The two people could not be more different. Trump is the bombastic reality TV star. He speaks without a filter, controversy is his oxygen. Dr. Ben Carson is a mild-mannered soft spoken man. His calm demeanor stands in stark contrast with the man he just endorsed this past week. He adds an air of seriousness and a focus on policy that Trump was just not known for and could definitely use. The move by Carson though has left some of his loyal supporters disappointed and confused. Will they follow him to the Trump camp? Trump can use a stabilizing force in his campaign, Dr. Carson brings that.
After months of playing the showman, and saying just about anything that came to mind no matter how controversial, Trump is wanting to look more presidential. Perhaps Dr. Carson will be a tempering influence. It doesn’t hurt either that he knows his way around healthcare and education issues. Now, with the recent clashes between Trump supporters and the anti-Trump left, Carson can be the voice of calm and reason. Someone in the campaign has to be able to rise above the fray to keep the Trump train from going off the rails.
Dr. Carson’s support for Trump will not come without a price. Carson’s brand was being the candidate of reason, wisdom and steadiness. His Christian values seem to be the guiding force of his public and private lives. His announcement of support for Trump was met with surprise and even disappointment. Comment after comment in social media reflected this in the days immediately following his announcement. It is unclear then, just how many of his supporters will follow his lead and support Trump.
Dr. Carson addressed the apparent inconsistency with backing his formal rival and his own trademark civility during his campaign in his endorsement speech: “There are two different Donald Trumps. There’s the one you see on the stage and there’s the one who’s very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully.”
To their credit, all the candidates, most noticeably Trump, left the vulgarity that marked the previous two weeks campaigning behind and looked presidential. Perhaps the influence of Dr. Carson had something to do with the more civilized and serious tone. The damage though, may have already been done. Recent Trump events have been marred by violence and demonstrations. The ‘anybody-but-Trump’ movement was already active amongst his Republican rivals, and especially those tied to the so-called “establishment”. Now though, the left with their professional agitators have gotten into the anti-Trump game and set their sights on the current front-runner. Their clear aim—provoke incidents designed to make Trump look bad, then tie the entire Republican Party and conservatives at large to his actions.
“Politics makes for strange bedfellows,” now seems less cliché and more apropos to the presidential race today with easy going Carson backing the bombastic Donald Trump. It is a move that could give Trump a more serious, presidential aspect. Carson adds an air of civility while providing some meat to Donald’s thinner policies. Some of the doctor’s loyal followers, those who admire his reserved, quite strength and wisdom will have a tough time following him down this new path he has chosen. Any of the candidates would have welcomed his support, and he may have just went to the candidate that could benefit the most from it.