A Debate About Nothing

Two days ago, Ben Carson uttered the following on CNN: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” This followed Donald Trump’s low-energy reaction last Thursday to a questioner who claimed that President Obama is Muslim. Not surprisingly, the national media has latched onto this twofer and declared that we are now in the midst of a “debate”. I can’t figure out what the debate is actually about. If the question is: “Should a Muslim be President?” The answer is: “Only if a Muslim is elected”. What makes this an issue?

When you really think about this, it’s a case of the media generating days of coverage with respect to – nothing. Neither Carson nor Trump has proposed an executive order, policy, law, or amendment to the Constitution that would deny Muslims from seeking the Presidency. You have to wonder if the media itself has become so addicted to division that it now considers every public utterance to be fertile ground for conflict.

As luck would have it, whether someone “should” be elected President is resolved on schedule every four years. We decided a Catholic should be elected in 1960. We decided a black man should be elected in 2008. As polls currently stand, Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina could very well face each other in general election.

What, then, is the purpose of arguing over whether a Muslim should be elected President?   It will happen or it won’t. This media-generated conversation tells us more about the media than it does about the American electorate. There are no Muslims on the ballot, Republican or Democrat, for President. There is, however, the very real possibility that the government will be shut down within two weeks unless Congress and the President work something out. Heard much about that lately?


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