One Nation: An Interview with Dr. Ben Carson
By Beth Patch
CBN.com - Dr. Ben Carson's common sense approach to solving the United States' societal woes and political division rivals the works of pre-revolutionary author/activist Thomas Paine. Many are hoping he will run for President in the upcoming election year.
In a candid interview with CBN's Beth Patch, Dr. Carson elaborates on points made in his latest writing, One Nation.
Beth Patch: In your book, One Nation, the subtitle reads, What We Can All Do to Save America's Future.
Dr. Ben Carson: Yes.
Beth: What is it about America's future that you feel needs saving?
Ben: Well, basically like most Americans, I feel that we're on the wrong track, and we're moving downward rather than upward. What has happened is that we've become extraordinarily divided as a nation, and the people who manipulate people's feelings have gotten a lot of Americans to feel that we're each other's enemies; and as Jesus once said, a house divided against itself cannot stand. I think that has a lot to do with our downward trajectory, the inability to work together to pool our resources and to move upward rather than downward. So this book really helps people understand what our common goals and values are. As well as who are the individuals and organizations that are trying to divide us? And for what purpose? And what we can do to thwart their efforts and build a strong and productive country again.
Beth: What can one person do?
Ben: A lot. At the end of each chapter there's four bullet points that give you action steps that you can take right now, today! Both in terms of improving your own life, but also collectively with others. Beginning to talk, for instance. Not being intimidated by political correctness. Some of the things: informing yourself, making sure you know who represents you and how did they vote? Not how did they say they voted, but how did they actually vote and is that consistent with your value system? Understanding finance, the basic rudimentary things about finance - so that you can be a sophisticated voter.
All of those kinds of things are the things that will strengthen the nation. Our system was based upon informed populace, and what we've become is we're pretty well informed about who's winning America's Got Talent and who's playing football, but we're not informed about the important things, and that makes us extremely vulnerable and easy to manipulate.
Beth: Do you have any ideas on how the people could be motivated to want to get educated?
Ben: Well, I think first of all you just have to talk about what happened in the pre-revolutionary days. People started having neighborhood meetings, town meetings - inviting not just the patriots, but the loyalists as well, talking about what kind of nation did they want to have and what did they need to do in order to get that? We have to do the same kind of thing today: encourage each other and recognize what the consequences are of not doing that. I think we're already starting to see the consequences. But this is something that can be halted.
Beth: You use the book of Proverbs a lot in your book. What do you say to American people about how that could be helpful to them?
Ben: Well, returning to our Judeo-Christian values can make an incredible difference. You look at how mean-spirited people have gotten, how they get in their little corners and throw bombs at each other, just call each other names and act like enlarged third graders. Obviously, it's getting to be an acceptable practice in our country, and I think we just need to make it clear that that's not who we are. I remember specifically the president saying, "The United States is not a Judeo-Christian nation." But it is. You look at our documents, you look at our monuments, you look at just about everything, you look at our money - it talks about God, our relationship with Him. To say that that's not who we are is just denying the obvious, and we need to start being proud of who we are rather than running away from it.
Beth: Have any politicians have made an attempt to put your healthcare reform into action?
Ben: Well, I'm working with a number of different ones now. I've met with the health caucus, working with Doctors for Health Reform and Heritage Foundation, and the American Legacy PAC. Their first ad is rolling out today about what are the essential features of good health? Then every two weeks we're rolling out another aspect of it so that we can just gradually educate the American people.
Beth: Is it bipartisan?
Ben: Everything I do is bipartisan.
Beth: Some might say you're like a modern-day Thomas Paine with your common sense approach to solving problems in our government. How do you feel about that?
Ben: Well, yeah, I feel privileged that God has chosen to use Candy and I in a way that would get people thinking again, and it's all Him, really. He needs willing vehicles.
Beth: Is there a place online or elsewhere where people can get advice or guidance on following up with suggested actions in your book?
Ben: Well, they can go through realbencarson.com
Ben: We have people who can help.
Beth: Could you explain how people can find common ground in polarizing issues like abortion, homosexuality, things of that nature?
Ben: Yeah. People have to understand that I would never advocate compromising your principles. But there's nothing wrong with compromising your methods of getting where you want to go. That's what, particularly conservatives, have to understand the difference. Some conservatives shoot themselves constantly by saying, "No, if they don't believe this, I don't want anything to do with them," and applying all of the litmus tests. After the primary, if their candidate can't run, they take their marbles and go home; and they don't understand that that's like voting for the other guy. It's the same as voting for the other guy when you have that attitude. You're much better off, obviously, working with somebody who agrees with you 90% of the time than somebody who opposes you 100% of the time. They have got to understand that you get a critical group of people at a place which are going to be much more amenable to the things of God than the other group would be, and they can be brought along. You'll never bring the other group along, and it's kind of frustrating sometimes when you see that people can't understand that. I'm hoping that over the course of time, they will be able to understand that using strategy and understanding how the system works is not compromising your principles - it's getting to the place where you can put your principles in place.
Beth: Today you said unless you're called, you won't run for President - but has anything changed on that in the last ten minutes? Has God spoken?
Ben: Well, I figure if that's something that the Lord wants me to do, it will happen; and it will happen in the way that He wants it to happen. I don't particularly want it to happen. But I recognize that He does everything for a reason, including the way that He orchestrates our lives.
Beth Patch serves as an Internet Producer for CBN.com. For more articles and info, visit Beth's bio page. Send Beth your comments.
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