Why the Heck Is Ben Carson Campaigning in Staten Island?

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/22697784487/in/photolist-AzJ5xR-BtAuBT-uJH9Ac-uJxwrC-vp73Yn-vDfwWJ-vDfphL-vDfsvQ-vDfqLC-vDfsmm-vFxRce-uJxxoY-uJH9tD-uJxNXJ-zifWn3-xBUaGm-C7jUoh-qtuZpJ-qb2X8D-qCCmya-oaPSZz-o71jPh-paCfbP-o8Vgbm-ob6Tfb-oaSYmt-uJxNj9-vFxYCM-vEZAcW-vFWjFp-voYTUW-voYQ2y-vp7b5r-uJHkSk-voYJH9-voYCw9-uJxzgA-uJxzR3-pGkHLa-o5WLxt-o5WGoN-oiMCQw-otFWjs-pTETYi-orFCmu-otHw66-orFBjQ-owK4Tv-pf6ShJ-q1RTzP">Phil Roeder</a>/Flickr

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The New York Republican presidential primary is in 106 days, on April 19. It is the 37th nominating contest, coming more than three months after the first votes are cast in Iowa on February 1. So naturally Ben Carson is campaigning there on Monday night.

This is kind of strange. Carson’s campaign is a mess right now. When three of his top aides quit before the New Year, Armstrong Williams, Carson’s top advisor, found out about it on Twitter. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, once was at the top of the polls, but his numbers have plummeted in Iowa and elsewhere. Still, he insists he’s plowing ahead and remains a contender. If so, what’s he doing in Staten Island, while the other candidates rightly focus on Iowa and New Hampshire in the pre-voting homestretch? Some possibilities:

  • The ferry offers a great view of the harbor at a low price.
  • Carson wants to run for mayor of New York and is learning from Harold Ford’s mistake.
  • Fresh Kills is a cool name for one of the world’s largest garbage dumps.
  • Great pizza.
  • ???

There’s no real explanation for this stop. (Has Carson sold every book he can possibly sell in Iowa?) It’s the latest sign his campaign—though it collected $23 million in the most recent quarter—cannot be considered a serious effort.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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