Can Ben Carson Heal a Broken Republican Party?

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Why voters who are flocking in droves to the man they see as the anti-Trump.

Dr. Ben Carson has successfully separated conjoined twins and removed half of a human being’s brain. But on to more difficult work: Can the world-renown pediatric surgeon save the Republican Party from its self-loathing infatuation with Donald Trump?

At a Republican Bar-B-Q in Anderson, South Carolina, this week, it wasn’t hard to find conservatives who are praying, literally, that the answer is “yes.” A Monmouth University poll released that day showed Trump leading the South Carolina primary field with 30 percent, Carson in second with 15 percent, and no other candidate in the double digits.

Holding signs that said simply, “HEAL,” hundreds of Carson faithful turned out to see the man they have admired for years and are now hoping will lead the country.

Thanks so the massive success of his first book, Gifted Hands, and an in-your-face speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast where he rebuked President Obama, Carson enjoys a celebrity among evangelicals and conservatives in the way Donald Trump enjoys celebrity among everybody else. Gifted Hands has been a fixture in many homeschooling curriculums since its release in 1996. His latest book, One Nation, has sold more than 350,000 copies, more than all of the other GOP presidential candidates’ books combined.

And unlike Trump, Carson is a soft-spoken, overtly religious man. The word that resurfaces again and again in conversations about him is “humble.”

“We have known Ben Carson from his book, Gifted Hands,” said Jerry Collier, who traveled to the BBQ from Six Mile, South Carolina. “In medicine, he did the impossible. In government, we think he can do the impossible, too.”

Irene and Andy Kelleher have also known of Carson well before he flirted with the idea of running for president. “We knew him from the Prayer Breakfast, of course,” Irene said.

“We’ve read his books, we know his life, he realized the American Dream coming from the bottom. He’s a problem solver and he cares.”

When Trump’s name came up during the dinner, which featured speeches from Carson, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Senator Ted Cruz, heads shook sideways. Trump’s an “‘I’ man. ‘I.I.I,’” said Shirley Ellison. “Remember, ‘sin’ has a big ‘I’ in the middle of it. I like that Dr. Carson is not stuck on himself. He’s stuck on helping people.”

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Source: The Daily Beast | Patricia Murphy

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