Ben Carson’s ignorance

The writers at The Daily Show and former host Jon Stewart were giving themselves high fives when Donald Trump announced that he was definitely in the race for the Republican presidential nomination because he promised to be a sure-fire source of comedy material. The must be thinking that their cup overfloweth because like Abou Ben Adhem, lo, Ben Carson turns out to lead all the rest on the roster of nuttiness.

Larry Wilmore has also been having a lot of fun at Carson’s expense, as in this clip.

Carson’s belief that he can create his own reality has extended even to basic geography. Here is a comparison of Carson’s America with the actual America.

carson's america

What puzzles me is that rearranging the states like that does not occur easily. This is not like people not being able to place the US on a map of the world. You have to actively work hard to get something this wrong. Could someone in the Carson camp be trying to make him look even sillier than he already does? Does someone close to him think that that American must be saved from any possibility of this ignoramus becoming president?

(These clips aired on November 18, 2015. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. Rike says

    Oh my! It looks like Carson could spend his time better by having his own Comedy Show than to be running for president!

  2. Sili says

    Perhaps he’s a performance art piece just like Herman Cain. He’ll start singing the Pokémon theme as the reveal soon enough.

  3. Aaron Doyle says

    As much as I’d like to joke about how his knowledge of geography is just that bad, it looks like it is a pretty simple editing error. The original file is probably a vector graphic and the states are probably all separate elements so they can be recolored easily. The artist probably just accidentally dragged and dropped that New England section out of place.

  4. Mano Singham says


    If it is that easy to move the states around, then your hypothesis is likely right.

    But what this does suggest is that Carson has passed a tipping point where people are going to seize on every misstep as an example of his goofiness. It is like George W. Bush’s mangling of the English language. We all make mistakes but at some point, it became seen as a defining property of his and each example, however trivial, became symbolic of his weakness.

  5. lorn says

    “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.”

    It seems to apply to Carson, and the wider GOP.

  6. Rike says

    Even if it is that easy to make a mistake with a US map, if you’re running for president you or your crew cannot afford to make that kind of error -- especially when you already have as many facts against you as Carson has. If you want to be president, the least you should be able to do is pay attention to details!

  7. Jockaira says

    These are details that a brain surgeon doesn’t have to know just like being president is another detail the brain surgeon doesn’t have to know.

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