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“I am not ready to quit,” he told supporters in Baltimore Tuesday night.
Instead, he turned his attention to a far different topic: the Pledge of Allegiance.
“You think about the pledge,” he said. “The pledge that we all learned in kindergarten.”
And with that the candidate launched into a 15-minute soliloquy, annotating each phrase.
One nation, which he went on to define. “That means united. That means working together.”
“That means we don't throw away our faith,” he said. “That means we understand that that is an important part of who we are and maybe the rest of the world doesn't understand that but our founding document, our Declaration of Independence says that our rights come from our creator who is God. We should never forget that.”
“What does that mean?” Carson asked, rhetorically. He suggested that the biggest threat to the nation are the “radical Islamic extremists who want to destroy us” and that the country needs “to be more united than ever.”
“Freedom,” he said, “What is freedom?”
Carson continued, “Freedom is not having the government controlling every aspect of your life. Freedom is not having PC police telling you what you can say and what you cannot say. We are the ones who will determine what our level of freedom is by what we accept.”
He said citizens must continue to fight for their freedom, and stand up for what is right.
“All you have to do is look throughout history and see what has happened to those societies where people were not willing to stand up,” he said. “Where they thought it was easier just to stand down and put your head down and hope that you were not noticed. And hope no one called you a nasty name.”
And justice for all.
For this line, he borrowed some language from Donald Trump.
“We don't pick and choose winners and losers in our society. We want everybody in American society to be a winner,” he continued, “And believe me it is not that hard to do.”
At the end of his speech a teary-eyed Carson put the entire phrase back together with his own twist.
“And we will, by the grace of God,” he said, “we will have one nation under God, Indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”