Generally, when one writes a book on a particular subject, that means the author is at least somewhat of an expert on the topic. Unless, of course, that person happens to be seeking the 2016 GOP nomination for President.
Ben Carson is on a book tour right now promoting his most recent tome, A More Perfect Union, which is about the U.S. Constitution. In that book, while writing about Thomas Jefferson, he noted that Jefferson was “missing in action” during the writing of the Constitution. Which is true. At the time, Jefferson was serving as minister to France.
And yet, on Sunday, during an interview with C-SPAN, Carson said Jefferson was perhaps the most important of our Founding Fathers because he:
“Tried to craft our Constitution in a way that it would control peoples’ natural tendencies and control the natural growth of the government.”
Now we’re all human and we all make mistakes from time to time, but this is not the first occasion of Dr. Carson saying something about Jefferson that is patently wrong. Back in October, in response to the Oregon community college shootings, Carson remarked:
“Thomas Jefferson himself said, ‘Gun control works great for the people who are law-abiding citizens and it does nothing for the criminals, and all it does is put the people at risk.’”
Thomas Jefferson never said or wrote any such thing.
Carson repeats that lie in A More Perfect Union, writing:
“Thomas Jefferson’s warning: ‘Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather than encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
Nope, Jefferson didn’t say or write it that time, either.
In my humble opinion, any person who is running for President of the United States and has no better grasp of the history of the nation he or she seeks to lead has just disqualified himself.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.