Dr. Ben Carson, one of the 17 hopeful candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination for president, spoke to a packed house on the issues facing the country at the American Legion Continental Post #1424 in Forest Hills on Wednesday night.
Carson gave his position on the economy, race relations, foreign policy and police/community relations, among other matters.
The relationship between the police force and communities across the country has been strained for some time, especially with recent high-profile police involved shootings. Carson told the audience that he believes the best way to mend this relationship is to dissipate the communities’ fear of the police and the police force’s fear of the communities by bringing them together.
“Why don’t we stop dealing with these situations and try to come up with solutions?” Carson said. “Why don’t we think about ways of introducing the police into those communities, and the same police, so that they get to know them, so that little Johnny’s first encounter with the police is with someone he knows…it’s relationships that solve those kinds of problems.”
“That’s what we need right now in this county, is we need solutions,” he added.
Carson made note of the country’s $18 trillion debt and the growing fiscal gap. He believes that unless something is done, the financial situation will only continue to get worse.
“We are putting that on the backs of the next generations — not just the next generation, [but] the next generations,” Carson said. “We have the ability to stop this…we have got to get the economic engines functioning once again.”
The way to bring the economic engines back to life, according to Carson, is to get rid of many of the government regulations which cost money and, in turn, increase the prices of goods and services. These price increases, he charged, affect the poor people who may not be able to afford them.
As for foreign policy, Carson feels that extremist jihadists are a major area of concern.
“The other thing that threatens to destroy us is divisiveness, fiscal irresponsibility and the radical jihadists who want to destroy us,” Carson said. “They are an existential threat to our nation.”
When it comes to dealing with the jihadists, “we have two choices,” according to Carson.
“We can stick our heads in the sand, drop a few bombs in the desert and think we are doing something — or we can use every resource known to us, economic resources, military resources, and we can destroy them before they destroy us,” he continued.
Carson fielded questions from the audience before leaving the American Legion post to a chorus of cheers and applause.
The event was hosted by Bob Turner, chairman of the Queens County Republican Party and Tom Long, chairman of the Queens County Conservative Party. Organizers cautioned that the event did not imply an endorsement of any kind by either party or party chairman.