Ben Carson, the famed neurosurgeon and conservative commentator, has enjoyed a welcoming platform at Fox News, where he formerly served as a contributor. In early November, for instance, Carson outlined a program for ending the cycle of dependency among the poor on an edition of “Hannity.” Host Sean Hannity responded, “A bold vision.” On Nov. 21, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, in discussing Carson’s presidential prospects, told Carson, “I will assure you that if [leftists] come after you in an unfair way, we will step up and help you out with that.”
Possible-presidential-candidate Carson now needs to show off his bona fides to other cable-news audiences, which perhaps explains why he surfaced this afternoon on CNN with anchor Wolf Blitzer. A significant chunk of the discussion focused on comments wherein Carson has compared the contemporary United States to Nazi Germany.
“To make the comparison of the United States and Nazi Germany — that just struck an awful tone,” said Blitzer in a non-question question. Carson responded: “Well, Nazi Germany experienced something horrible. The people in Nazi Germany largely did not believe in what Hitler was doing, but did they say anything? Of course not — they kept their mouths shut. And there’s some very important lessons to be learned there. The fact that our government is using instruments of government like the IRS to punish its opponents — this is not the kind of thing something that, as far as I’m concerned, is a Democrat or Republican issue. This is an American issue. This is something that threatens all of our liberty, all of our freedom.”
Carson said a bit more about how Americans are afraid to express themselves, not that Blitzer was impressed with the logic: “But to make the comparison, Dr. Carson, to Nazi Germany, the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazis, the devastation that erupted in Europe and around the world, to the United States of America,” said Blitzer. “I want you to reflect on what that potentially means.”
Complying with Blitzer’s polite request, Carson explained: “Again, you are just focusing on the words ‘Nazi Germany’ and completely missing the point … and that’s the problem right now. That’s what PCism is all about. You may not say this word, regardless of what your point is. Because if you say that word, I go into a tizzy. We can do better than that. When I was a child, and when you were a child, they used to say, ‘Sticks and stones break my bones, words will never hurt me.’ What ever happened to that? We need to get to the point where we can look beyond the word and look for the meaning.”
Please excuse Blitzer for thinking that the words “Nazi Germany” have patent meaning without looking “beyond the word.”
The host asked Carson if he wished to amend his stance on the parallels between Nazi Germany and the United States. Carson declined the invitation. That’s hardly surprising, given that Carson has been terribly consistent on this point.