In America, we have freedom of speech. In America, we have a choice for a career. Usually whatever we choose for a career is used to solve problems in our communities.
Both Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Ben Carson have saved numerous lives. Yet, one’s popularity has led to increased awareness for healthy human lifestyles and medical remedies. The other has wanted to be politically vetted for office at the end of his medical career.
It is something to express your political views intertwined with medicine your whole career. It is another to appear as a political opportunist once this country is in the illusion of turmoil and having to criticize the passage of Obamacare to boost his prospects. Dr. Carson’s tax plan has been proposed before — most notably by minister Herman Cain — and is as a result unsuitable for many states.
Former Sen. Bill Frist has supported the passage of Obamacare almost in its entirety. Dr. Carson doesn’t have to, but it shows that the plan makes some sense. Additionally, many public servants seek camaraderie with others in the opposing party or with opposing political views regardless of their political positions.
Still, we have another potentially useful figure trying to politically maneuver his way into the White House while trying to make a superhuman jump to meet the intentions of the people in his journey. It may be truly more beneficial and practical for Dr. Carson to use his stature to promote physical wellness for communities with his media presence and will indirectly engage more interest from minorities.
For instance, CNN made a novel move by making Dr. Gupta its first person of color to be a chief correspondent on the network (not shared) and the first minority chief medical correspondent on any television channel. Especially when ethnic minorities have a higher proportion of obesity and chronic diseases, it is gainful to have an informative show for the people.
It may even have made Americans more comfortable listening to a leader of color on complex issues before the emergence of President Barack Obama. Dr. Gupta has used his influence to increase public health and was eventually nominated to be a surgeon general for his efforts.
There has never been a modern president — or one who aspires to be president — who has had a televised interview for three hours on network television as Dr. Carson had on C-SPAN. Not to say anyone doesn’t deserve it. It appears as if the emphasis would be more on implementing those ideas spoken about than talking about them.
Don’t misunderstand me, Dr. Carson is a brilliant medical mind and a well-spoken individual. Yet, he wants to do the unattainable by becoming the first medical doctor to be president and by publicly undercutting the nation’s first African-American president 10 feet away from him along the way to it.
At least Dr. Gupta has advanced his career to use his niche to be to the optimum benefit of citizens. For example, his most recent research on marijuana’s effectiveness and the possibility of using derivatives have changed the nation’s perspective on the drug industry. Furthermore, it’s clearing up the social perception of the drug since a greater proportion of minorities are apprehended for it.
Dr. Gupta is making marijuana more socially acceptable and scientifically proven with its medicinal benefits through derivatives. He is helping Americans see and live in a different perspective to extend their life and well-being.
Improving the health of our nation is important, but it is about using our primary talents. Our primary gifts do not always have to be a signal for winning public office, but they should be the groundwork for serving our communities.
Jordan Thomas Cooper is a 2015 graduate of the University of South Carolina. He is the first African-American to serve in both the governor and lieutenant governor’s office as an aide in South Carolina and has worked on several Republican candidates’ national campaigns.