Ben. Friend. Ben, my friend.
You are the houseguest who cannot and will not take a hint, even when I’m all "here’s your coat" and "oh look, I just threw your phone outside" and "please leave." You are the restaurant customer around whom the restaurant’s employees are mopping, hoping desperately that you’ll just stand up and go. But you will not, because you have not yet figured out the joke in today’s "Marmaduke," and you have not yet finished your coffee, which is now very cold.
You are polling at a majestic 9 percent, behind racist wedge of cheese Donald Trump, muppet on a Christian alternative to Sesame Street Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, Minkus from Boy Meets World if Minkus joined Young Americans for Freedom. But as you said on Fox News’s website, "I won’t listen as the pundits and politicians decree from on high. I refuse to play by Washington’s political rule book, or subjugate myself to the whims of the political class." You’re going to keep standing up for whomever it is that thinks, "Hey, that Ben Carson guy, he definitely won’t win this election, but I like the cut of his jib, so sure." For some reason, those people are giving you a ton of cash.
You are a miracle, Ben Carson. You have engineered a book tour into a presidential campaign, like the time I fried a cup of flour and called it a "tortilla." And sure, you could give up. A lot of people want you to, so conservative donors can focus their dollars on Rubio and Cruz and on heaving Trump into the darkest recesses of Mordor.
You could. But you don’t have to.
There's precedent for your campaign's continued existence, Ben! In 2004, Dennis Kucinich held out until a week before the Democratic National Convention before suspending his campaign. Alan Keyes held out until the convention itself, twice, and in 2008 ran as a Republican instead, then as a member of the Constitution Party, then simply started his own party ("America’s Party.)*
Current California governor Jerry Brown ran all the way up to the convention in 1992, and then gave a speech at the convention seconding his own nomination. As in, the nomination he was not receiving from the Democratic Party. He received 596 delegates to Bill Clinton’s 3,372, but hey, that’s not terrible! That could be you, speaking at the convention, spreading that 2 p.m. post-lunch crash feeling throughout the hall! How exciting!
And moreover, you’re just so great, Ben. Asking your fellow candidates to attack you is kind of adorable, in the "ugliest fish" kind of way. You remain woefully, hopelessly unqualified for our nation’s highest office, but if the front of the pack is any indication, that just doesn’t matter in 2016. Your party is effectively about to nominate a tuna salad sandwich. Your dreams shouldn’t die as a result.
So keep at it, Ben. Keep on truckin’. Carry on through Super Tuesday, all the way to Cleveland, and who knows?
Well, I know. You’ll lose. But still. Point stands. Stay in the race.
*Alan Keyes also sort of disowned his gay daughter. Don’t do that part.