Bob Schwartz

Tag: Ben Carson

Trump Appointments: Qualifications? We Don’t Need No Stinking Qualifications.

USS George Washington

“Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges.”
Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1927) by B. Traven, changed slightly for the movie.

The naming of Ben Carson to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development brings this to mind.

Imagine that you are a really, really rich guy with a big ego and a big yacht. You pilot that yacht all around America and some locations around the world.

You conclude that based on this experience, you are able to captain the biggest destroyer in the U.S. Navy fleet (USS Zumwalt, 610-foot, 15,000-ton, $4.4 billion to build) or a Nimitz-Class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (USS George Washington, 1092-foot, 100,000-ton, crew of 5,000).

You further conclude that in general, qualifications are overrated and unnecessary. You therefore feel free to ask anyone to do anything, no matter how big the job or small the experience or knowledge. After all, that’s how you got your job in the first place.

You’re hired!

Ask for Forgiveness: The Perfect Ben Carson Strategy That He Won’t Use

Ben Carson

Ben Carson has gotten caught embellishing/lying about some details in his life that are part of his inspirational narrative.

What’s weirdest about his response—spin, blame the media, discount the degree of untruth, etc.—isn’t that making up stuff is unusual for politicians. Zebras and stripes, leopards and spots. What’s weird is that being a sincere and serious Christian, all he has to do is tell the truth. Say that he exaggerated or even lied, and ask for forgiveness. Because he is, after all, only human, only a sinner like us all.

His many Christian supporters should not only forgive him. They should see him as a model of genuine Christian contrition and humility. Which presumably is what God and Jesus ask of us. Not to be saints, which we can’t be anyway, but to be self-aware, confessing humans, bent on being better. It is entirely possible that he could actually make gains among Christian supporters for doing that.

If those supporters refused to forgive, that might put in question the depth of their unconditional Christian commitment. Lying itself doesn’t put your faith and commitment in question (remember, only human), but stubbornly persisting in finding every which way not to say you have lied is a little more troubling. And maybe a little less Christian.