The 2016 presidential election will be a battle for the soul of America. After six years under the most divisive president in our nation’s history, we desperately need a unifying leader, someone who can bring us together over the things we share in common rather than driving us further apart over the things we disagree on. There are a number of worthy contenders for the GOP nomination for 2016, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). But none is as able to unify our great nation as renowned neurosurgeon turned author and speaker Dr. Ben Carson.
I first met Dr. Carson three years ago at a conference in St. Louis, before any talk of his running for office. I came away deeply impressed by his intelligence, his well-rounded knowledge and talent, his unassuming nature and his deep passion for America and the truths our nation was founded on. I’ve had the privilege to see Dr. Carson again on multiple occasions since that first meeting, and I am continually impressed by his strong character.
Dr. Carson shot to national prominence last year, after he gave a stirring and deeply honest speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. With President Obama sitting only feet away, Dr. Carson spoke out against the politically correct ideology that is tearing our nation apart. He spoke in favor of a fairer taxation system, and he boldly suggested real solutions to the health care crisis – solutions that are fairer and far more sustainable than Obamacare.
This extraordinary man has captured the hearts and imaginations of countless Americans. His autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” describes his rise from humble beginnings to national prominence. Raised by a single mother in dire poverty in Detroit, Carson overcame his early hatred of education and a violent temper, and went on to study medicine. When he was 33, he became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore – the youngest division director in Johns Hopkins history.
Now, a growing number of grassroots Americans are urging Dr. Carson to throw his hat in the ring for the 2016 election. A PAC formed to draft him into the race, the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, has raised over $2.8 million and garnered thousands of signatures on petitions urging Dr. Carson to run. I also urge him to do so.
Dr. Carson is a man of character who loves his country and wants to do all he can to heal the deep wounds that we’ve sustained over years of divisive politics and partisan bickering. He is refreshingly honest and able to keep the debate real, as he showed in his speech at the prayer breakfast. He is not easily cowed by the ad hominem attacks and name-calling that so often take the place of intelligent debate in this country. He can look an issue in the face and call it by its name, communicating the truth in calm yet passionate tones.
He is not a career politician, and that’s one of his core strengths. He’s a true statesman. He knows what life is like for real Americans. His knowledge and conviction will give him an edge in the political arena, especially as his opponents won’t see him coming. More, as an African-American conservative, Dr. Carson is in a unique position to reach minorities, grassroots and people of many backgrounds and political leanings.
The Republican Party has always been the party of liberators, and Dr. Carson would allow us to reclaim that identity. We are living in an era more deeply divisive than any other in this country since the time of Reconstruction after the Civil War. If Dr. Carson can be drafted to run for the 2016 GOP nomination, he has a strong chance of winning the primaries and even the White House. He is the right candidate for this time in American history, and the only contender with the ability to unite our nation once more.
Rev. CL Bryant is a former NAACP Chapter President and Creator of the documentary film “Runaway Slave.”
FYI — B&R has not endorsed any candidate for the 2016 presidential campaign.