Super Tuesday 2016 will soon be gone. Barring either 1) a miraculous influx of cash from donors with next to nothing else to give their money to (in which case, I would like to point them toward my IRS bill because the feds are absolutely not playing with me this year) or 2) a decision by one of the 11 states holding Republican primaries or caucuses today to throw some delegates his way—which almost every reputable poll indicates will not happen—we are more than likely in the sunset era of the Ben Carson for President campaign.
Before we bid the man’s campaign a formal adieu, I would like to take some time to appreciate all that the man has contributed to the clusterf—k that has been this year’s primary race—even if it did come at the expense of damn near every single black mama who kept a copy of Gifted Hands on her kid’s bookshelf.
If Carson did nothing else this year, it was to expose once and for all that being one of the foremost experts at one thing … makes you little more than the foremost expert at that one thing. Unfortunately for Carson (but not unfortunately for me, for whom the GOP debates had become my personal WrestleMania), not every possible circumstance that the commander in chief will face can be tied to performing complicated neurosurgery on Siamese twins. As a matter of fact, I’d wager that next to no scenarios could be tied to neurosurgery, unless the White House turns into a real-life version of Olympus Has Fallen and the president is running around tending to open head wounds.
That said, I respect Carson for not ever failing to mention that he separated Siamese twins; one time, I finessed a MetroCard that had an extra 20 bucks on it, and I may or may not have brought it up in conversation for the better part of a month, so I understand. So what makes Carson qualified to discuss foreign policy? Domestic terrorism? Immigration? Economy? #TheseHands have qualified him, that’s what.
Carson’s willingness to apply barbershop logic at almost every turn in this primary race cannot go without mention. There were the ridiculous claims of his steely reserve at gunpoint (at a Popeyes, no less). Hotep-ass arguments that Planned Parenthood exists in black communities as a form of population control. Long-winded and misguided metaphors about fruit salads and #TheseHands—the latter of which is sure to somehow end up as a corny Fabolous punchline because that is all Fabolous does these days, so please stop trying to convince the world that his next mixtape is going to be good, Fab fans, all 32 of you.
Carson’s nothing-to-lose approach to campaigning has continued to be the gift that keeps on giving. Whether it was damn near napping onstage as question after question continued to bypass him during debates, f—king up the walk-out order (to my raucous enjoyment), or trotting out his wife and what she certainly believes to be vocal chops during a campaign event, Carson made sure to let us know that he was here to do what he wanted, when he wanted it, political inevitability be damned.
Carson’s ability to maintain an extended presence on the primary platform for no reason other than “I ain’t got s—t else to do and Candy told me to pick up a hobby” exposes the farce that is primary season: He outlasted Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Rand Paul purely off the strength of his incorrigible obstinacy. While his campaign was always a nonstarter, he will come away with enough momentum for a book deal that can rake in a fair amount of coin, and elevated speaking fees for whichever institution is desperate for a commencement speaker.
I can genuinely say that I’ll miss his uninformed ramblings of little consequence, if for no other reason than that the positioning of his campaign in the rearview mirror will indicate that the last vestiges of comedy we had to cling to in this 2016 race are over. And we will now have to firmly address “making America great again,” a circumstance that no amount of dark meat will have me ready to truly wrap my head around.
Here’s to you, Carson’s campaign—(soon to be) gone but never forgotten.
Shamira Ibrahim is a 20-something New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her as she waxes poetic about chicken, Cam’ron and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at Very Smart Brothas.