Sorry, Dr. Carson. Your Department of Education idea is dangerous and unconstitutional.

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Published by: Robert Laurie on Thursday October 22nd, 2015

Eliminate power, don't expand it.

It's no secret that America's colleges are left-wing hotbeds where the "enlightened minds" of higher education seek to extoll the virtues of their socialist agenda. Many teachers exist solely to indoctrinate, and the concept of "open and free debate" is largely a thing of the past. Whether they're pushing "climate change," "social justice," or "income equality," dissent is routinely discouraged or punished. Virtually all conservatives would like to see that change, particularly since taxpayer dollars are funding the effort.

...But Ben Carson's solution is exactly the wrong way to do it.

During a rapid fire "yes or no" interview with Glenn Beck, Carson was asked if he'd abolish the Department of Education - a move various other candidates have suggested.

He replied, “I actually have something I would use the Department of Education to do.”

“Would it be to pack boxes for the State Department, the IRS?” Beck joked.

"No," Carson said. "It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists.”

Now, at first blush, that sounds pretty good. Those seeking retribution for decades of left-wing "education" will certainly enjoy its "screw you guys" attitude. Unfortunately, it's precisely what we don't need.

First: It's unconstitutional. Conservatives have every right to place a spotlight on out-of-control leftist teachers. They can organize boycotts, apply media pressure, and demand that universities fire them.  However, they have no right to use the power of the federal government to silence them. The old adage "we protect the speech we hate to guarantee the speech we love" applies.

Second: It's a disaster waiting to happen.  Let's suppose that, just for the sake of argument, our screwy Supreme Court didn't strike down President Carson's plan as unconstitutional. He would have granted a massive amount of power to a federal agency that, at some point in the future, will be controlled by the very progressive extremists Carson seeks to punish.  What do we suppose will happen then? What speech will they go after? Are we really willing to trust that the feds will employ a fair, rational, and unbiased definition of "extreme?"

Of course not.

Assuming they aren't radicalizing students to take terrorist action (if they are, there are already laws that govern that) people have every right to teach whatever they want. Applying the federal carrot and stick based upon the exercise of free speech is a path to madness that belongs on the statist side of the aisle. 

If you want to get rid of terrible teachers who preach agenda, the answer isn't to grant more power to an already overpowered federal government. The solution is to remove government from the equation - completely - and force educators to prove their worth.

Make a liberal justify his salary, and the problem will solve itself. 

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