Ben Carson is now making the absolutely bizarre claim that he needs to start having Secret Service protection because he is in “great danger” due to his challenge to the “secular progressive movement.” Really, Ben? When was the last time a secularist tried to blow up a building or assassinate someone? When was the last time a secularist set an abortion clinic on fire?
“I’d prefer not to talk about security issues but I have recognized — and people have been telling me for many many months — that I’m in great danger, because I challenge the secular progressive movement to the very core,” Carson told WABC radio’s Rita Cosby Show on Thursday. “You know, they see me as an existential threat but I also believe in the good lord and we take reasonable precautions.”
He’s also a mind reader, apparently. I’m a secular progressive and I certainly don’t see Ben Carson as an “existential threat” — that means a threat to the very existence of secular progressives. Okay Ben, please give us some scenario by which you running for president is going to rid the entire world of secularism or progressivism. Can’t think of one? Neither can we. Which is why no one thinks you’re an existential threat to us. Not everyone is as irrational and paranoid as you are, Ben.And again, is there even the tiniest shred of evidence that secular progressives are a threat of any kind to you? I can give you a huge list of violent attacks by right-wing extremists in this country; the list of such attacks from the left is far, far shorter, and none of them aimed at presidential candidates.
Carson said threats against were indeed serious, which was why the Secret Service was considering protecting him.
“I believe the threats are serious,” he said. “They wouldn’t even be considering this if the threats were not serious.”
Every presidential campaign is going to receive threats, of course, but Carson has never provided any evidence that the ones his campaign has received are any more serious than those received by any other. And the question of Secret Service protection is not determined by the number or severity of threats. Any major party candidate that has achieved prominence, at least 10% support in the polls and have received at least $10 million in contributions qualifies. It used to be that such candidates only got protection within 120 days of a general election, but that was changed in 2008. Whether and when they get such protection is determined not by the Secret Service but by a committee made up of the speaker of the House and the minority leader, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and a 5th member chosen by the others.