Ben Carson Is Very Much Opposed to Political Correctness but a Proponent of Campus Censorship of Free Expression

As Tyler Kingkade has illustrated in an  article published yesterday by the Huffington Post, Ben Carson has frequently railed against “political correctness” and, in particular, against the attempts to silence conservative voices of college campuses:

For example, Carson compared the U.S. to Nazi Germany last March, before saying, “I know you’re not supposed to say ‘Nazi Germany,’ but I don’t care about political correctness. You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.”

In 2012, Carson said: “[People] need to rise up, they need to say to political correctness: ‘Take a hike. This is who we are, this is what we believe in, these are principles that allowed us to become the pinnacle nation in the world in record time and we’re not about to throw them out of the window for the sake of political correctness.'”

That same year, he also said: “You know, there is no society that can long survive without values and principles. And if we get so caught up in political correctness that nothing is right and nothing is wrong, then we go the same route as ancient Rome. They did exactly the same thing. And they forgot who they were. They stood for nothing and they fell for everything and they went right down the tubes.”

In 2013, Carson said: “That’s one of the major components. But the other thing we have to realize is we’re being crucified by political correctness — because you’re not supposed to say anything to that young woman who’s having a baby out of wedlock, because ‘that lifestyle is equivalent to any other lifestyle.'”

At last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Carson declared: “It’s time for people to stand up and proclaim for what they believe and stop being bullied.” He added that people with common sense “have been beaten into submission” by the “PC police.”

In August 2014, Carson again refused to apologize for comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany, saying the “PC police” want to “stifle people’s conversation.”

In February, Carson said on “The O’Reilly Factor”: “We need to be in a place where people feel free to express themselves and not to be intimidated by political correctness. It’s destroying our nation, and there is a reason that our founders, one of the very first amendment, freedom of speech, freedom of expression.”

At September’s Values Voter Summit, Carson said: “Political correctness is ruining our country and we need to stand up for what we actually believe.”

While campaigning on a college campus in Michigan later that month, Carson said: “Political correctness is imposed by the secular progressives and those who wish to fundamentally change our society. Therefore, they make things off limits to talk about, but you know what? I’m going to talk about it anyway.”

This month, Carson said: “We shouldn’t give away our values for the sake of political correctness.” 

Yet, as a short item published by Daily Kos highlights, Carson has also delineated the following role for the Department of Education:

“During an interview, Glenn Beck asked Carson if he would shut down the Education Department as president.

“’I actually have something I would use the Department of Education to do,’ Carson responded. ‘It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists.’”

Clearly, by “extreme political bias,” Carson means “political bias” to be understood very narrowly as bias he does not share, and he means “extreme” to be understood as “any.”

So he is not only radically redefining the notions of free expression and censorship, but he is also radically redefining a whole list of words related to the issues involved.

But, I suppose, that is the definition of a truly transformative candidate: one who take on the world as we know it and transforms it into something that we can no longer recognize.

2 thoughts on “Ben Carson Is Very Much Opposed to Political Correctness but a Proponent of Campus Censorship of Free Expression

  1. Pingback: Ben Carson, Academic Freedom, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution | The Academe Blog

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