be said at a prayer breakfast, it would be someone finally telling the truth instead of giving another lying speech.

I applaud what he did, where he did it, and CERTAINLY what he said. A prayer breakfast is a GREAT place to someone to speak the truth.

Michael Ryan
540
Points
Michael Ryan 02/14/13 - 01:01 pm
2
2

No, LL, we couldn't wait till

No, LL, we couldn't wait till Sunday. It's tomorrow. Cartoon to match!

Riverman1
70696
Points
Riverman1 02/14/13 - 01:50 pm
5
1

View the Video

I encourage everyone to find the video of the entire speech as I did and decide if it is a rude confrontation. It's not in any way. The self-reliance he speaks of can't be seriously questioned. His theme of cooperation of the left and right can't be either.

faithson
4601
Points
faithson 02/14/13 - 02:10 pm
1
5

mixin' the ole temporal with so called 'spiritual'

or the Practical with the Idealist... Leave the prayer breakfast to the Idealists, giving a litany of 'how it is's just doesn't seem to fit the occasion. some may think otherwise.

Willow Bailey
20252
Points
Willow Bailey 02/14/13 - 02:11 pm
7
1

Too many political and

Too many political and religious rule makers and rules that change to meet one's agenda of promoting lies. You do recall, ACES, that Jesus despised both. Kudos to Dr. Carson; may he encourage others to think and speak out for what is true.

crkgrdn
2172
Points
crkgrdn 02/14/13 - 03:01 pm
5
2

Re: Mike Ryan's response to LL

Not here, too! Our local press is arm in arm with not only Cal Thomas and the other members of the national press in denouncing Dr. Carson. All of them are nothing less than a collection of shrill eunuchs!

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 02/14/13 - 05:05 pm
6
2

Dr. Carson is a brilliant man

Unpublished

Dr. Carson is a brilliant man and knew exactly what he was doing. It would be very hard to find a better stage to state his position. He did it brilliantly. So he embarrassed the commie in the WH he needs to be embarrassed.

allhans
21960
Points
allhans 02/14/13 - 05:17 pm
7
2

Dr. Carson warned us about

Dr. Carson warned us about this very thing...p.c.

Darby
19239
Points
Darby 02/14/13 - 06:57 pm
7
2

"We just wish he’d picked another place....

and time to say it."

.

In the minds of so many, there is no correct place or time to criticize Obama.

There is certainly no place or time that ever been sacred to the liberals. (I remember two prominent funerals in which Democrats did everything but stand on the deceased caskets to rail against Republicans.) Why should not the same rules apply for conservatives.

In the parlance of our friends from Down Under, "Good on ya Carson".

Death to all political correctness!

sniper
3
Points
sniper 02/14/13 - 09:16 pm
1
4

I hope ACES isn't paid for

I hope ACES isn't paid for such pap.

AutumnLeaves
4726
Points
AutumnLeaves 02/14/13 - 09:23 pm
6
1

Dr. Benjamin Carson's speech.

Dr. Benjamin Carson is my current hero; despite the protesting in the editorial. I applaud him for courageously speaking up within earshot of President Obama. There was no better place; in my opinion, it was the best place.

myfather15
42170
Points
myfather15 02/14/13 - 09:38 pm
2
1

President Obama surrounds

President Obama surrounds himself with people who agree with his policies. He refuses to go onto media outlets who might actually question with boldness, his policies. Instead, he decides to go on the Daily Show, 60 Minutes, MSNBC, The View and any other show who will NOT hold him to answer for his policies. He continues to go onto shows that adore him and wouldn't DARE ask him anything that might be offensive. How dare anyone question our Imperialistic President, THATS TREASON!!

Dr. Carson addressed the President's policies exactly where he COULD do so with Obama sitting right there; because Obama won't show his face anywhere else where people might disagree with them. Good job Dr. Carson, I absolutely LOVE that you have a spine left. But this eats the left up that an EDUCATED BLACK MAN, can actually disagree with this President. Keep up the good work Dr. Carson. I'd LOVE to see you in the next Presidentail Race. Would be a tough choice for me if Rubio, West and Carson were in the primary. I think I would personally prefer West, because of his military service to this Country and he also isn't afraid to speak the truth about the left. But I certainly do want to see MUCH more of Dr. Carson.

freeradical
825
Points
freeradical 02/15/13 - 12:07 am
0
1

A C editorial staff , As a

A C editorial staff ,

As a news organization, the " timing " issue you need to be answering

to your subscribers is why the president of the United States finally

being handed his hat to hold at a national event was deemed by the

entire A C staff as being news worthy to the tune of being given not

word one in your paper the day it happened ? , nor the day after

happened ? .

Nor the day after that ? , nor the day after that ? , nor the day after

that ?, nor even the day after

that ?????????????????????????????????????

Not one word . Zilch .

Until now . And now only for the purpose of leveling charges at the

good Dr.

And then maybe you could explain that your reason for never reporting

word one of the actual story , has nothing in common with the

reason ABC ,CBS , NBC, etc,etc,etc, had for never reporting the acutal

news story .

And while you are at it would you might as well rationalize how the lack

of reporting would have been exactly the same if someone with

infinately more knowledge of the subject matter had publically handed

George Bush his hat at a national event in this same way ?

Even though we all know we would be wall eyed by now from

watching over , and over , and over again ad nausem George Bush

being handed his hat had this same scenerio happened to him.

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