Ben Carson once rooted around in the brains of children and made a good reputation as a neurosurgeon. His own brain has enough bat crazy pathologies to merit his own wing at the Rubber Room Academy of
Passive Restraint. Carson brags about unconfirmed acts of childhood violence with no tangible proof to feed his origin story with appropriate drama. He claims to have once attacked his mother with a hammer as well as attempting to stab a fellow 14 year old, only to have his victim’s belt buckle save him from young Carson’s murderous intent. No credible reporter has found any trace of truth in these mad, Gothic fantasies and Carson is now reconstituting his ambitious mania into a scapegoating of the media for requesting proof to go with his amoral confessionals.
Carson’s sleepy style of speaking only highlights this sick desire to create sympathy in the GOP base. He is trying to manufacture some amazing grace that saved a wretch like him so the voters will raise their hands in a vicarious, Bible fueled orgasm of prodigal son, kill the fatted calf identification. Carson knows that the worse the perceived sin, the more dramatic the conversion. Refer to John Belushi seeing the light in The Blues Brothers as preacher James Brown leads the choir during the soul saving gospel. The voters Carson is lying to will look just like this, or so Carson clearly wants to believe.
He may get his share of the born again bloc but Carson’s rise is only an indictment of the evangelical right. They have augmented their condescending self righteousness with a breast beating, electoral self mortification. The more pitiable Carson’s past is prior to his “conversion”, the more punch it will have with voters who see the voting booth as a kind of confessional. They will enter sinners and depart as Carson approved saints. Carson hits me as a nerd who did well in school and lacking any political experience, reverted to fantasy to get the attention of his Bible addled marks.
His own self absorpsion made this strategy a natural fit. Donald Trump’s mental illness is more obvious. He is an insecure narcissist who needs to greatly exaggerate his wealth times five when he is already a billionaire. He wants to build a massive wall on the Mexican border while making the Mexicans pay for it and he has just declared that he wants to round up 11 million illegal immigrants and ship them out. The estimated cost of this forced repatriation squad would be some 600 million dollars.
Otherwise, the GOP stage is comprised of carnival barkers with more carnival barkers asking the questions. Cable networks are larding up their ad rates as the extreme right bloviating continues. The perfect model for the media would be year round campaigning every year and we are getting closer to that as the candidates become ever bigger cartoon avatars of themselves. The golden goose for everyone but the voters is Citizens United. Unlimited money has handed over the last electoral levers to the Koch brothers and a few other billionaires while cable networks get fat on the sociopaths who want ultimate power as an ego massage with the hoped for happy ending at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. At least Lincoln Chafee has gone home. The flattened souffle that is Donald’s Trump’s ego boiled over in it its over baked brain pan when Himself called the voters of Iowa “stupid”. Ben Carson is proving to be impervious to his own poison darts of wholesale fiction and the Rump Tower can’t stand it.
There is no message save what Marshall McLuhan once warned us about. “The medium is the message”. With Trump, Carson and the rest of the great pretenders running for the GOP nomination, the message is only that cable networks will continue to prosper for the modest price of giving up any pretense of serving the public interest with detached, fair and objective coverage. There is too much coin on the table to play it straight. The take away is that sick ambition sells and we can’t help but watch.
There are too many boobs who want to be president afoot to turn the cameras away from their grotesque self promotion. We are living in the great American fun house, the mirrors are cracked and the only way out is to smash all of them so the exit can be found amid the broken shards. Find your hammers, people.
It’s the only way out.