Ben Carson is too inexperienced for office

Bailey Ethier

Every U.S. president has been either a vice president, a U.S. representative, a senator, a governor, a cabinet member or at least an army major general prior to serving as Commander in Chief.

And yet, the country  could end up electing a neurosurgeon as its next president.

Ben Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery for Johns Hopkins Hospital, has never held a political office but announced his campaign for president in May. His poll numbers are now skyrocketing. In polls conducted by CNN and ORC, Carson has jumped from four percent of voter support in July to 19 percent in September.

Government professor David Prindle attributed Carson’s rise to his status as a political outsider. According to Prindle, Carson’s angry, rhetorical style is appealing to Americans who are tired of the political establishment.

“[Voters] are much less interested in whether somebody has experience than whether these people express their emotion,” Prindle said.

Jordan Cope, an international relations and global studies sophomore, went a step further, saying that younger voters are specifically less interested in a candidate’s experience, “because younger people seem more likely to experiment with more non-fundamental philosophies.”

I am not endorsing Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or any other candidate of the Republican establishment, but they know how government works. Carson, on the other hand, knows how to separate conjoined twins.

That said, as Cope pointed out, Carson does have experience with our nation’s issues.

“He understands more about economic mobility because of his experience with poverty as a child,” Cope said. “He understands more about the healthcare system because of his experience as a doctor. Being African-American, Carson understands race relations better than any politician could because of his background and experiences with racism.”

The danger lies in Carson riding on a wave of rhetoric — a wave that has knocked out more experienced Republican candidates from the race.

For instance, former Texas Governor Rick Perry dropped out late last week after being unable to gain any momentum, despite having views similar to Carson’s on many issues. Perry was plagued by fundraising problems, while Carson has over $23 million in campaign funds.

Voters shouldn’t vote for Carson just because he’s different and a political outsider. The nation cannot count on someone who has never worked in government to reduce the country’s debt or simplify the tax code, as Carson wants to do. It is one thing for Americans to want a fresh face for the White House. But that fresh face needs some political experience.

Ethier is journalism freshman from Westport, Connecticut. Follow him on Twitter @baileyethier.