Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Some weeks ago, you may remember, Dr. Ben Carson sent my wife a donor card. Not the kind where you leave your vital organs to someone in need when you've left the voting booth of life, but a plastic card with her name and serial number (the same number everybody else got) in exchange for campaign money. 

My wife didn't keep up her end of the bargain, although the card will always have a place in my top bureau drawer whenever I need a quick laugh. So it's served some purpose.

Oooh, special!
This doesn't seem to bother Carson, because he's gotten in touch with my wife again with another "gift". As with the donor card's serial number, the packaging itself was bogus, with several DO NOT BEND warnings printed on both sides of the manila envelope as if they were actually hand-stamped. For in the upper-left hand corner was another warning of sorts: Lithograph Enclosed.

Oh boy -- art! Was it a Christmastime landscape? A portrait of the Siamese twins he successfully divided? Perhaps it was the hammer which with Carson tried to kill his mother during his formative years.

No, it was better. Let Doc Carson describe it in his own words. As you read the first paragraph, listen to it in your head in his velvety voice: 

This portrait I've sent you was commissioned just so I could give it to you. That you will have it makes it very special to me.

Before we go further, re-read it, and wonder: Is he speaking to a five year-old or like a five year-old? 

He continues:

I hope you see the same thing I do when you look at the sketch -- a man who is at peace, a man of conviction, a man who is humbled by your values, your faith, your patriotic heart.

Now, Ben probably bought the subscription list of one of the nursing magazines my wife reads, so the only thing he knows about her is her name, address and ZIP code. Hell, the guy who resoles her high-heels knows her shoe size, which is more than even I can claim. 

But enough of his flattery. Now it's time for the hard sell:

Please accept this portrait with my deep hope that you will stand with me in my campaign for the Presidency. You can do that by signing the "Pledge of Support" I've enclosed and mailing it back to me in the official Priority Return Envelope I've provided you.

Go ahead, just sign it -- no need to give me money. Yeah, that's the ticket. And just to make sure you know he's serious:

I've already paid the postage -- that's how important it is that I hear back from you.

Because even an outsider anti-politician like Carson damn well knows all fundraising envelopes are postage-paid. That's Psychology 101, bubba. Just like when he says, I would be so very grateful for your $25, $50, or even $100. 

Even $100? Well, gee, if he's grateful even for a C-note rather than a Jackson plus 5, how can we say no?

There's no point in quoting from the rest of the letter, which crawls four full pages, including a "P.S" and another "P.P.S." like a schoolgirl writing to her favorite pop star. Nor will I share any fawning quotes he enclosed from Newsmax, a magazine which makes the Weekly Standard look like Mother Jones. What you want to see is his gift:

That's right, Carson's gift is himself. And presumably you're supposed to frame it and hang it in a conspicuous place in your living room. This is what Saddam Hussein expected from his constituents -- and soldiers were happy to drop by unannounced just to make sure your home was up to snuff. 

Heck, maybe a President Carson would order his face placed in the corner of the screen during all TV broadcasts, just like Saddam did. (I wonder if that's where NBC got the idea of keeping that damn peacock onscreen 24/7.)

Now, I'm not really comparing Carson to the guy who killed roughly 500,000 of his countrymen. But it certainly puts lie to that whole "humble doctor" jazz. If you gift someone with a picture of yourself, you've got some mighty strong sense of worth. Scratch that -- if you're actually running for president, you've got an ego comparable to... oh, let's see... Donald J. Trump, to grab a name out of the hat.

I'm not convinced, either, that this is a lithograph, which, according to Google, is a print made by drawing on limestone with wax crayons, applying ink onto the stone and printing the image onto paper. That sounds like way more trouble, time and expense than begging for money needs to be. We had a lovely portrait of our daughter sketched by a guy in Central Park when she was seven years old, and that set us back maybe 5 minutes and 10 bucks, tops. They should put us in charge of the Treasury.

Still, Doc Carson has succeeded in one respect. I will save the picture, the envelope and the letter just as I did his donor card. In fact, I'll make sure to put him in on my donor card, so I can leave him my sense of irony. It might not save his life, but it'll give him a better perspective.


To read about Carson's donor card, go here.

No comments: