By Sam Shikora (Political Editor)
The Republican presidential race remains as closely contested as it likely will be until primaries.On Wednesday, November 4th, internet media giant BuzzFeed leaked a seventeen-year-old video of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaking his beliefs regarding the existence of the Pyramids of Giza.
Carson’s theory was “that Joseph built the pyramids in order to store grain.”
“The archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But you know, it would have to be something awfully big, if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it would just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.”
Most archaeologists do agree that the pyramids were built during Hellenistic Times, as monumental graves to dead pharaohs.
Carson defended himself in an interview with CNN by saying, “some people believe in the Bible, like I do, and don’t find that to be silly at all. And [they] believe that God created the Earth and don’t find that to be silly at all.”
While the relevance to his campaign and the problems facing America today is highly debated, Carson’s comments seem to actually benefit him.
According to Chris Cillizza of The Fix, “People he [Carson] talks to, that message resounds with them. They may well believe that… They take the Bible as the literal fact of the world.”
“Carson is channeling a very specific sentiment within the American public and within the Republican Party in particular, and that sentiment is very strongly religious and very non-politically correct. It plays to his base, which right now is the biggest voting part of the Republican electorate,” he said.
Ms. Stevens says that it is a societal problem when a candidate makes a seemingly ridiculous or incorrect statement they gain popularity from it.
“I haven’t really had a particularly high opinion of him to begin with, so I guess my opinion is that I’m actually not surprised, and I can’t believe that he continues to lead in the polls by saying things that are ignorant.”
“It doesn’t change my opinion of him, however, it is just one of those questionable moments that you ask yourself: ‘What on Earth is he talking about?’” said junior Jonathan Dickerman.
Since the video was released, Ben Carson has enjoyed an increase of Twitter mentions regarding the GOP from 9% to 31%. Carson is nearly tied for first place in polls to Trump, where according to RealClear Politics he has 23.3% of the vote while Trump has 24.3%.
“Carson draws a lot of [media] attention because he is a black, Republican, non-career politician… A lot of Americans, unfortunately, pay no attention to a politician’s record or political views, and when ignoring what they should be basing their opinions on, they enter the voting booth and choose the name of the candidate that they recognize,” said Dickerman.
“The problem is that we have uneducated voters who quite frankly do not care,” Dickerman added.
Stevens also cites a lack of knowledge as reason for his gain in popularity. “No one knows what the issues are. They only care about whether Donald Trump wants to put the Christmas tree on Starbucks cups, and whom Ben Carson thinks built the pyramids.”