Ben Carson's favorite movie is True Lies, but he also likes Independence Day.
In his 2009 book The Big Picture, Carson wrote that the movie showed how differences dissipate in a time of crisis.
"I do not get to see many movies, but when I watched the video of Independence Day with my sons, I was struck by the portrayal of the resistance efforts mounted against the alien invaders from outer space," Carson wrote. "The frail and arbitrary distinctions so often made between various segments of society, even between different countries and ideologies, instantly melted away as the people of the entire world focused not on their differences but upon a common threat and the common goal uniting them — the protection of the planet from alien invaders."
Carson noted the similarities between the response to the aliens in the film and American mobilization after the Pearl Harbor attacks.
"I know Independence Day is science fiction, but the same heroic emotional reactions it portrayed were very much alive after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Recruiting stations across the nation experienced a virtual flood of people from all ethnic backgrounds ready to sign up for the protection of our country," he added. "Crises that threaten an entire nation, or the entire world, may be horrible, but they force us to embrace a common vision. They remind all of us, who may have forgotten, exactly what it is that unites us. In times of crises even small minds get a clearer view of the Big Picture."
"Naturally, I do not suggest that America start a war or send out engraved invitations to a Star Wars-type invasion from some galaxy far, far away," Carson continued.
"I just wish I could convince more thinking people of what I believe is true — that continued racial divisions within our society pose every bit as great a threat to our survival as a nation as any outside attack, be it from earthly or other-worldly enemies," he concluded.
At one speech in 2004 (at Mannatech!), Carson entered the room to the end credits theme song from the movie.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.