Thursday morning, on York Road, I saw a Cadillac slightly ahead of me bearing a “Ben Carson 2016” bumper sticker. If I could have jumped out of the Beetle, knocked on the window, and engaged the driver, a man of retirement age, in conversation, I would have asked him, “Why Ben Carson? What is it about Ben Carson that appeals to you? What does he say that gets you excited? What would he do as president that makes him your guy?”
Saturday afternoon at Holy Cross in Lynchburg, I saw another car with a “Ben Carson 2016” bumper sticker. There was a part of me that wanted to go around the school gymnasium in search of the driver so I could have that very conversation I wanted in Hunt Valley on Thursday. “Why Ben Carson?”
Tomorrow, Ben Carson will be announcing his intention to run for the presidency.
For the past few months, I thought that Carson would be 2016’s Herman Cain, a fringe candidate with an interesting biography and no political experience running an unserious campaign to raise his public profile.
Jelani Cobb in The New Yorker makes a different comparison — Carson is 2016’s Michelle Bachmann, running a campaign based not on conservativism but on paranoia. Rand Paul wants to roll back the size of government because he thinks it’s too big. Carson and Bachmann want to roll back the size of government because they think government is doing secretly evil things.
This could be fun — a delusional paranoiac running for president. Pass me the popcorn.