It’s Official: Ben Carson Is Sarah Palin
Guys, here's the thing: presidential candidate Ben Carson and former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin are pretty much the same person.
Ben Carson gave up neurosurgery to become Sarah Palin. LOL!
— Joey BagO'Gravy (@60th_Street) November 6, 2015
Carson wants to be president (he's even the frontrunner) and Palin was almost vice president.
But that's just the beginning. Here's what else they have in common.
1. The outsider status
Both aspired to the White House while being political outsiders.
Palin, then the governor of Alaska, wasn't well known nationally when she entered the presidential campaign in 2008, joining John McCain's dream team for the White House. She was the first female to be nominated for vice president by the Republican party. Most were surprised that McCain picked her as his running mate, and she was, at first, considered a welcome breath of fresh air and a natural political talent.
Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon, became known for separating cojoined twins attached at the back of their heads back in the 1980's. His story was told in the made-for-TV movie Gifted Hands, starring Cuba Gooding Jr.
A key reason he's doing so well in the race now is his outsider status. He has said that lack of political experience doesn't matter, and that "real-life experience" is more important when it comes to being qualified for the presidency.
2. The charm and appeal
Both have attracted a huge, passionate following.
Many people love that Sarah Palin is attractive, plain-spoken, and relatable.
A guy who ran against Palin for governor of Alaska said:
“She wouldn’t have articulated one coherent policy and people would just be fawning all over her. [...] This isn’t about policy or Alaska issues, this is about people’s most basic instincts: ‘I like you, and you make me feel good.’”
The same could be said about Carson. Last year, he was was #6 on the list of most-admired men. People like that he's not a practiced politician and seems genuine.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) November 5, 2015
3. The confusion about history
A couple of years ago, Sarah Palin said that Paul Revere had warned the British.
She doesn't quite seem to grasp the First Amendment to the Constitution, either.
And Ben Carson is confused about American history too. He said this in a long Facebook post:
"Every signer of the Declaration of Independence had no elected office experience."
Which, of course, is totally wrong. (He amended the post to say "federal elected office experience.")
4. The doubt about climate change
Both of them say climate change exists but only because of of normal cyclical planetary temperature changes. And that we have to do something about it. And that's about it.
In her interview with Katie Couric when she was a VP candidate, Palin said this:
"You know there are - there are man's activities that can be contributed to the issues that we're dealing with now, these impacts. I'm not going to solely blame all of man's activities on changes in climate. Because the world's weather patterns are cyclical. And over history we have seen change there. But kind of doesn't matter at this point, as we debate what caused it. The point is: it's real; we need to do something about it."
Pretty much exactly 8 years later, Carson said something almost identical:
"Of course there's climate change. Any point in time, temperatures are going up or temperatures are going down. Of course that's happening. When that stops happening, that's when we're in big trouble. What is important is that we recognize that we have an obligation to take care of our environment."
5. The evangelical beliefs
Palin's and Carson's religious beliefs are similar, even though their faiths are different.
Ben Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist, a faith that takes the Bible quite literally.
Ben Carson doesn't back down on his patriotism or Christian faith. He gives people permission to be proud of America again. -Wash. Examiner
— Phil Cooke (@PhilCooke) November 1, 2015
6. The stints as pundits
She now has her own TV show called "Amazing America with Sarah Palin."
7. The attacks on the media
Despite their own media involvement, Palin and Carson agree that the media suffers from liberal bias.
Palin has criticized the news media many times, often with the nickname "lamestream media."
Carson has picked up on the theme of media bias too.
When CNN started investigating stories Carson has told about his violent past, he Carson slammed back, "It is just garbage" and "this is a bunch of lies, that is what it is." (CNN had interviewed several classmates of Carson's, none of whom could remember the violent incidents he described in his memoir.)
He hasn't offered facts to back up his story.
the actual current state of 2016 MEDIA: we don't think you stabbed a guy CANDIDATE: I DID! I DID YOU SONS OF BITCHES! I STABBED A PERSON
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) November 6, 2015
With this headline we've officially entered the completely insane phase of the 2016 election. pic.twitter.com/Do1thw1DzW
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) November 6, 2015
8. The dubious, even fabricated statements
With Ben Carson wanting to hit his mother on head with a hammer, stab a friend and Pyramids built for grain storage - don't people get it?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2015
Many statements Palin has made have been called into question - there's even a book called The Lies of Sarah Palin, written by a veteran investigative reporter. She's been caught making untrue statements about things ranging from Barack Obama's policies to incidents in her personal life.
Carson, meanwhile, just got caught in an outright lie: He has claimed for years that he'd been offered a scholarship to West Point. He reaffirmed that was "true" again last summer.
— Kicker (@goKicker) November 6, 2015
And those stories about his violent past, which he rejected when he embraced God? The stories no one who knew him as a kid remembers happening? So far there's still no evidence that they're true.
Carson does say that he used pseudonyms and that a "friend" described in the book is actually a relative. Whether the stories themselves will stand up to more scrutiny isn't clear yet.
What is clear is that the Sarah Palin of Election 2016 is Ben Carson.
Patrick deHahn is a freelance international news reporter, having contributed to The Atlantic online and Mic. He's worked at CNNMoney, the New York Daily News, and Voice of America. Patrick loves tweeting, reading, and grabbing coffee in either New York or Washington D.C. Tweet anything on politics or world conflict to him! Follow: @patrickdehahn.