Ben Carson urged conservatives not to submit to the “PC” police Thursday in his speech kicking off the Conservative Political Action Conference.
He referenced the Internal Revenue Service targeting of Tea Party groups and his own experience being added to an extremist watch dog list.
“We shouldn’t submit to the PC Police, and to people who are trying to control us by intimidation and by IRS audits and by messing with your job,” the retired neurosurgeon and potential 2016 candidate said Thursday. “The only reason they can do that is because we sit silently by. That’s what they want us to do.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center recently issued a begrudging apology to Carson, after it was discovered SPLC had added his name to an extremist watch list that includes members of the KKK, because of his views on marriage and abortion. (RELATED: SPLC Puts Ben Carson On Extremist Watch List)
Its profile of Carson wasn’t thoroughly researched, the apology stated, but “Dr. Carson has, in fact, made a number of statements that express views that we believe most people would conclude are extreme.”
Carson chalked that up to what he called the left’s love of re-labeling things. “If you’re pro-life, than you’re anti-woman,” he said. “If you’re pro-traditional family, than you’re a homophobe. If you’re white and you oppose a progressive black person, you’re racist. If you’re black and you oppose a progressive agenda, you’re crazy.”
“And if you’re black and you oppose the progressive agenda, and you’re pro-life, and you’re pro-family, they don’t even know what to call you,” he continued. “I mean, you end up on some kind of watch list for extremists.”
Carson also contested the label that conservatives don’t care about the poor, arguing it is indeed possible to care about the poor, without believing it’s entirely the government’s responsibility. “It really is not compassion to pat people on the head and say, ‘there, there, poor little thing, I’m going to take care of all your needs,” he said. “Your health care, and your food and your housing, don’t you worry about anything.'”
“That’s not compassion,” he continued. “That’s the opposite of compassion. That is making people dependent. What real compassion is, is using our intellect to find ways to allow those people to climb out of dependency and realize the American Dream.”
Carson’s speech was met with a standing ovation, and a group of 2016 supporters rallied outside the ballroom where he gave his speech.