Ben Carson Is A Man With A Lot To Lose (Whether He Realizes It, Or Not)

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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While some African-American pastors and community leaders worry Dr. Ben Carson’s presidential campaign might tarnishing his reputation as a positive example to the black community, I also worry conservatives might be losing a messenger.

“Carson’s personal accomplishments — and the work he has done to help black communities — still garner respect and pride among African Americans,” the Washington Post avers. “Yet, while he has been a conservative for as long as he has been famous, many worry that he risks eroding his legacy in their community and transforming himself into a fringe political figure.”

Likewise,I wrote two years ago that “he could be a much more effective witness for his conservative beliefs were he to maintain his stature as a respected professional within the medical profession and academic community,” adding that:

The last thing conservatives need is another red-meat-hurling political pundit. They’re a dime a dozen. We could easily pluck one from a “morning zoo” radio show tomorrow. What conservatism really needs is, I don’t know … a highly-respected African-American pediatric neurosurgeon who could lend credibility and seriousness to the cause.

What’s that Fitzgerald line about no second acts in American life?

Maybe Dr. Carson will surprise us by running the kind of campaign that will make us all proud. That’s certainly possible. (If nothing else, this GOP field is already shaping up to be incredibly diverse.) The big question is whether or not this cavalcade of conservatism will end up looking like the cavalry — or a clown car.

If it’s the later, that would be especially unfortunate for Dr. Carson. That’s no way to ride off into the sunset.