Continuing the process of rounding out the Trump cabinet, Ben Carson has been selected to head up the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson’s acceptance of the position comes as something of a reversal, as prior statements suggested he would avoid taking on the role of bureaucrat. His position as a renowned neurosurgeon had led many to believe Carson would be chosen for Health and Human Services. Now, Carson is poised to participate in fulfilling Donald Trump’s promise to urban communities. Trump had pledged during his campaign to grant renewed attention to inner cities that had been neglected by policymakers in the past.
The nomination also signals that another formal rival is ready to work with the President-Elect. Last years heated primary cycle saw Donald Trump target Ben Carson with heated remarks regarding the latter’s troubled past. For his part, Carson expressed his discomfort with a Trump presidency in a gentler way. All of this, however, has given way to the President-Elect harnessing Carson’s status on the right to reach out to Americans who may be living in conditions similar to those Carson faced in his childhood. Growing up in Detroit, Carson’s perspective will be important when the administration examines housing issues.
Having made his name criticizing many aspects of Obama administration policy, Ben Carson made a point to criticize the government’s reach into welfare, a space that was once occupied by religious and community based movements. While campaiging, Carson made a call for a return to people in communities caring for one another, rather than ceding control to the federal government. He has said the country as a whole cannot be strong, so long as inner cities are blighted by crime and poverty. While the President-Elect took on the “what do you have to lose” mentality, Carson has always struck a more optomistic tone for American minorities.
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