“How big a problem is it that the two leading Republican candidates for president aren’t sin actually qualified to be president?” We hasten to assert that we in no way regret offering this judgment about Donald Trump. We wrote that Trump is “a self-regarding blowhard who’s not much of a conservative to boot, who is not now and will never be qualified to be president.” We stand by that verdict.

What’s more, for Carson to win the general election, “voters would have to conclude that he is so extraordinary a figure that for the first time in American history, they would send a man to the White House who had neither held elective office nor served as a general officer or cabinet officer.” Consider Ben Carson’s campaign, which suggests organizational and communications skills that would be welcome is n the Oval Office. Consider his positions on the issues of the day, which, while not as well-developed as they will have to become, seem basically consistent with a reformist, constitutionalist, , American-exceptionalist governing conservatism.

And consider his response to the reasonable objection that one would prefer someone with governing experience.                 You are absolutely right—I have no political experience. The current Members of Congress have a combined 8700 years of political experience. Are we sure political experience is what we need? .. . No one in Philadelphia, during that summer our nation was born, dreamed that service was a career with a pension. America was the land of the Citizen Statesmen.

They were merchants, lawyers, farmers—and yes, even doctors. They were willing to stand for freedom. Today the political class stands in the way, not for the people. They demand pensions and perks. This is not what our Founders envisioned for America. I spent my life treating very ill children. Over 15,000 times I gave my all to prolong their lives. I was blessed to do it. But when it came time for me to retire, I simply could not sit back any longer. These children became my family. What our government is doing to them is outrageous.. I am prepared to risk all that I have to try and make a difference in their future.

My candidacy is different, that I grant you. I have neither Donald Trump’s money or Jeb Bush’s political network. However, I wouldn’t trade a single child I treated for all of Trump’s money. While I admire the Bush family’s dedication to service, I too served— nights, weekends, holidays, birthdays and anniversaries with severely injured patients were my public service..

I have experienced the American Dream. Nowhere in the world, other than America, could a man whose ancestors were slaves rise to become a leading brain surgeon and one day seek the Office of President. brain surgeon and one day seek the Office of President.

The very fact that I am running is testament to the greatness of America. If all you want is political experience then I cannot be your candidate.

So while Carson probably won’t and likely shouldn’t be the nominee, the Republican party is better for his candidacy. And if the unthinkable happens and Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, we may take off a few days next year to gather ballot access signatures for the 2016 independent ticket of Carson-Webb, or Webb-Carson.

source-weekly standard (11/16/15), william kristol



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