GEORGETOWN — Ben Carson does not like the path America has taken nor the direction it is heading.
And he believes faith, liberty, community and life are the solutions.
That’s the foundation for the American Cornerstone Institute — his think tank that had its Delaware launching Friday before an overflow audience at Crossroad Community Church, near Georgetown.
“Through research, dialogue and grassroots efforts, we will work to restore faith, liberty, community and life, both in Washington, D.C., and communities across the country. These are the cornerstones of the American dream. Today, it seems like we have neglected these four cornerstones,” said Dr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and politician who served as U.S. secretary of housing and urban development under President Donald Trump from 2017-21. He also ran for the presidency in 2016.
ACI, which pledges to remain a nonpartisan, not-for-profit institute and work with anyone on anything that advances faith, liberty, community or life, is calling on people for monetary support — and to take action.
“We look forward to not only being teammates in Cornerstone Delaware, but we look to be part of a new vital investment in this country … and us taking advantage of an opportunity to establish a new direction in Delaware and for the United States of America,” said John Hollis of Seaford, a longtime friend of the Carson family’s and a leader for Cornerstone Delaware.
“I am giving you an opportunity to invest in now, invest in the future and invest in godly principles returning to the government’s decision-making in this country. I am asking you to be part of Delaware Cornerstone, so that we can show this nation that we’re not the First State by accident. We’re the First State by action.”
According to Mr. Hollis, about 1,600 Delawareans heard Dr. Carson’s message last week, between the Crossroad event and various meetings with schools and other groups.
Joe Schell, whose family business, the developer Schell Brothers, was among the many sponsors of the Friday event, introduced Dr. Carson.
“We have to be what we can be by turning inward and saying, ‘I can be better than this. I can do things better,’” said Mr. Schell.
During his address, Dr. Carson shared a snapshot of his grade school days, saying he was known as the “dumbest” kid in his class. Spurred by his mom’s insistence on reading, by seventh grade, “I was No. 1,” he said.
He emerged from poverty in Detroit to attend Yale, the University of Michigan Medical School and attain world-renowned status as a neurosurgeon, thanks mainly through support from his mother — who worked several jobs because she did not believe in welfare — and his faith in God.
“My mother was the only one who believed in me,” he said.
Dr. Carson, who turned 70 in September and was feted at a Thursday gathering at the Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club in Seaford, offered his take on:
- Today’s educational system — “As bad as a student I was, I actually feel worse for some of the students today. Can you imagine being a 5- or 6-year-old? First of all, you’ve got (to) wear a mask. So you can’t see people’s facial expressions, (but) you are supposed to learn how to correlate what people are saying with how they look. That is part of the sociological development. We don’t even know what the implications of that will be.” “Then, they are told they may be carrying some horrible disease. Even though they may not be affected by it, they may give it to their grandmother — and ‘kill’ her. The problem is grandmothers do get old and die. Now, the kid is feeling guilty about it.
“Then, if they are White, they are told that they are evil. They are oppressors. Their parents are oppressors. Their relatives are oppressors. They cause all the problems for everybody else. And if they are Black or some other minority, they are victims, and they can’t possibly succeed in this systemically racist society, (where) other people are controlling their destiny.
“All of this is happening while they are trying to develop their self-image. And if that is not bad enough, they may not be a girl or a boy. It’s child abuse. That is what’s going on in our society today. And whose duty is it to protect our children?”
- Being politically correct — “I have got to tell you a secret, … when God passes out talent, he doesn’t do it on the basis of color. These days people always make disclaimers before they speak. I have to make a disclaimer, too. My disclaimer is, I am not politically correct. It is not my intention to offend anyone, (but) if anyone is offended, too bad!”
- Welfare: “My mother was out working extremely hard — two, sometimes three, jobs at a time, leaving at 5 in the morning and getting back at midnight because she didn’t like the idea of welfare. She didn’t like the idea of somebody else being in charge of her life.
“Boy, has that changed. In our society today, you have people who don’t want to go to work. They’d rather sit at home and collect a check based on somebody else’s work, and they are perfectly satisfied, not recognizing that when you go to work, you gain skills, and you hone those skills, and you develop relationships, and you get opportunities that you won’t get sitting at home. We need to help people to understand that … it’s the ‘can-do’ attitude that made America great, not the ‘what you can you do for me’ attitude.’”
- Critical race theory — “The critical race theory people, … they try to make us believe that because of slavery, we are the worst people ever. Ever since there have been societies in history, there has been slavery. Unfortunately, there are more slaves today in the world than there have ever been when you look at human trafficking and what’s going on in this country. There are more sexual slaves today than there were in 1863 when the Emancipation Proclamation was put forth.”
Dr. Carson said that in his lifetime there have been Black admirals, generals, CEOs for Fortune 500 companies and presidents of universities, including Ivy League schools. “We’ve had a Black president elected twice,” Dr. Carson said. “There is a Black vice president — although you never see her.
“Anybody who said that things have not changed, they are not being honest. Does it mean that we don’t need to continue making progress? No, it doesn’t mean that. We need that progress based on the good things that have happened, not looking back, pointing fingers, trying to make people feel guilty, trying to make people feel like victims. All that is going to do is divide us further.”
- People power — Dr. Carson said the United States was designed to be of, by and for the people, not ruled by monarchs and kings “that just dominated, told you what you could do, where you could go, how you could do it, what you could say. You could be executed for saying the wrong thing. They didn’t want that in our country. They wanted the people to be in charge. Our founders were very wise men.
“But governments have a tendency to grow, a tendency to infiltrate. They have a tendency to dominate. That’s why our founders spent so much time and effort writing our Constitution, which was supposed to be a tool that allowed the people to maintain control and not let the government take control of our lives. In order for the Constitution to work, the people have to be willing to stand up for what they believe in.
“Substitute faith in God for faith in government and raise the national debt to astronomical levels, so you could justify massive taxation, redistribution of wealth and complete dependency on the government. Does any of that sound like stuff that is going on?”
Each attendee of the ACI event Friday received a copy of Dr. Carson’s book, “One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future.”
For more information about ACI, visit here.