One of the many empty phrases thrown out by USAmerican Right-Wing Authoritarians (RWAs) is “personal responsibility”. The phrase is often used by RWAs, white supremacists, and status quo supporters when talking about low-income women becoming pregnant or crime statistics in the African-American community (I’ve come to despise the phrase as its proponents fail to acknowledge the existence of many factors outside the control of Black USAmericans; additionally, I’ve yet to see the phrase levied against anyone who is not Black) . One would think that RWAs would be big on being personally responsible, no? That’s not the case, as one prominent RWA recently demonstrated. In an interview with CNN, GOP darling Ben Carson said:
“Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay,” Carson said. “So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
I don’t know if he really thinks prison rape causes heterosexual men to become gay, but that’s what his comment implies. He didn’t give much thought to what he was saying, nor does it appear he gave much consideration to the questions that necessarily arise from his assertion. Before attempting to address these questions, one must ask “is there any reason to believe that Ben Carson’s statements are true?” When an individual makes an assertion, the onus is on them to provide adequate supporting evidence (see burden of proof). Given that he supplied no citation to a reputable source in support of his comments, it’s safe to dismiss them. Now you’d think that someone who belongs to the party of “personal responsibility” would, when faced with criticism over their bigoted comments, take responsibility, right? If you’re Ben Carson you just take to CNN:
Ben Carson was on with Sean Hannity this afternoon and was asked about his interview with CNN this morning. Carson responded by reiterating his support for traditional marriage between a man and woman, adding that he believes our Constitution protects everyone, regardless of their beliefs, and that includes people who are gay. He says that he has no problem with people who are gay doing whatever they want, but he’s not willing to redefine marriage for them.
With regard to the CNN interview itself, Carson says they pre-recorded a 25 minute interview and that all they are playing is that one tidbit about gay rights. Because of that, Carson says he’s decided he’s not going to talk about ‘gay rights’ anymore, noting that every time he has momentum, the liberal press wants to talk about it. He said he’s just not going to fall for that again.
“Waaaah! I won’t talk about ‘gay rights’ any longer because people criticize me for what I say and it’s totally not fair and I’m going to throw a temper tantrum!”
What happened to being responsible? Carson made bigoted, unevidenced assertions and was called out. Cue the world’s smallest violins.
Republicans really hate being held accountable for the things they say. In which case, they really ought to give better consideration to the views they share with the world. But not the GOP. They think they should have the right to say whatever they want, no matter how extreme, and face no consequences. They think freedom of speech means freedom from the consequences of that speech. They’re deeply, deeply, wrong.