Saturday, November 14, 2015

Ben Carson: Does His Ego Make Him Stupid?

eye'm thynkin':  #1 I want to start with candidate Carson's latest indignant response after the media demonstrated doubt over one of his campaign claims:

"The White House and a former director of the CIA are quite certain that Dr. Ben Carson's claim of China having a military 'presence' in Syria is wrong.  The national press, too, can find no evidence for this claim other than Dr. Ben Carson's own say-so, and have politely told him so...

...'I have several sources that I've got material from.  I'm surprised my sources are better than theirs,' he told reporters after a town hall event...

...Carson's campaign has assured reporters that they will be releasing evidence for Carson's claims at some point this weekend."

I expect we'll see his "evidence" about the same time we see that Yale "Most Honest Student" photo  he said he'd be producing.

Read more at Daily Kos

#2  The average person has to wonder why Ben Carson continues to insist that claims he has made--whether they be about his personal life, his tax plan, the Egyptian pyramids, and now, foreign intelligence--are true, even after evidence has proven otherwise.  The following excerpt, from an article written by a man who apparently has years of experience dealing with doctors of Mr. Carson's ilk, may provide some insight into what makes a man like Ben Carson tick.

"I've followed the phenomenon of Ben Carson's popularity among the GOP base with a mix of bemusement, irritation, and, like most of you, disbelief.  What prompts me to submit my first blog entry is the pervasive misuse of the word 'smart; by journalists of all stripes when describing Dr. Carson...

...'Smart' is a multifaceted cognitive feature composed of excellent analytical skills, possession of an extensive knowledge base that is easily and frequently augmented, possession of a good memory, and being readily curious about the world and willing, even eager to reject previously accepted notions in the face of new data...

...As a neurologist in practice for 20 years and one who has worked closely with many neurosurgeons, I can assure you, Dr. Ben Carson does not meet the above criteria.  Not even close...

...My point is that neurosurgeons are not automatically smart because they are neurosurgeons.  To get through training and have any sort of practice they must be disciplined, have immense ego strength, a reasonably good memory, and have mental and physical stamina.  However, like many other doctors, they are not always smart.  Neurosurgeons, like other surgeons, can be outstanding technicians, but that is different than being intellectually brilliant.  A truly brilliant internal medicine specialist once told me that 'you can train anyone to perform a procedure.'  I've seen surgical assistants perform technically difficult procedures with stunning alacrity.  Its the old rule: do something enough times and you will get damn good at it.

One feature shared by neurosurgeons far out of proportion to other doctors is a large ego (and) Ben Carson is exhibit 1 in this regard... You know, the kind of ego that requires not one large self-portrait prominently displayed in an ostentatious mansion but a second of Mr. Ego sitting with Jesus."

Whether Mr. Carson is truly smart or not is an argument that could go on forever, but at the same time, there can be no doubt that he possesses an ego so large it does not allow him to admit there are subjects about which he knows nothing--like foreign policy, the Egyptian pyramids, and, if the country's economists are correct, math.  

He may be a brilliant medical technician, but his inability to acknowledge his own lack of universal expertise or to understand why anyone would dare question anything he says is, to put it bluntly, stupid.  

Read more at Daily Kos

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