Ben Carson may be the only candidate who can speak sanely about race

Here was one of the world’s most brilliant doctors calling on his experience to tell a story that was fundamentally about the content of our character rather than the color of our skin. And here was a moment when his soft-spoken demeanor was exactly right. Arguments about race are dominated by shouting and rage. Carson’s gently-expressed truth felt like a tonic to the soul.

It’s a mistake to think that a run for president is only a success when the candidate wins the Oval Office, that anything less is a failure. It’s way too early to judge who’ll win the Republican primary, but it’s moments like this that not only enhance the conservative “brand,” but — far more importantly — speak words of truth and virtue to a vast — indeed, a record — audience.

Carson, of course, wasn’t done. His closing statement, with the same soft-spoken delivery, lit up social media:

There’s a word that comes to mind when listening to Carson speak about his medical experience, especially his experience operating on the most vulnerable patients, unborn children — kindness. He comes across as a kind man who loves people, loves this country, and doesn’t take himself too seriously. That combination may not win the White House — it takes much more than personal virtue to prevail in a long, grueling campaign — but he did, for two brief moments, elevate the GOP debate. And that’s a service to us all.