What kind of bullshit is Ben Carson’s “abyss of destruction”?

During last night’s Republican Presidential debate, Ben Carson’s opening comments spared no hyperbole:

“If someone had tried to describe today’s America to you 30 years ago, you would have listened in disbelief. Americans know that our nation is heading off the abyss of destruction, secondary to divisiveness, fiscal irresponsibility, and failure to lead.”

Grammar problems aside–you head into the abyss, not off the abyss–what the bacon-wrapped fuck is he talking about? “Abyss of destruction” would make a great title for a heavy metal album, but it’s somewhat lacking as a description of anything real, unless there’s a demon-spewing portal in the sky I haven’t noticed.

But what kind of bullshit is this?

Seems like claptrap to me. It’s the kind of absurdly exaggerated language that whips wrestling fans–er, voters–into a frenzy by almost literally demonizing the other side. When Carson says abyss of destruction, listeners can fill in the blank with anything they hate and fear, like heathen feminist Muslims aborting Baby Jesus on NPR (or some other reasonable scenario).

An abyss of destruction may seem like an odd trap for claps, but people love to think that the world is going to hell, the plane is crashing into the mountain, and the dingo is eating the baby.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pretend Donald Trump won’t be a Presidential nominee and drink a quart of absinthe.

 

 

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What kind of bullshit is “You’ve got ten people coming to your house and you know one of them is a terrorist”?

During last night’s Republican debate, insane doctor Ben Carson was making a point about Muslim immigration that was the equivalent of doing brain surgery with a sledgehammer: “If you’ve got ten people coming to your house and you know one of them is a terrorist, you’re probably going to keep them all out.”

Dr. Doom followed this up with an insightful thought, “You know, we probably have to figure out a way to make sure that we keep America safe.” Good thinkin’!

There’s not too many ways to take Carson’s hateful hypothetical other than “blatant Islamophobia” and “unadulterated Islamophobia” and “this guy actually thinks (or wants you to think) that 10% of Muslims are terrorists.” Unless Carson routinely invites a bunch of people over and 10% say “I am a terrorist” on the RSVP, his comparison has no basis in unmedicated reality. It’s just another way to scare the GOP’s coveted demographic of terrified, pasty, confused grandpas.

But what what kind of bullshit is Carson’s 10% tale?

I’d say it’s claptrap.

Of course, just about everything spewed during a debate is technically claptrap, since getting the crowd to clap is a sign you’re pandering well. But this ludicrous scenario is claptrap aimed directly at the lizard brains of the audience, using lizard logic that goes something like this:

“Terrorists are heading to your home, right now. They’re hopped up on hummus and banging on the windows. Therefore, Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Also, Muslims are bad. Hssssss.”

If only Carson’s math skills were as charming as those of Brian Fantana, who famously said of Sex Panther cologne, “60% of the time, it works every time.” Come to think of it, Fantana would make a good Republican running mate. The GOP has to woo the ladies somehow, don’t they?