Presidential Campaign

Ben Carson EXCLUSIVE op-ed: Must we fight?

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The raging feud between Donald Trump and Khizr and Ghazala Khan, is symptomatic of the divisiveness and bitterness that has taken root in many aspects of American society today. If we continue to fight each other and divert our attention away from the problems that truly threaten to destroy this nation, we will be the cause of our own demise.

The Khan family has obviously made a supreme sacrifice for this nation since they lost their son in a military battle in which he tried to save other Americans. They are and will continue to be grief stricken probably for the rest of their lives. One can certainly understand why they might say some things generated by emotion and mental anguish and we should be willing to give them a pass on that. I for one am grateful to them for their sacrifice.

{mosads}Donald Trump, like many people who are attacked, felt a need to respond. I can readily understand probably better than most, because at a much earlier stage in my life, I too felt an uncontrollable urge to respond, sometimes violently when I felt attacked. It was only after a miraculous intervention that I came to recognize that always lashing out at the attacker was not necessarily a sign of strength, but rather indicated that you could be easily controlled by the words and actions of others.

That understanding gave me tremendous strength and control which was partly responsible for the many successes that I experienced subsequently. Donald Trump has been successful in many other ways and has the potential to be an extraordinary leader when he focuses on the real problems.

Both parties in this conflict would be well served to shake hands, exchange pleasantries and apologies and move on to more constructive uses of their time and energy. Future generations will be severely adversely affected by our ever-increasing debt and the many social problems that are being ignored as we concentrate on non-consequential arguments like the one we are discussing here.

In this case, both the Khan family and Mr. Trump are fighting radical Islamic terrorists, hence they are on the same side, yet they like many of us continue to fight each other and facilitate the ease with which our enemies will ultimately be able to ensure our destruction.

Many in America are concerned about the direction of our country and feel that we are gradually losing the hard won freedoms that we enjoy today, due to the sacrifices of those who preceded us. Others are not proud of our history and would like to bring about a fundamental change in the nature of our nation.

The election later this year is really about these two visions and rather than being diverted into non-consequential arguments, each side should be willing to engage in substantive discussions in defense of their beliefs. The media can actually be helpful by focusing the candidates on the issues, because they like the rest of us will be severely impacted by the outcome of this election.

Dr. Ben Carson is a former Republican candidate for president, and is a retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Tags 2016 presidential race Donald Trump Gold Star Radical Islamic Terrorism Republican Party

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