Several months ago, when Ben Carson first began to threaten Donald Trump in the polls, I wondered what would happen when The Donald finally began to attack Ben Carson in earnest, and I have to say, this far exceeds my expectations. Republican presidential co-frontrunner Donald Trump took his rivalry with retired neurosurgeon and non-child-molester Ben Carson to eleven Thursday when he rolled out a riff involving Carson’s alleged “pathological temper” and “child molesters.” Never known for his restraint, Trump laid down the Ben Carson Is Pathological Like a Child Molester Extended Dance Remix at a campaign rally in Fort Dodge, Iowa last night:
If you’re pathological, there’s no cure for that, folks. There’s no cure for that… If you’re a child molester, a sick puppy, you’re a child molester, there’s no cure for that. There’s only one cure, we don’t want to talk about that cure. That’s the ultimate cure. Well, there’s death, and there’s the other thing. But if you’re a child molester, there’s no cure, they can’t stop you. Pathological, there’s no cure.
That segment was part of a full eleven-minute barrage against Carson that included a reenactment of the alleged knife attack that caused Carson to discover the book of Proverbs that he had already been reading for four years, and a pantomimed hammer attack on Carson’s mother.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. Isn’t Ben Carson the guy who’s always going on about how political correctness is ruining America, and how you can’t even make an Auschwitz joke without some Jew getting his or her yarmulke in a bunch? How could he possibly object to anything Trump says?
The problem is that attacking Ben Carson was always going to be a risky proposition for Donald Trump. Time and again, he’s leveled attacks that people were positive would result in his exile from the Republican race, and time and again, those attacks have only made him stronger, but Ben Carson has a deep, special well of support from social conservatives. Calling someone an “okay doctor” is one thing, but comparing Ben Carson to a child molester is like attacking their own personal baby Jesus.
Lucky for Donald Trump, he didn’t actually compare Ben Carson to a child molester. I know it sounds like he did, but according to the person whose opinion matters most in this area, he in fact did not. Ben Carson would know, because he has experience in totally not comparing people to child molesters, and then explaining how he wasn’t comparing people to child molesters:
In terms of what was said on Sean Hannity’s show, that was taken completely out of context and completely misunderstood in terms of what I was trying to say.
You know, as a Christian, you know, I have a duty to love all people and that includes people who have other sexual orientations, and I certainly do, and never had any intention of offending anyone. What I was basically saying, and if anybody was offended, I apologize to you. But what I was basically saying is that there is no group. I wasn’t equating those things, I don’t think they’re equal. Just, you know, if you ask me for apple and I give you an orange you would say, well that’s not an orange. And then I say, that’s a banana, that’s not an apple either. And there’s a peach, that’s not an apple, either. But it doesn’t mean that I’m equating the banana and the orange and the peach. And in the same way I’m not equating those things.
My point was that once we start changing the definitions, then where do we stop? You know, we can go with anything.
So, if you want to take Donald Trump out of context like some kind of namby-pamby dog owner/Holocaust survivor, go right ahead, but all Donald Trump was doing was explaining that if you asked someone for a piece of fruit, they would either hand you a Ben Carson or a child molester. That’s all. There was certainly no intention to offend anyone.
When Trump first rocketed to the top of the GOP polls, there appeared to be a lot of crossover between his voters and Carson’s, but now that Carson has pulled even with him, it looks like they’ve already chosen sides. If you’d have asked me two months ago, I’d have said that the fallout from this kind of attack on Ben Carson could severely damage Trump, but now, it just looks like it will solidify two camps that are similar in one respect, kind of like Ben Carson and child molesters, neither of whom like to waste their time with old people.
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