- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 25, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, sent shockwaves through the liberal world during a recent radio show when he told the host that poverty is, “to a large extent,” simply a “state of mind.”

He’s right.

His message? Carson was trying to say that a winning attitude isn’t a DNA trait — it’s trained, taught, learned, instilled. In other words, money doesn’t just not buy happiness. It also doesn’t buy lasting success, according to Carson.

Make way for the Democratic-driven Train of Outrage.

The left has gone batty over the remarks. But why? He wasn’t trying to deny the existence of poverty — to make it seem like it’s all in the person’s head. Rather, he was saying the key to its conquering comes largely with the upbringing.

“If you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world and they’ll work their way back down to the bottom,” Carson said, the New York Post noted, citing the HUD secretary’s SiriusXM interview with Armstrong Williams.

Parents, Carson said, and caretakers need to give their children the “mindset of a winner,” and not let them wallow in a victim mentality that sabotages their futures.

Carson, for the record, grew up in poverty in Detroit, and was raised by a single mother who never rose past the third grade in terms of formal education. From that, grew Carson the pediatric neurosurgery chief at John Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, as well as Carson the 2016 presidential candidate.

But now, as Carson the HUD chief, he’s touched a nerve of basic liberal philosophy — that of the poor being helpless victims, needful of government assistance.

Ben Carson says that poverty is a ‘state of mind,’” tweeted George Takei, former Star Trek “Sulu” and an ongoing Twitter thorn in conservatives’ sides. “You know what else is a state of mind? Always being a blithering idiot.”

Nita Lowey, Democratic lawmaker from New York, offered up a similarly snarky tweet.

She wrote: “Dear @SecretaryCarson, States of mind: Happy. Sad. New York. NOT a state of mind: Systemic poverty.”

Even Dictionary.com got in on the fray, tweeting a sarcastic, “Huh. We say poverty is the condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support.”

Come on now. This is all left twisting and turning with intent to avoid basic truths, one of which is this: In America, land of opportunity, equality, the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian concept that we’re all equal in God’s eyes, all have a chance at success, all endowed by our Creator with the abilities to pursue happiness.

Sure, some carry heavier albatrosses around their necks than others. Some are born into abject poverty — some are born into families of alcoholics or drug addicts, sexual abusers and mentally unfit.

Some have to rise from great depths of depravity to accomplish great things — some only have to climb a hole that’s a fraction of depth.

Some — gasp — even put their own albatrosses around their necks and refuse to accept individual responsibility.

But America is not India. There are no imposed caste systems here.

There are, however, freedoms to grow, to thrive and produce, to start a business, to launch an empire, to succeed beyond one’s wildest dreams.

What’s it take?

“You take somebody that has the right mindset,” Carson said, “you can take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there.”

Quite right.

And in that respect, Carson is spot on: “Poverty, to a large extent, is also a state of mind,” he said.

Liberals who whine otherwise? They just don’t want Americans to be self-sufficient and self-supporting, anyway — it eats into their control, chips at their victimhood mentality.

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