This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.
With the Republican primary race down to five candidates, I am still struggling to decide on my own choice. As far as Ben Carson is concerned, while I have enormous respect for him as a person and agree with his views, I just don't think he is prepared to be president. Though he is clearly a quick learner, he is still catching up on certain issues especially in foreign policy. That leads me to this question: Why not consider him as a running mate?
First of all, the additional 4-8 years as vice president would give him ample time to become familiar with the myriad of issues a president must deal with. It would also give him valuable political experience, which is also needed. Rightfully or wrongfully, a president should be experienced in the give and take as well as the maneuvering that makes up the game of politics.
I would like to think that I am setting aside Carson's race in these considerations. I am not, but it is in a different way. After 8 years of Obama, the novelty of a black president has worn off. The selection of Carson as a running mate should not be a craven appeal for diversity or black votes.
On the other hand, I don't want to see Carson disappear from public view once he is forced to drop out of the race. Black America desperately needs him as a positive role model. Something is going wrong in race relations in 2016. After decades of progress and the election of our first black president, we are going the wrong way, and much of our black youth is headed in the wrong direction especially with this asinine Black Lives Matter movement. While Obama has been a good role model as a family man, as a leader, he has been an abject failure. He is arguably the most divisive president in our history as well as arguably our worst overall president.
Ben Carson would also be an effective example of why blacks and other minorities should embrace conservatism as a way out of the vicious cycle of poverty and underachievement. He could and should take his place alongside other noted black conservatives, such as Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele and Condi Rice and serve as an effective counterweight to the likes of Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton.
And given additional time and experience, he could still make a fine president.