Ben Carson Calls For A Moments Of Silence During GOP Debate, & Twitter Definitely Took Notice
In his opening statement during tonight's GOP debate, Ben Carson called for a moment of silence for the victims of the San Bernardino shooting. Heartfelt moment of reflection on a national tragedy? Cheap ploy to exploit the fear and grief of anxious voters? Twitter had some thoughts.
Personally, I don't think this was the most terribly crass tack to take in terms of an opening, but I also think it was absolutely capitalizing on a tragedy to make people think Dr. Carson was being classy. In terms of branding, it re-asserted his persona as being humble, religious, and soft-spoken.
But including a moment of silence strikes me as sort of a lose-lose situation. Take a meaningful moment of silence, say five seconds, and you lose valuable airtime. Give it less time, as Carson seemed to, and it comes across as insufficient and insincere. And it's hard to bounce into self-aggrandizement after something like that, which is what the candidates are expected to do in their intros. Granted, that's my take as someone who, compared to the guys on stage tonight, looks like a communist hippie, but still. I absolutely wasn't alone in my negative assessment. Twitter had some fun at the doc's expense. Let's take a look.
Some Felt It Was Fake
Some Were Practical
Some Saw It As The Beginning Of The End
Join me in a moment of silence to mark the end of Ben Carson's campaign.— John J. Miller (@heymiller) December 16, 2015
A moment of silence for Ben Carson's political future— Maer Roshan (@MaerRoshan) December 16, 2015
Some Were Timing Him
Some Saw It As Par For The Course With Carson
Some Thought The Moment Went Too Long
It appears Ben Carson decided to follow up his moment of silence with another 30 minutes of silence for good measure— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) December 16, 2015
Some Thought It Was A Ploy
Ben Carson pulling the moment of silence card so he doesn't have to talk too much— LZ Granderson (@Locs_n_Laughs) December 16, 2015