Interview: Dr. Ben Carson Talks the Radical Left's 'War on the American Family' and Those VP Rumors


“So much that feels deeply wrong has been elevated as acutely right,” Dr. Ben Carson wrote in his new book, “The Perilous Fight: Overcoming Our Culture’s War on the American Family” (with Candy Carson), which goes on sale Tuesday. In choosing those words, the retired neurosurgeon expertly identified a bleeder threatening to flat line our nation.

Dr. Ben Carson's book "The Perilous Fight" is available for purchase on Tuesday.
Dr. Ben Carson’s book “The Perilous Fight” is available for purchase on Tuesday. (Zondervan)

More precisely, he exposed exactly what’s made the near 80-year attack on faith-based, traditional American family values so devastatingly successful: the creeping Marxist disease — now called progressivism or wokeness — that has infiltrated every aspect of the American way of life.

There is perhaps no more powerful a statement in his entire book — the one jam-packed with others emphasizing numerous studies showing why “the traditional [nuclear] family is by far the most successful system ever designed for raising healthy and successful adults” and why that’s precisely the reason it’s under attack.

In fact, Carson stated his goal in writing the book was to make the point clear that while “it would be easy to write off the decline in American families as a symptom or result of the decline experienced by America itself,” it’s actually the other way around.

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“What is the basic building block of a society? It’s the family. The family is the foundation of the community, which is the foundation of the state, which is the foundation of the nation,” Carson told The Western Journal in a video interview. “So if you want to really disrupt a nation like the United States of America, which is much too strong to be overcome militarily, you go to the root cause of its strength, and that’s the basic family unit.”

“Values are passed on from generation to generation through the family. Morality is passed on through the family. Respect is passed on through the family. And, importantly, history is passed on through the family. Your history gives you your identity, and your identity is the basis of your beliefs,” he added. “That’s why whenever ISIS comes in and conquers an area … they destroy the history … and they take down the statues. They’re trying to destroy the identity of the people, which makes them much easier to control.”

For this reason, Carson argued that any attempts to reverse the negative social trends impacting our society can only be successful if they involve a revival of faith and family. “If our nation is going to course-correct and return to the greatness of its past, it will need to do so through the vehicle of American families,” Carson wrote, effectively declaring a more specific version of MAGA even as rumors persist that he’s on Donald Trump’s short list of VP candidates after serving as his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Here, Carson further explained the ways American families are “under fire” and how we must push back, and he answers whether he’ll consider engaging “in the perilous fight to rejuvenate America” as Donald Trump’s vice president.

TWJ: The book’s title references the “The Star-Spangled Banner” in calling the attack on the American family a “Perilous Fight.” You say this fight has been going on since the close of World War II. So, why write the book now?

Dr. Ben Carson: Recognizing that we are in imminent danger of collapse, just like we were in the first fight. Our country was born in the crucible of fire. We weren’t given this country. We weren’t given our freedom. We had to fight for it, and we’re at the same place now. We’re on the verge of losing it right now, throwing away our freedoms. We have a political party that is trying to prosecute and persecute the other side — things that go on in places like China, Russia and Banana Republics.

Our system of checks and balances, obviously, is not working because, as John Adams said, our system, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Well, we see “any other” right now. We’re going to have to come up with a way to deal with it because our founders just never conceived that we would have people that didn’t have any standards of fairness.

How does America’s crisis of faith, which is reflected in so many recent polls, play into the attack on the American family?

It has a profound effect on the family, obviously, because it is faith that provides the family with their sense of morality … a sense of what’s right and wrong, instead of what we see today where people say, my truth and your truth and their truth instead of “the truth,” which we were led by. All of that comes back to family values.

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Families used to go to church together. They used to pray together. They would spend time together creating bonds. And for children, that’s vitally important because that’s where they get their identity. They’re going to get their identity somewhere. And if it doesn’t come from the family, it’s going to come from gangs or social media or something that is unlikely to really have their best interests at heart.

To that point, you write quite a bit about “formation,” which you describe as parents not just watching over their kids but also utilizing teachable moments. Can you elaborate?

Well, think about the human brain, which is what distinguishes us from all other creatures. It starts developing the minute fertilization occurs … and it continues to develop into your mid to late 20s. So when we’re looking at kids, they are nowhere near fully developed. And yet we’re asking them to make life-altering decisions. Are you a boy or a girl? And don’t tell your parents about this.

The reason kids have parents is because they have underdeveloped brains. They’re very suggestible and very malleable and very curious. So it really is nothing short of child abuse to be putting these kinds of ideas in their heads — and particularly in the absence of their parents’ knowledge. Those are the kind of things that are having a profound effect on our society.

Look what it’s producing. Look what’s going on in our college campuses. Young people who have no idea what they’re talking about, no foundation for their belief system and are easily influenced by others. And that always happens before a country becomes communist or Marxist. You dumb down the population first.

You write about the threat from Marxism a lot in the book, which you say really undergirds progressivism and wokeness. You point to the example of BLM and their stated desire to destroy the nuclear family. How have Marxists gained so much ground — which seems so impossible — in America?

Well, they’ve been at it for a long time. A lot of people think that all of this deterioration has mostly occurred in the last three and a half years, but it has gone on long before that. It’s the reason Khrushchev said to Eisenhower, your grandchildren are going to live under our system.

What was he talking about? Well, on January 10, 1963, a congressman had read into the Congressional Record the 45 goals of the Communist party in the United States of America. Gain control of the school systems and the teacher unions, so you can indoctrinate your kids. Gain control of news media and Hollywood in order to manipulate the thinking of the population at large and to distract them. Remove God from everything. Marxists hate God because they want people to be dependent on them, not upon God. [Another goal was to] make sexual perversion normal.

All of this sounds sadly familiar.

It’s all the stuff that’s going on. All of these things are planned to destroy the inner core of our nation, which, as I said, is much too strong to be taken down militarily but can be broken down from within. Part of the plan is also to divide the population and increase disrespect for each other on the basis of race, age, income, gender, political affiliation, religion — you name it.

I want people to know what’s going on because we are being manipulated. We are being played like little puppets, and we’re doing exactly what they expect us to do. We’re smarter than that. But we have to know who the enemy is.

Who is that enemy? During the Cold War, we could say it was the communists in Russia. Who is the puppet master today?

Who are the people who desire ultimate power? That’s really what you’re asking. I believe they’re a group who want one world domination, one world power. The biggest obstacle for that is the United States of America. And that’s why they put so much energy into this. That’s why they’re buying off district attorneys, so that they don’t prosecute criminals. They let them right back out to create fear and uncertainty in the population.

You create enough chaos, and then you say, “You know, there are other ways to govern. We don’t have to govern this way. There are other systems.” People aren’t going to adopt other systems unless they’re dissatisfied with the one they have and they think doesn’t work.

You sum that all up with a powerful line in the book where you say, “Much that feels deeply wrong today has been elevated as acutely right.”

Well you look at what’s going on with the transgender movement. That’s a perfect example. And whatever happened to the concept of justice and fairness? You have young women working so hard to become the best in their sport, and then some guy comes along and says, “I’m a woman,” and takes all the gold. How is that fair?

There’s also the whole concept of paying back student loans. Why should someone working very hard, scraping together their pennies, pay the tuition of someone who has become a doctor, a lawyer or a businessman and is making a very good salary? That makes no sense. It’s not logical.

But the whole concept of justice is something that you learn in the family setting, particularly if you have siblings. Many studies, from both conservative and liberal organizations, as we point out in the book, show that children who are raised in a traditional nuclear family have much better outcomes on virtually every metric.

As someone who is in the thick of it things in Washington, do you believe our representatives are really cognizant of all that’s going wrong in America and earnestly attempting to fix it? Or are they so content in their ivory towers that they are either not seeing it or — worse — are purposely turning a blind eye?

As far as a lot of our representatives, I think a lot of them really do not understand what’s going on, and they don’t have a good sense of history. They don’t recognize Marxism when they see it. And in many cases, they’re not willing to fight — just like much of our population who actually understands to a certain degree what’s going on, but they’re afraid. They stand in the corner and look at their shoes rather than express their opinion because they don’t want to be called the nasty name. They don’t want to be canceled.

Where would we be if many of our predecessors had done the same? We certainly wouldn’t have the country that we have and the freedoms. So, part of the book was to encourage people to be courageous — stand up for what you believe in.

I think many of them know, but they’re politicians. You know, their finger is in the air. Which way is the wind blowing? You’re thinking, how can I get re-elected? It’s a problem. The founders never anticipated that people would make [politics] into a career. I would love to see a system where our representatives serve for ten years, but they could not run again, and they could be recalled every two years. So if they were doing a really bad job, the people could get rid of them, but they could never run again. That’s the way we could actually govern based on what we believe rather than how the wind is blowing.

I gather you don’t think the answer to reversing these damaging trends lies in Washington?

No, the answer is with we the people. That’s why Benjamin Franklin said, “A republic, if you can keep it.” We can keep it if the people take their responsibility seriously. It means you don’t have to accept when people say, “You can’t monitor this polling place, or you have to do it from way over there where you can’t see what’s going on.” Or “It doesn’t really matter that the [ballot] signatures match or if the address is correct.” Or “It doesn’t matter if the [voter] is dead or alive.” I mean, all of us complain about it all the time. But why do we accept it?

Who are the politicians that someone of your gravitas respects? Who do you trust or think are attempting to make a positive difference?

Well, Trump is a very good example, and that’s why so many people are gravitating to him. Even a lot of Democrats are starting to change their mind. It’s courage that’s needed. There are several senators that I think are willing to stand on the brink. And there are a lot of representatives, so I’m not giving up by any stretch of imagination.

You know, I wanted to retire a couple of times. But then I figured I really couldn’t enjoy myself playing golf and cruising around the world while watching my country go down the tubes. So I’m in the fight until the end.

Dr. Ben Carson spoke about his book "The Perilous Fight" with The Western Journal.
Dr. Ben Carson spoke about his book “The Perilous Fight” with The Western Journal. (Zondervan)

Given that statement, and because your name has been mentioned so often as a possible VP candidate for Trump, would you accept it? Are you interested in the role?

Well, I’m interested in doing whatever is necessary to save this country. Whether I do that from inside the government or outside the government, I’m in it to win it.

Note: Answers and questions from the video interview may have been edited and condensed to remove random utterances, such as pauses or filler words that are a part of speech, and for brevity and clarity.

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