Ben Carson photo

Address to the Republican National Convention

August 27, 2020

Good evening, I'm Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and a public servant.

Before I begin, I'd like to say that our hearts go out to the Blake family. The images everyone has seen from this tragic event in Kenosha are heart-wrenching. This action deserves a serene response, one that steers away from the destruction of a community that molded Jacob and his family into the kind of man his family and friends know today. In order to succeed in change, we must first come together in love of our fellow citizens. It may be hard to believe now, but indeed our country, our world, have been through worse and history reminds us that necessary change comes through hope and love, not senseless and destructive violence.

Abraham Lincoln once said to an America divided, that "your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events."

These words of warning are relevant today.

We have a choice: do we want big government that controls our lives from cradle to grave or do we believe in the power and wisdom of the people and their ability to self-govern with help from a limited Federal government?

Our President, Donald J. Trump, believes in the people. He is one of us. He makes promises, and he keeps them. He is transparent, and we certainly know what he's thinking. He does not submit to political correctness or to its enforcers, the media. He is real.

Right now, we need real. We need courage. We can't cower in the corner and hope that no one calls us a name, believing that will keep us safe. That is not courage, and that will not lead us to a good and just place. We must remember all those who sacrificed everything in order to give us freedom, and we must be willing to do the same for those who come after us.

President Trump does not dabble in identity politics. He wants everyone to succeed and believes in the adage, "a rising tide lifts all boats." Many on the other side love to incite division by claiming that President Trump is a racist. They could not be more wrong.

Years ago, Jesse Jackson gave Donald Trump an award for the economic opportunities he created for Black people. In Palm Beach, Florida, Donald Trump led the crusade to allow blacks and Jews into private clubs and resorts. One of the first things he did as president was bring the Office of Historically Black Colleges and Universities into the White House so that it could get proper attention and financial support. Before the pandemic, African American unemployment was at an all-time low.

President Trump accomplished prison reform. He created incentives to encourage investors to become involved with economically-deprived areas of America.

He strongly supports school choice, fully recognizing that no matter what circumstances a person is born into, they can achieve success with a good education. It was true for me. When my mother forced me to read books about doctors, entrepreneurs, inventors and scientists, I began to recognize that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you in life is you. My mother always told me "Ben, you can do anything, but I will never allow you to become a victim." It was then that I stopped listening to the people who were trying to convince me that I was a victim and that others were responsible for my victimhood.

What is racist is the fact that African Americans have the highest abortion rate.

President Trump is the most pro-life President in our country's history. He will continue to fight for those who cannot yet speak.

The vision of a "Shining City Upon a Hill" came from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. America is that Shining City. We are the beacon of hope for the world. At this moment in time, President Donald Trump is the man with the courage, the vision, and the ability to keep it shining brightly.

As prepared for delivery.

Ben Carson, Address to the Republican National Convention Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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