Ben Carson Warns Americans Not To Elect Him President
The very first full sentence you will see upon visiting the campaign web site of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is a quote from James Madison: “The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.”
This statement is a clear signal that Ben Carson doesn’t believe he can be trusted with the Presidency. After all, Carson is seeking the executive power of government for himself, and here he is, saying that he believes he’s liable to abuse that power.
An alternative interpretation is that Ben Carson intends to destroy the power of government if he becomes President. Even if that’s so, why elect him, if he doesn’t even aspire to something honorable in the Presidency?
Besides, if he became President, Ben Carson would have to use the power of government to destroy the power of government. If the power of government would be liable to abuse, that means that even Ben Carson’s effort to use the power of government to destroy the power of government would be abusive.
The quote Carson chose suggests that power, not government, is the real problem. If Ben Carson destroyed government power, that power would not be destroyed. It would just flow into different hands – in big corporations and churches, and the ability of the people of the USA to share in some of the power of the government through the mechanisms of democracy would be gone.
Ben Carson’s selection of this statement about power for prominent use in his campaign materials suggests self-deception at best, and duplicity at worst. Carson’s combination of seeming disdain for power even as he claws for it is reminiscent of the attitude of Boromir, from The Lord Of The Rings. He identifies the thing which is most corrupt in the world, and then says that he’d like to borrow it for a while, please, because, after all, he could be trusted with it.
I don’t think so, Mr. Carson. One does not simply pull the wool over the eyes of the American people.
The truth is that the power of the Presidency is not liable to abuse, when its boundaries are respected. If Carson was truly concerned about excessive power in the Executive Branch, a legitimate concern, he would campaign for a seat in Congress, to seek to contribute to a greater check on presidential authority.