Reestablishing the cornerstone principles that America was founded on is the key to reversing the country’s deterioration and addressing the acrimony that is dividing the nation, Dr. Ben Carson said on Saturday.
Carson, who served as the 17th Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), argues America can begin advancing toward the common good and away from socialist influences when solutions to the country’s pressing issues are guided by the principles of faith, liberty, community, and life.
“We want to get back to focusing on what is good, and what is valuable, and what leads you upward rather than what leads you downward,” Carson told The Epoch Times’s Crossroads program at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida. He is also the founder of the American Cornerstone Institute, a non-profit that seeks to promote and preserve individual and religious liberty.
“And, you know, we have history to tell us what is valuable and what isn’t. It’s one of the reasons that they’re trying to destroy our history as well.
“Your history gives you your identity and your identity provides you your belief system. And if you can destroy all that, you become a tabula rasa, you become a blank slate, which is very easy to manipulate,” he added.
Carson argues that there has been a very purposeful attempt to divide people in recent years by creating guilt and victimhood, in particular racial victimhood. When these groups teach people that they’re victims—that somebody else is the cause of their suffering—these groups can then offer themselves as their savior, which subsequently gives them power, he said.
“Obviously, none of that is absolutely true at all,” Carson said. “And, you know, we’re in a situation where people are trying to divide us on the basis of race, income, age, religion, political affiliation, everything imaginable. Just divide the population and destroy them.”
He said that by applying the cornerstone principles, people could learn how to interact with their fellow man through faith, become stronger through building and bonding as a community, learn to cherish life, and gain liberty by learning how to be self-sufficient instead of being reliant on the government.
“At HUD, one of the things that I wanted to do very quickly, is to change the attitude of ‘there, there you poor little thing, I’m going to take care of you’ to ‘how do we put you on a trajectory so that you become self-sufficient,'” he said. “That’s real Liberty.”
In contrast, guilt and victimhood lead to resentment and people doing things that “don’t make any sense,” he said.
“It’s not that they don’t have any common sense. But the guilt overrides their common sense, and they start doing stupid things,” he said.
He also commented on the difference between Democrat and Republican policies. He said that the two parties used to have the same goals but different ways to achieve them. However, in more recent years, Democrats have departed significantly from their previous positions.
“They think America was evil and it needs to be fundamentally changed. And that’s very different from people who think that America is good, and needs to learn from its past and become even better. Two completely different things,” he said.
The outcome of the two parties’ varying policy positions could be observed by comparing the last four years under President Donald Trump’s administration to past and the current administrations.
“All you have to do is look at the last four years and you look at the policies that really did change things for people, that put more money in people’s pockets, that saw the lowest unemployment rates ever, in the black community, and the Hispanic community, and the Asian American community,” he said.
“You know, those kinds of things make a difference in people’s lives. You can sit around with rhetoric all day long, and talk about unity, and how wonderful you are. But if you don’t have the results, it becomes empty clattering.”