Askia MuhammadColumnistsOp-EdOpinion

MUHAMMAD: Ben Carson, the Brian Williams of Presidential Politics

Personally, I’m not angry or even disappointed at the fall from grace of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson. I have been convinced that it is very, very, very unlikely that he will win the GOP 2016 nomination – or one for any other year for that matter. The same goes for co-front-runner Donald Trump. It’s not going to happen. Trust me. Neither will win the nomination, let alone get to the White House, except as visitors.

Had Carson been an even average mathematician instead of a world-renowned brain surgeon, he would have been able to do the math. He can’t win a national election next November, and unless the Republican establishment is prepared to concede that there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that a White man can beat the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, unless they are prepared to throw up their hands in defeat, there is no way that they will give Carson a shot.

You see the incumbent Black president won two elections with only 30 percent of the White vote. But he won 95 percent of the Black vote, 70-some-percent of the Latino vote, and two-thirds of the Asian vote.

Carson can’t pull more than 20 percent of the Black vote — and that’s a stretch. A 20 percent Black vote would be considered fantastic for a White Republican and might be enough to pull off a victor for the GOP, weakening the Democrat’s support in key battleground states. But large numbers of White Republicans will never vote for a Black dude, regardless of how conservative he is.

Carson can’t win. Sorry, Ben.

But the wheels have begun rapidly falling off the Carson campaign bandwagon. A variety of fact-checkers have discovered a number of “discrepancies” in his campaign narrative and in the actual facts.

He said in a Facebook posting for example that his lack of political experience was on par with the U.S. founding fathers. “You are absolutely right — I have no political experience. The current Members of Congress have a combined 8,700 years of political experience. Are we sure political experience is what we need (?) Every signer of the Declaration of Independence had no elected office experience. What they had was a deep belief that freedom is a gift from God,” the statement said.

Oops. Less than 24 hours later, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal published fact-check articles revealing that a majority, “at least 27” of the 51 signers of the Declaration of Independence, had previous elected office experience.

Then Carson got caught in an odd conundrum during the third Republican debate when he claimed that he had no relationship with a supplement-scam company called Mannatech, despite video evidence showing him narrating a film for the product and claiming it magically cured his own cancer, along with a financial connection to the company going back a decade. Not surprisingly, nonpartisan fact checking outfit PolitiFact has rated his statement as “false.”

In fact, he’s been caught telling many stories which turned to be other than true. Carson’s 16 most notable factual statements have been analyzed by PolitiFact. None of them have been rated as “true” or “mostly true.” Instead, the best he’s done is three statements that qualified as “half-true,” while the others were all rated as “false” or “mostly false.” Two of his statements earned the rare “Pants on Fire” rating to denote a lie that is not only false but also egregiously false. Like maybe a claim that the Great Pyramids were built for grain storage rather than as tombs for the pharaohs.

And then there’s that West Point “full scholarship” stuff. Dr. B, everyone who is admitted to West Point or the Naval Academy, or the Air Force Academy, or the Coast Guard Academy, attends on full scholarship. The military services pay for the education of their officers. Besides, there is no evidence the Carson ever even applied or that his interlocutor — Gen. William Westmoreland — was even in Detroit for the Memorial Day 1969 event at which dude received the offer for a free-ride at West Point.

So, not to despair Dr. Ben, or Dr. Ben supporters, you have gone further and deeper into the GOP leadership than Herman “9-9-9” Cain, and further than little-known, iconoclastic Republican candidate Alan Keyes, which qualifies you for a special honor at the GOP National Convention next summer — a Devoid of Integrity Award to be presented by none other than NBC News anchor Brian Williams. Congratulations.

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Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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