Ben Carson Uses Justice Scalia’s Death for a Campaign Ad

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50667958@N02/20753315608/in/photolist-xBUaGm-C7jUoh-orFCmu-qtuZpJ-qb2X8D-qCCmya-paCfbP-o5WLxt-o8Vgbm-ob6Tfb-oaPSZz-o71jPh-oaSYmt-pGkHLa-o5WGoN-oiMCQw-otFWjs-pTETYi-otHw66-orFBjQ-owK4Tv-pf6ShJ-q1RTzP-pA2YFM-p55tM1-pR6ywh-o86Qei-onn6Y5-oiMCYN-pC8fXq-p58eRt-wS4pds-q9XiaL-qWxJew-p5hDnm-oJNjsJ-pW4LkY-ona4eM-qjKBCD-pZpY43-pFxFm4-pUUGhK-q7hKA2-pPUADN-nNgsZe-qz5p6p-pXpQno-qzywuM-qJSAuT-rpJUy7">Paul Lynch</a>/Flickr

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All the Republican presidential candidates have seized on the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to make the case for electing one of their own next fall, but Ben Carson is the first of this lot to exploit the justice’s passing for a radio ad. In a spot running on conservative talk radio in South Carolina, a narrator declares that Scalia’s unrelenting opposition to affirmative action was a defining part of his legacy and then promises that Carson will carry the torch for the late justice by promoting “compassionate action” if elected president.

Scalia believed that “we are just one race—American,” the ad begins. Then it continues:

He thought affirmative action was wrong. That racial entitlement preserves the way of thinking that produced slavery, racial privilege, and hatred. More than anyone else running for president, Dr. Ben Carson knows about race—and hatred. He was raised in the ghettos of Detroit. He saw the face of hatred, bigotry, and violence firsthand. So when Dr. Carson says we should replace affirmative action with compassionate action, that it’s a fairer way to treat people, we should listen to him.

The ad is consistent with what Carson has been saying throughout the campaign—that left-wing “political correctness” poses a greater threat to the United States than, say, the structural racism that affirmative action seeks to address. And with this radio spot, the only African American candidate in the race is seeking to win back GOP voters by citing the fellow whom many conservatives embraced as their movement’s most prominent anti-PC crusader. As the ad notes—in something of a non sequitur—”Judge Scalia’s life has taught us, if you’ve lived the life you believe in, you’ve earned the right to speak about what it has taught you. The rest is just political correctness.”

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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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