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Regent University on Election Integrity with Ben Carson and Eric Metaxas

Regent University Presents: American Election Integrity Keynote With Dr. Ben Carson and Eric Metaxas

On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, Regent University’s Robertson School of Government (RSG) hosted a highly attended virtual conference on the critical topic of election integrity in America. Moderated by RSG Dean and former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, this event included seven hours of timely discussion on every citizen’s right to vote in a free and fair election.

Watch the first in the series, and explore the transcript below. This includes an opening prayer from Eric Metaxas, New York Times best-selling author and radio host, followed by a keynote address from Dr. Ben Carson, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Key Topics: freedom of speech, election integrity in a representative democracy, election irregularities, and voter ID.

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Michele Bachmann:

Thank you for joining us today and welcome to Regent University located in beautiful, coastal Virginia Beach, Virginia. My name is Michele Bachmann. I’m a former member of the United States Congress and presently I’m serving as the dean of the Robertson School of Government. Today’s seven-hour conference is brought to you by the Robertson School of Government master’s degree program in Campaigns and Political Leadership. We’re so honored to bring this important information to you today because the focus of this conference is election integrity. Election integrity is the front burner issue of our day today in the United States. And why would that be? Well, it’s because Americans just experienced the greatest crisis in election integrity at all levels of our government at the federal, state and local levels. We observed chaos, disorder, crisis in swing state after swing state on election night in 2020.

Many state election officials condoned voting irregularity. Many state election officials created conditions to be ripe for fraud. Bizarre voting processes never tried before on a mass scale were put into place for the first time in the 2020 election. And it wasn’t just one election irregularity that caused problems. Voter fraud issues were obvious across the board in one state after another, even to the point of judges, governors, secretaries of state, or even commissioners putting into place multiple unconstitutional actions to change state voting laws, to benefit you guessed it, the same political party. These officials created the conditions for a predetermined outcome and that’s illegal. That is morally wrong. It’s the reason that we have election laws in the first place in this country. Many state legislatures stood down or looked the other way in the face of voter fraud. And many state and federal courts stood down or looked the other way in the face of voter fraud.

The real victim, however, was you—the American voter— who wondered if their vote counted. But the biggest casualty of all was America’s system of governance. It was given to us 400 years ago through the Mayflower Compact. And that beautiful principle is known as Rule by the Consent of the Governed. It’s a biblical principle that was given to us by the Pilgrims at Pilgrim Rock, a group of people who formed a system of government, whereby the people voted on their leaders, and by extension, on the laws they would live under. In 2021, millions of people still question if their vote counted; they wonder if illegal votes were added to other candidates to ensure that they would win. In America, if our vote no longer counts, then our vote no longer matters. And without an honest count of votes, we won’t have a way to remove leaders that we don’t want. And we won’t have a way to get rid of laws that we don’t like.

Instead, a permanent group of elites will ensure their own continued power, and that will require you and me to live the way the elites tell us to. In other words, we will have ended the 400-year experiment in America of our government run by the consent of the people. We will no longer have competitive elections and America’s freedoms will effectively have ended. Now that’s sobering, but it’s a real threat. Before the 2020 election and after people were intimidated into not questioning the election results, we saw various people lose their jobs if they questioned Georgia or Wisconsin or Michigan or Pennsylvania or Arizona or any other state’s election results. People were actually thrown off social media platforms, cable news even refused to talk about election issues. Newspapers, magazines, websites, all saw the handwriting on the wall, and they decided to be silent on questions about the 2020 election results rather than face the punishments, meted it out by hordes of internet mobs.

Even the 45th president who was candidate for president in 2020 was silenced by the all-powerful media and even by financial platforms. Since the election, President Donald Trump has been “memory hold,” as one of our speakers today, Mark Steyn, likes to say, quoting George Orwell in his famous book, 1984. Today, Donald Trump is not allowed to speak, much less raise legitimate concerns about the last election. But here at Regent University, the Robertson School of Government, the master’s in Campaigns and Political Leadership program, we are committed to free and fair elections. We are committed to constitutionally protected rights of free speech, and we’re committed to academic freedom. We’re committed to religious liberty, and we’re committed to going where the truth will take us. We stand on the Bible at Regent University, and the Bible tells us to let freedom ring. So for the next seven hours, we will ring the bell of freedom as we discuss election integrity.

First, through the stellar voice of Dr. Ben Carson, and then we’ll examine the effort by the Democrats and Congress, through H.R. 1, to destroy the value of your vote and with it, election integrity. Then we’ll be joined by journalists John Fund, Secretary of State from Missouri Jay Ashcroft, and Heritage Foundation’s Hans Von Spakovsky, who will lead that discussion on H.R. 1. Jim and Joe Hoft are the editors of the Jim and Joe will share the greatest archive I know of with stories on the 2020 election irregularities. No one else has made a presentation anywhere like the presentation the half-brothers will make today. So be sure you record their presentation and forward it to everyone you know. After that, we’ll be joined by Dr. Peter Navarro. Peter is the author of the finest report on the 2020 election, and Dr. Navarro will present his compelling findings. In fact, you’ll find his link on our website, his famous Navarro Report.

Next, a list panel of experts, including many Secretaries of State, we’ll discuss the issue of voter ID. And after that, the great humorist Mark Steyn will offer his take on elections. Author and speaker Eric Metaxas will share. And then, finally, we’ll hear from law professor Dr. David Clements, who personally examined the pleadings and the affidavits of the state and federal cases that have been filed over 2020 election bias.

On behalf of Regent University’s master’s in Campaigns and Political Leadership program, I want to thank you for taking your time to join our conference today. I think you’ll be very happy you made the decision to watch this conference. After the conference, you’ll find each segment archived at Regent University’s website: Robertson School of Government. I hope you’ll invite many people to come to to watch our talented speakers and to share the information that you’ll learn today. And now, Mr. Eric Metaxas will open our conference in prayer.

Eric Metaxas:

Okay. Let me pray. Thanks for the privilege of asking me to pray. Heavenly Father, we come before you as your body. We come before you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Lord, you have deputized us by the power of your Spirit and by our faith in you and in the work of Jesus on the cross and of his resurrection body from the dead. Lord, you have deputized us to be your body and to participate with you in history and through our prayers in which we enter your throne room as your beloved children by grace, Lord. We thank you, Father, for allowing us to be part of what you’re doing in history and in eternity. Lord, we know we don’t deserve it. We know it is a gift beyond anything we can imagine. And so, we simply thank you, Father God, for the privilege of being part of what you are doing, Lord.

We pray for your anointing as we go about your business. Father, anoint us, guide us, prepare us, Lord, that nothing we do would be to the left or to the right, but that we would simply be walking straight on the path you’ve set before us. Lord, that you illuminate with your Word, Lord God. Show us the way forward, Lord, that we would not get caught up in anything that has nothing to do with you.

Father, today, we ask for your anointing on each of our speakers. Lord, we thank you. We thank you, Father God, for every one of them. Lord, we thank you for Secretary Carson, Father God. We thank you for Michele … Congresswoman Bachmann, Father God, for her leadership in this. Thank you, Father God, for Mark Steyn. Anoint him as he speaks, Father God.

Lord, anoint me I speak, Father God; anoint John Fund. Lord, anoint everyone who is speaking that we would not simply be speaking with our worldly wisdom, but that your heavenly wisdom would speak through us, Father God. Lord, we know this nation has been a free nation and that this has been also a gift from you. And we ask you Father, by the power of your Spirit, to move in this nation so that we could be a beacon of liberty to the whole world for a long time to come, Father. We open our hearts to you. We ask you, Lord, to use us to help lead your body through this difficult time and to restore the foundations of liberty, of the sanctity of life, of the sanctity of the vote. Father God, lead us now in all that we do this day and going forward. And we do pray, Father, that this day and that what is said and done here today would bring glory to your name, Father. We pray that you would enable us to glorify your name today for your eternal purposes, through what we do and through what is accomplished in this nation for your glory, that we would be a blessing to the whole world. We ask these things, Father, in your name and in the name of your Son, Jesus and in the Holy spirit.

Amen. Praise the Lord. Amen. Thank you.

Michele Bachmann:

Thank you, Eric, for your opening prayer. We appreciate that. I want to welcome our first keynote speaker of Regent University Robertson School of Government master’s in Campaigns and Political Leadership conference on election integrity. My name is Michele Bachmann. I’m Dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University. Dr. Ben Carson, many of you know him. He is the recent Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He’s a world famous neurosurgeon. He’s an author. He’s a former presidential candidate, and he’s everyone’s favorite gentle giant. Ben Carson will give a keynote address on election integrity, followed by a time of question and answer. And so I want to invite those of you right now in our webinar audience, to submit your questions to Dr. Ben Carson, using the chat feature you are watching via zoom. For those of you who are watching on live stream or by television, I’m sorry, but the chat feature is not available to you. Dr. Carson, we can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Take it away, Ben.

Ben Carson:

All right, well thank you Dean Bachmann. And thank you Regent University. I have a great relationship with Regent and was on that board of trustees for several years. I am very proud of the courage displayed by the people at the university. So many people are afraid in the states to speak up and particularly on an issue like election integrity. I always say we can’t be the land of the free, if we’re not the home of the brave. This is so important. And particularly at a time like this, where we’re talking about the health of our Republic, we need to talk about election integrity. And I look forward to a robust exchange of ideas today, particularly given the fact that so many people for too long have been concerned about some of the discrepancies in the 2020 election, but no one talks about it.

It’s sort of like someone stole the cookie from the cookie jar and then made a rule that no one can talk about the cookie guy. This is what’s happening, but the Founding Fathers, they wanted a free and a vigorous discussion in the public square. And I’m very grateful for this opportunity today. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Now, such consent is why we have elections, and it follows that election integrity is the foundation of every citizens’ rights to vote in a free and fair election. Now, in order to give our consent to be governed, we, the people must believe in the underlying institutions that facilitate the election of those who govern—meaning that every lawful vote is counted. And only those who are eligible to vote actually do so. This is really one of the cornerstones of American democracy, but to hear people talk about it, you would think otherwise. Merely bringing up questionable practices, as has been well documented—all of this voter fraud. If you do that, you get excoriated in the media. Now, why is that? It’s because they have their own narrative to push and they do it by shutting down any conversation about election abnormalities and, yes, fraud. And I’m beginning to believe the media doesn’t understand the word integrity. They don’t even know what it means. I’ll define it for their sake, since no doubt, this video will probably make the rounds. The Oxford English dictionary defines integrity as, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” Does that sound like our media? Just contemplate that.

Even speaking about having honest and morally principled elections causes all kinds of uproars today. Well, I’m not about to be silenced into submission when we’re talking about something that’s so important to our public. So important to our children, our grandchildren, all the people coming after us. We’re in a real battle here. Election integrity, in my opinion, is one of the most important issues facing America today. And it’s important that we get it right. Americans must have confidence in our institutions. A recent poll in January found that among Trump voters, 40% said Trump definitely won. And another 36 say he probably won. That’s 76%. Only 7% of Trump voters concede that Biden definitely won the 2020 election. Now, when millions of voters don’t trust that the election is fair, you’ve got a serious issue there. In 2018, a poll found that two-thirds of Democrats thought Russians actually changed election totals in the 2016 election. So mistrust of our electoral system is a bipartisan problem. Faith in our electoral process is eroding and it’s incumbent on the leaders to address it, not to stick their head in the sand if they want and say everything’s okay. And not just to grumble if you lost and not do anything about it. If conservatives have accepted defeat before, they know how to accept it. At every level of elections, we’ve known defeat. And, of course, losing is a part of life. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose, but you shouldn’t necessarily get a trophy when you lose, as we’re teaching some of our children … everybody’s a winner. Everybody gets a trophy. That’s not a real world. But, what have our parents always taught us? They told us that when you fall down, you get back up. It’s part of American ethos … resilience. And so to deny any issues to draw a curtain over the past election is disingenuous at best and nefarious at worst.

The 2020 election was a national disgrace and the media still refuses to tell the truth about it. We know. … And it’s a question of how much fraud is acceptable. Some have said, “Well, it’s just a little bit of fraud.” Again, I turn to the definitions because fraud is an intentional act of deceit. So, how many intentional acts of deception should we accept in our elections? For me, the answer lies in ensuring that our election system is secure and sound and that we prosecute fraud when we find it. We don’t just say, “Well, that’s not enough fraud to really affect the election, so it’s okay. … [Within] the Department of Homeland Security, cyber security officials repeatedly told us, over and over again, that the 2020 election was the most secure election in American history. The cyber security and infrastructure security agency, the CISA, known as “CISA,” is charged with securing our nation’s election infrastructure because the security of our elections is a vital national interest. Yet, while they told us that it was the most secure in history, in the next breath we heard them say,” Oh, we weren’t talking about voter fraud. You see the security of the election infrastructure, physical and cyber products, which is what CISA is responsible for … That’s different from protecting against voter fraud.” The voting machines, the I.T. systems that store the machines—and even the polling locations themselves—comprised the infrastructure we used to put on an election and all within the purview of CISA’s mission. But what isn’t part of CISA’s mission is things like voting multiple times, dead people voting, false registration, buying votes, and ineligible voting. Those are law enforcement issues. So when CISA says we had the most secure election in American history, we need to be clear about what that means. So we’re back to definitions again. It seems we aren’t even talking about the same things anymore. And what concerns me is that along the entire continuum of voting elections, which start with voter registration of an eligible voter and ends with certification of an election, there is an opportunity for fraud. And during the pandemic, we saw a rush to change the regulations and rules that govern how elections are administered in order to accommodate pandemic mitigation strategies, but also left vulnerabilities along the entire continuum, subject to fraud or worse introducing new ones— everything from new rules for voter registration, expanded mail-in and absentee voting, signature verification, and even inadequate training for poll workers changed and contributed to the American distrust of the “most secure election in American history.” And even if we don’t discuss voter fraud, we know even the mismanagement of the process can disenfranchise voters. Even assuming the best intentions, you can’t simply flip the switch and go from everybody voting at the polls to 100 percent mail-in ballots. Anyone who thinks any government body can turn on a dime like that hasn’t ever worked for the government before. And although there are some exceptions, I can tell you that a couple of years ago, some young people from Ohio came to HUD, and they were graduating out of foster care with no support … out on the street. Can you imagine that at 18 and no family, no support? And, they told us their stories and the incredible staff at HUD was so inspired that within four months they came up with the FYI Program—Foster Youth to Independence—which not only provided them with a place to stay, but also the wraparound services—the same kinds of things you would get from your family to set them on a trajectory of success. So it is possible to move in the government. Now mistakes will be made whether due to incompetence or fraud. We have to fix those mistakes in the voting system. It doesn’t make sense to sit back and say everything was perfect so we should just do it again. In the words of Frederick Douglass, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” We need to continuously strive to improve and that includes improving every aspect of elections so that when we say we had a secure election, our people actually believe it. So it’s valid and well within our rights as voters to make sure that the systems we have in place are sound, and we should hold our leaders accountable to ensure that our elections are fair and secure. It shouldn’t be a partisan argument to say that we want fair elections. It’s something that all of us benefit from. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Democrat or Republican or an Independent, and it should be the goal of every election to be fair, and to be trustworthy.

Now, as far as H.R. 1 is concerned, instead of listening to what we the people want, the house recently passed H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People Act of 2021,” which seeks to usurp the role of states and codify many of the issues we saw in last year’s election. H.R. 1, a blatant power play by Washington, would impose an aggressive and likely unconstitutional federal takeover of state election systems. I think it’s worthy to note that the framers of the constitution left details of voting to the state. Article one, section four says: “The times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof, but the Congress may at any time by law make or alternative such regulations.

But H.R. 1 goes far beyond and usurps states’ abilities to make their own regulations. The results it seeks are really quite questionable. In addition to taking over the state’s election system, H.R. 1 threatens First Amendment rights of citizens and organizations who engage in our political system and redirects federal dollars to subsidize political candidates. Now through increased regulatory requirements, this regulation would increase the cost for organizations that choose to engage in the promotion of issues during election season, under the guise of transparency. The bills increased disclosure requirements would expose donors and members of conservative organizations to harassment that has become all too common in the era of cancel culture. And by empowering the IRS to examine the political and policy positions of nonprofits, this bill takes direct aim at the nonprofit status of organizations with a religious affiliation or who support traditional American values.

This is the same playbook that racists in Alabama used in the 1950s. The Supreme Court rightly rejected the attempt at legalized harassment then, and liberals should be ashamed of their attempts to resurrect the ideal that the state should be in the business of harassing people who oppose progressive priorities, But perhaps most egregious of all, H.R. 1 sets up a new campaign fundraising scheme where the U.S. government directly subsidizes political campaign donations. Under the proposal, the federal government gives six-to-one matches for small-dollar donations. That’s craziness. And what you’ll see popping up are advertisements on your TV and your cell phone and in your mailbox—all subsidized by taxpayer funds.

If there is one immutable law of politics, it is that politicians will always vote to make their lives easier. This bill would direct massive amounts of federal cash into the campaign coffers of the very people who voted for it. I guess that’s nice work if you can get it.

Now, included in the nearly 800 pages of the bills text is a veritable wishlist—a wishlist of liberal election prescriptions, including mandates that states allow early voting, automatic voter registration, same-day registration, no-fault absentee voting, ballot harvesting, which is where political operatives collect absentee ballots from voters and drop them off at a polling place or election station. That, of course, is the system ripe for abuse. And it prohibits voter identification requirements, prohibits election officials from verifying voter eligibility and prohibits removing ineligible voters. Seems like if you really wanted to control elections forever, those are the things that you would do. These requirements would create chaos for election officials who would be prohibited from maintaining accurate voter rolls, would lack information necessary to make election-day staffing and resource decisions. Ultimately, we’ll be unable to ensure that only legal votes are cast and counted around the country. Once a fraudulent vote is in the pile, it’s nearly impossible to get it out and indeed some practices make it actually impossible. So it’s important to make sure that on the front end only lawful votes are cast.

H.R. 1 would move us further away from that goal. Not closer to it. These are not abstract problems. H.R. 1 would legalize exactly the kind of ballot harvesting fraud that resulted in a 2018 North Carolina congressional election result being tossed out. There, a political operative paid people to collect, mail-in and absentee ballots, including ballots that were not even completely filled out. Those ballots were then turned over to the operatives, who sometimes waited for days before turning them in. This type of activity, which H.R. 1 would legitimize undermines the efforts enacted by the North Carolina legislature since then, and the state legislatures around the country to protect election integrity.

Now, as far as voter ID is concerned, H.R. 1 banned voter identification requirements sabotaging the efforts of 35 states who have implemented voter ID laws. Under H.R. 1, voters will not be required to show ID at the polls and can simply sign a statement that claims they are who they say they are. This is an invitation for bad actors to engage in fraudulent activity.

Photo ID is required to do almost anything. Why should voting be any different? In fact, why should it be any different? You know, when you consider that it is one of the most important duties of our students. Photo ID is a basic requirement to fly on a plane, to buy alcohol, to open a bank account, and the list goes on and on. You even need to show an ID to enter government buildings. H.R. 1 would create the ironic situation—it’s really kind of funny—in which you would not need to show an ID to cast a vote for an elected official, but you need one to go in and talk to them. It doesn’t make any sense. That gets everything exactly backwards. The argument against requiring voter identification is that obtaining that ID is too onerous for people, particularly low-income people and racial and ethnic minorities. What a bunch of antiquated, paternalistic garbage. I mean, are you saying that these people are not capable, given plenty of time, of getting an ID? That they’re not intellectually capable of doing it?

Do those who oppose voter ID requirements really think so little of minorities to believe that they don’t have that ability, therefore voter ID laws are disenfranchisement? That doesn’t make much sense. Particularly when we saw record numbers of minorities run for elected office in 2020 and voting as well. Countries around the world require identification to vote. Voter identification is innocuous in these countries and implemented it in some form in a majority of states. What is disenfranchisement is when in ineligible voters vote in an election and cancel the legitimate votes. A commonsense solution seems to me to be that all the time and effort spent complaining about voter ID could be spent helping individuals acquire the necessary identification to register and to vote. This bill is unconstitutional and undermines confidence in elections. It threatens freedom of speech and it directs your taxpayer dollars through the House of Representatives to politicians.

We need to continue to educate people on why such policies don’t make elections fair and honest.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about American Cornerstone Institute, which is our new endeavor. Now our powers as citizens resides in informing voters … informing voting. Is it voting the party line or voting based on what a political pundit says? It means taking the time to think about what you believe based on your own values and principles. This is part of the reason that I started the American Cornerstone Institute. We get our namesake from the four cornerstones of American life, which are faith, liberty, community, and life. These are the cornerstones of the greatest experiment in self-government the world has ever seen. They are the cornerstones of the American dream. Unfortunately, all four of these cornerstones are under attack. All in the name of progress. If the attackers succeed, our people run the risk of forgetting our roots, the very source of what made us a great nation in the first place.

But drawing on our faith we believe that the stone that the builders have rejected can become the cornerstone once again. Our mission is simple: By restoring these four cornerstones to American life we will work to promote and preserve individual and religious liberty, help our nation’s most vulnerable find new hope, increase the federal government’s role in society, and improve efficiency to best serve all of our nation’s citizens.

The first of these cornerstones, faith, is perhaps the most significant because it lays the groundwork for all the others. In fact, faith has been the cornerstone of America since her inception, and indeed, even before she became a unified country. It was faith and a quest for religious liberty that led the Pilgrims to board the Mayflower and brave that treacherous journey across the Atlantic. It was faith that grounded our cause of independence so that someday we could secure for all certain amiable rights endowed to us by our Creator.

It was faith that guided us through revelation. It was faith that gave us the courage to end slavery at the cost of the Civil War. It was faith that gave us the moral fortitude necessary to defeat communism and fascism in the 20th century. It will be faith that will help us to defeat those same things in the 21st century.

Today, we often hear about supposed wall separation between church and state, but this phrase would have been foreign to the men who actually built this country. This phrase appears nowhere in our Constitution. It actually comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in which he promised that the federal government would not interfere with the rights of the church. Our Founding Fathers actually understood that without faith in God, our liberties can never be secure. Our founders knew that all of our countries claims about justice, human rights, equality, and liberty stem from the laws of nature and nature’s God.  And in communism, it’s just the opposite. They replace God with government. With that in mind, the American cornerstone is to understand that as Americans, we are a free people with a noble inheritance. We have a right to live according to our faith and the dictates of our conscience and all the power of the government has come first from the people. The government works for the people; people don’t work for the government. We can never forget that. We cannot let the government forget that.

The second cornerstone, liberty. We must fight against government encroachment on that liberty. As Reagan recognized, when government expands, liberties contract. Individuals in groups always work better when they are to pursue their own interests. And we will always oppose the modern-day forces that seek to infringe upon our God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The shining city on the Hill, the place that people made their destination from around the world. Why? Because we have libery, we had freedom of thought, freedom of speech. Some people say, well, we haven’t lost our freedom of speech because the government hasn’t imposed restriction on our speech. Guess what? When big tech and other entities in the private sector, like the media, impose restrictions on our speech with the compliance of the government, the results were of every bit as devastating and was exactly what our founders wanted to avoid. We need to understand that.

The third cornerstone of American exceptionalism is community. You will notice that the word itself sounds like a combination of two words we use a lot—common and unity–meaning that we, as Americans are unified by the things we have in common. At the American Cornerstone Institute, we’re committed to the work because rebuilding those institutions and restoring our sense of community. To do so, we realize that we must return to what we have in common. Our shared values. We turn to the wisdom of the past to guide us in the present, continually draw upon the great figures of our history to elevate our minds and noble ourselves, inspire her deeds. We can’t throw away our history. Those people who want to abolish our history, to rename everything, what are they doing? Well, then thinks about it: Your history is what gives you your identity. Your identity is what gives you your beliefs. So if you destroy all that, you become nothing, very easy to manipulate. No strong belief systems. That’s why ISIS, before they got destroyed by the previous administration, when they would go into a place, they were ravish it, they would tear down the statues, they would destroy the museums, destroy all the documents, leave the people without a history, making them much easier to control. We can’t be fooled into letting that happen in our country.

You know, Americans seem to have forgotten that there’s so much more that brings us together than tea us apart. We’re called the United States of America. And we will work to bring everyone, regardless of the background and beliefs, together. We, the American people are not each other’s enemies. We have to realize that. That person who lived next to you for 20 years peacefully, they’re still your friend. They’re not your true enemy because they have a different yard sign than you do. And the people who manipulate us and make us think that—they are the enemies.

And our final cornerstone is life. As conservatives, we know that all life is sacred because we are all made by the same hand of our Creator and His Image and His likeness. This means that we believe all life is precious from the unborn child inside the mother’s womb to the homeless individual, struggling with addiction on the street. But it also means life in a more comprehensiveness. At the American Cornerstone Institute, we will always advocate for policies that uplift each and every individual to the full life and dignity that God intended. This means that we will advocate for policies that promote self-sufficiency over government dependence; we’ll reject any policy that keeps people mired in the vicious cycle of poverty that has plagued our nation ever since the great society of the 1960s.

Because we believe that every life matters, American Cornerstone Institute will always advocate for life and solutions that help people reach a place of dignity as a child of God. … for death.

With these four tenants as our guiding principles, the American Cornerstone Institute will champion conservative solutions to real problems that face our nation. We will champion commonsense solutions to issues such as election integrity. We will work to heal the devisiveness that plagues our nation’s politics. And of course, we realize that that’s not going to be an easy mission. But you know, we have to remember that we here in America are unique. We are different. There’s an American dream. No offense, but there’s no Canadian dream. There’s no French dream. There’s no Nigerian dream. We’re the only one who has a dream. It’s because of our values and our principles … what we believe. And the only people who can destroy that is us.

No one else can do it. We can do it. We must do it. And we will do it. We firmly believe that what we have in common as Americans far outweighs our differences. We believe that through reason and dialogue cooler heads will prevail. We believe that those four words, faith, libery, community, and life will fill our hearts and minds like they did for generations before us. And there is nothing that we can’t accomplish when that happens.

Forget about the people who try to divide us on the basis of race. Boy, that’s become a big one. Hasn’t it? On the basis of age, on the basis of income, on the basis of religion, on the basis of everything … divide and conquer. But we’re smarter than that. We’re not going to throw away what we have and degenerate into a society of people who hate each other, who are always engaged in tit for tat. It’s time for somebody to be the adult in the room. Thank you again for having me here today, for convening this conference, to discuss the importance of the election integrity. I look forward to answering some of your questions.

Michele Bachmann:

Dr. Carson, thank you so much. We can easily see the passion and love that you have in your heart for the United States of America. And I want you to know your heartfelt comments have generated so many questions from the people who are watching on this live broadcast. You are absolutely loved. I want to thank you. I know that you historically have served on the board at Regent University. I hope you will consider doing that again.

You gave a great keynote speech, but really your whole life, in my opinion, is a keynote speech. And we truly love you. We love you. We love Candice and I’m so grateful for what you’re going to be doing going forward.

Let me go ahead and get started. I wish we had more time for questions. We have about 10 minutes, but here’s our first question. It’s from a gentleman named Glenn Clayton. And this is what Glenn says, “What can I do to fight for true, honest elections? I feel like we’re losing to big tech, Marxism, big donations by George Soros and others who hate America, compromised politicians and a leftist propaganda.” There’s a lot of people who feel downcast right now. What would you say to Glenn Clayton?

Ben Carson:

Well, first of all, you know, I never get discouraged because I read then end of the Book. I read the whole Bible and I know what happens. But in the meantime, we have a responsibility to hold the feet to the fire of our elected officials, our local elected officials. You need to speak to them. You need to write to them. Do you need to get all your neighbors to, because the fact of the matter is the American people at large are wise. They do have common sense. They do have a sense of fairness, politicians and Washington, not so much. They’re just interested in power and power, grabbing it and enshrining themselves in a way that they will always have power. So it’s the local officials that you must work with very hard. And this is not to say that you shouldn’t be writing to your senators and to your congressmen as well. They need to hear from you too. The more they hear from you, the more it impacts them and hold them responsible. The majority of people, as I said, are not for unfairness. They’re not for canceling out of people, but if you sit idly by you, let the people who are for that have control.

Michele Bachmann:

Great response. I’m going to take two questions and put them together. I guess, actually, I’ll ask you to put it together for your answer. Again, we have a whole stack of questions. People have so much, they want to hear your opinion on. The first one is from a lady named Ingo, and she’s asking “Dr. Carson, do you think we have entered into a new era of voter fraud and election integrity? And then I want to ask the next question, combine both of them. This is from Brett and he’s from my home state of Minnesota. Brett says, “Do you think that voter ID is racist?” So both of them deal with the issue of voter ID. Do you think voter ID is racist? And do you think that we’ve entered into a new era of voter fraud and election integrity?

Ben Carson:

We’ve entered into a new era of fraud if we allow it. And that is the dividing point between whether America remains a free and prosperous nation, or whether we turn into something else. There was a time when, you know, one political party and the other political party agreed on what the end goal was. They had different ways of getting there, but they had the same end goal. Now they don’t have the same end goal. You know, there’s one group that believes in traditional American values. There’s another group that thinks it’s all wrong and that we need to fundamentally change America. That makes it more difficult to agree. So, there is a group of people who feels that they are righteous and that the other group is not, and therefore they can do anything. They can lie. They can cheat because the ends justifies the means.

But again, the country was designed— I think our forefathers were very wise as they put this thing together because they knew that we would get to this point. And they knew that the salvation of our nation would lie with the people. Now, as far as voter ID is concerned, you know, of course it’s not racist. What is racist is saying that certain people don’t have the common sense or the ability to get the identification—saying that they’re too stupid, saying that they’re incapable. What a bunch of garbage. And, you know, there are a group of people who derive their power from dividing people. And it’s a great thing to try to convince people that they are victims and that somebody else is causing their problem and that you are their savior.

Michele Bachmann:

Thank you for that answer. You served in a Republican administration with other Republican officials, and a question from Leslie is, “Why won’t Republican politicians unite and demand voter integrity with voter ID.” Why is that?

Ben Carson:

I hope at some point, in the very near future, that they will unite. You know, you kind of have to give the left credit that they do tend to be very united. And a lot of people on the right side have their little pet peeve issues and they cling to those and they won’t cooperate. They won’t unite because of those … not seeming to understand that if you don’t present a united front for the very valuable things that constitute America— and America is more of an idea than just a place—then you will lose America. And then your little pet issue won’t matter. So let’s deal with the bigger issue, first of keeping this country free, and then we can deal with the pet issue.

Michele Bachmann:

That’s a great answer. We have Joe, who’s asking the question of you, Dr. Carson, “What could the United States have done differently to prevent the fraud in this last election? Or maybe you don’t think there was fraud in the last election?”

Ben Carson:

Well, there was plenty of fraud. There’s no question about that. And I think everybody acknowledges that it was fraud. Well, we have people that say, “Yes, there was fraud, but it wasn’t enough fraud.” You’ll notice that the courts really haven’t looked at the evidence that exists. It’s almost as if they’re afraid to look at the evidence that exists. It would be incumbent upon all of our mediums to insist that we look at the evidence. If there’s nothing to hide, what’s the problem with looking at the evidence?

 You can prove that there’s nothing to hide and we move on. So, you know, I think everyone needs to insist that we look the evidence, as I said, during my talk, you know, both sides have doubts about the integrity of our system. That means there are issues that need to be dealt with. We can’t just stick your head in the sand and say, “Oh, it’s great. It’s wonderful. Let’s move on. Let’s do it again.”

Michele Bachmann:

Your remarks were so great and so well taken. Could you just briefly answer in just a half a minute: “How can people organize for action to be seen in public, speaking for election integrity, like you’ve just done?” And again, we have less than a minute.

Ben Carson:

Well, again, that’s one of the reasons that we have American Cornerstone Institute, Go there, and we have mechanisms whereby you can organize and get involved with election integrity. And, all of us need to get involved in it across the country—get your churches organized, get your community groups organized. Again, it is we, the people. This country is for us. It’s about us. And if we don’t take responsibility at this point, we’re going to regret it.

Michele Bachmann:

Thank you so much on behalf of everyone here and everyone who’s watching. I apologize to everyone who had so many questions for you that we couldn’t ask them all, but thank you for delivering the opening keynote address this morning, and my very best to Candace.

Ben Carson:

Thank you for taking the position of dean at Regent.

Michele Bachmann:

God bless you, Dr. Carson.