News + Events

Carson Addresses Large Crowd at FHU Benefit Dinner

Henderson, TN - Dec 09, 2014

He may not be an official presidential candidate, but Friday night, Dec. 5, at Freed-Hardeman University’s annual benefit dinner, Dr. Ben Carson certainly sounded like one. At one point, he seemed to be on the brink of announcing his candidacy to the appreciative audience.

The neurosurgeon and best-selling author gave the crowd much to cheer. Warning them that he was not politically correct, Carson said, “I will probably offend someone.” Since he believes the “PC police” have made people afraid to speak their minds, he asserted, “I have decided the PC police will not control me.”

He then proceeded to voice his opinions on a series of wide-ranging topics. Decrying the current divisions in the country, he said, “We are not each other’s enemies. Our strength is in our unity. That’s why we’re called the United States of America.”

On the need for an educated populace, he said many Americans have very superficial knowledge. “They can’t tell you anything important,” he said. America’s freedoms depend upon a well-informed populace, according to Carson. “Dishonest politicians and unscrupulous media can run away with the country,” he said. He believes the nation must build again the importance of education. “Americans are going to have to start putting their minds to work,” he said.

Calling America “the most compassionate nation in the world,” he defined compassion as “providing people a ladder so they can move up and achieve the American dream.” America’s “can-do” attitude propelled this country to the pinnacle, he said. However, that mindset has been replaced by the “what you can do for me attitude,” Carson said.

He sees Detroit as a microcosm of what will happen to the country unless fiscal responsibility is exercised. “Unsustainable debt,” he said, “is the way to destroy America.”

“ISIS,” Carson said, “wants to destroy us and our way of life.” He sees no benefit to trying to contain them; rather, the United States should be doing everything it can to destroy them. “ISIS should be ISWas,” he said.

The United States spends twice as much on healthcare as the next country, he said. He finds the “affordable” part of the Affordable Health Care to be “funny.” “Health care should be in your hands,” he said, “not some governmental agency.”

Carson urged the audience to stand up for the values that made this country great. “We are giving away our values and principles for the sake of political correctness,” he said. Although he disagrees with ISIS, “they have strong beliefs and they are willing to die for them,” he said. “It is impossible to be free if you are not brave,” he said.

Regarding his own potential presidential run, Carson cited the circumstances under which he would run. He recited a litany of issues, most of which he had already covered in his remarks, on which an acceptable candidate would need to have positions similar to his own. He then indicated his willingness to run if such a candidate did not appear on the scene.

This marked the 50th annual benefit dinner at Freed-Hardeman. The event, which raises funds for student scholarships, generated almost $1.5 million this year.  A total of 2,535 tickets to the event were sold and it grossed $1,479,758.39. It was the 14th consecutive year the benefit dinner has raised in excess of $1 million.