Dr. Ben Carson visited The View on Tuesday to talk about his new book One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future, and the interview received a lot of attention because of the overwhelmingly positive response he received after explaining why he believes the current welfare system in the United States is not doing the poor any favors. Glenn knows firsthand how difficult it can be to get the ladies of The View to compromise on any issue, and on radio this morning, Glenn spoke to Carson about the role of pragmatism and compromise in politics.
To begin, Glenn asked Carson to speak a little bit about his new book, which tackles themes like how to react to the politically correct police.
“I talk about [the politically correct police] throughout the book. But basically, their only power is the power of intimidation. And if we decide to ignore them, they have no power. We need to understand the role that they play in manipulating people who really don't think deeply for themselves. And if we can get people to be a bit more knowledgeable, and a lot braver – because [bravery] is really the key,” Carson explained. “You know, and I mentioned before, most of the people in Nazi Germany did not believe in what Hitler was doing, but did they open their mouths? Absolutely not. Now, of course, the left said, ‘Carson says America is the same as Nazi Germany.’ Of course, they love to grab any kind of word, distort it. And this is very effective for people who don't think for themselves.”
With that in mind, Glenn applauded Carson for earning the respect of The View hosts and having an articulate dialogue about the problems with the welfare system in this country.
“Well, you know, I'd had a chance to speak with Whoopie Goldberg before we actually went on set. At first she thought we were very much opposite,” Carson said. “But as began to talk, I said, ‘We actually want the same things, and we can't allow ourselves to be manipulated by those who want to always remove cohesiveness and create division.’ That's what's happening to America right now.”
In a recent op-ed for Townhall.com entitled “Charting a Course Between Principle and Pragmatism,” Carson wrote about a similar theme. After endorsing Dr. Monica Wehby, who is running as a Republican from Oregon, Carson came under fire for supporting a candidate who is personally pro-life but ran as pro-choice because she “feels the government has no business interfering with the relationship between the mother, the baby, the doctor and God.”
Glenn asked Carson, who described himself as pro-life, why he chose to overlook Webby’s position.
“Here's my point. It's going to be a lot easier to bring someone along who agrees with you 90% of the time than somebody who opposes you 100% of the time,” Carson said. “So one of the things that conservatives have to understand is there is a pragmatic approach. We have to get a critical number of people in place so that we can move the pendulum in the correct direction. As it's moving, it doesn't mean that we abandon all those things that you're talking about. We can come back and visit those. But as I said, you know, if the ship is going off of Niagara Falls, we can get the barnacles off later. Let's turn the ship around.”
Glenn questioned, however, if conservatives are being asked to compromise too much.
“I'm willing to compromise in a million different things,” Glenn said. “But nobody is talking to us about compromising.”
“I totally understand what you're saying. Completely 100%. If there is a way – and I'm willing to listen – to never compromise on anything and still put ourselves in position to have the power, to do what needs to be done, I'm with it,” Carson responded. “We can be purists and never get into office, or we can be pragmatic, get into office, and then bring about the change that we want.
Carson evoked former President Ronald Reagan to further illustrate his point.
“I'm more in line with what Ronald Reagan said,” he explained. “Ronald Reagan said sometimes we have to hold our nose and do something that isn't completely in line with our value system, recognizing that it will provide us with the opportunity to bring about the change, rather than always sitting on the sideline and complaining.”
Ultimately, Glenn remains impressed with the way Carson has handled himself in spite of all the backlash he has faced. And while Carson remains mum on what the future holds for him politically, he does believe God will provide.
“The one thing I do know is that I think God still loves our country,” Carson concluded. “We still acknowledge Him, a large number of us, some of us are a little bit timid about it, but I don't think He's going to forsake us. And I think He's going to give us what we need.”