TFL President/CEO Bob Vander Plaats and Ben Carson at VIP reception.
Photo credit: Dave Davidson –
TFL President/CEO Bob Vander Plaats and Ben Carson at VIP reception. Photo credit: Dave Davidson -
TFL President/CEO Bob Vander Plaats and Ben Carson at VIP reception.
Photo credit: Dave Davidson –

(Des Moines, IA) On Saturday November 22nd,Ā The Family Leader held itā€™s Celebrate the Family event with Dr. Ben Carson. Talk show host Steve Deace was emcee. The event was well attended, with some 900 people at the event.

Deace noted that the Iowa Caucuses were just 13 months away, and spoke of the importance of this particular election. He said that he had lunch with Ben Carson and his wife earlier in the day, and said that Carson was “the real deal”, but warned the crowd not to “let him (Carson) off the hook”. Deace said that Iowans needed to vet Carson as well as the other candidates, and be sure to “get it right.”

Chuck Hurley, Vice-President of The Family leader, presented the “Family Champion Award” to Dwayne Alons. Alons was unable to attend the event due to health reasons, and the award was accepted on his behalf by family members. Alons responded to being given the award via pre-recorded video.

Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of The Family Leader, addressed the crowd, and spoke about immigration, reducing the debt, the life issue, and repealing both Obamacare and Common Core. He also observed that “religious liberty is the cornerstone of all our rights.” Speaking of Ben Carson he saidĀ  ā€œWhether Dr. Carson runs for President or not, his involvement would be good for this raceā€¦I myself hope he does run.ā€

Carson spoke to the crowd for about an hour. He was easy going and soft spoken. He spoke without notes, telling his personal story while blasting liberals and all things politically correct. He said it was “un-American” to tell us what we allowed say.

His story is a compelling one, in which he was raised in poverty by a hard working single mother in Detroit. His mother refused to make excuses and wouldn’t be a “victim”. She accepted no excuses from her children either. He eventually went on to a stellar career as a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, becomingĀ the youngest major division director in Johns Hopkins history at he age of 33, as director of pediatric neurosurgery.

He talked about the value of one’s health, stating that was why he opposed Obamacare. You should be in charge of your health rather than a government bureaucrat, and if the government controls healthcare it “won’t be long before they control everything.” He spoke of race in relation to liberalism: “They donā€™t know what to call a black person who is against the progressive agenda, pro-life and pro-traditional marriage,” he said.

He emphasized the need for education and its importance to success in life. He also maintained that it was vital to the future of the nation because without education, the populace could be manipulated by “a slick politician and a dishonest media.”

Carson asserted that America really was “an exceptional nation.” He quoted Alexis de Tocqueville: ā€œAmerica is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.ā€

He spoke of the love of God and the need to show love and compassion, and said we must solve the manifold problems that we have as a nation.

On immigration he said we need to “reverseĀ the polarity of the magnet” that draws immigrants here illegally. We have secure the border.

He called our national debt “unsustainable” and said it could destroy America, charging the voters to “throw out of office” any politician that votes to increase the debt.

Carson affirmed that people go into business to make money, not to support the government. He said we need to reduce corporate tax rates, and reduce unnecessary regulations, suggesting that we would see job creation and increased prosperity. If we take away impediments to our economic engine we would see people working hard to prosper. “Making people dependent is not compassion, it the cruelest thing you can do to them,” he added.

He said we were in the process of throwing away everything that made us great for the sake of political correctness. “Even though President Obama said we are not a Judeo-Christian nation, we are a Judeo-Christian nation,” he said, and the crowd roundly applauded him.

He continued by stating that we need to stop people from bullying us. “Government is supposed to conform to the will of the people, not the people to be confirmed to the will of the government.”

Carson wrapped up his remarks by bringing up sacrifice. “Freedom is not free,” he said. “You have to work for it every day.”


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