In recent election cycles, more than a few Republican presidential candidates have boasted about their plans to scrap the federal Department of Education altogether. Indeed, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently told a group of voters, "I honestly think we don't need a Department of Education."
GOP candidate Ben Carson, however, doesn't want to eliminate the cabinet agency; he wants to repurpose it. The Huffington Post reported yesterday:
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Wednesday he would use the U.S. Department of Education to police speech on college campuses. During an interview, Glenn Beck asked Carson if he would shut down the Education Department as president.
"I actually have something I would use the Department of Education to do," Carson explained. "It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists."
I've read this a few times, and watched the video of the exchange, and I can't help but wonder if he realizes how ridiculous this sounds.
What Carson seems to be saying is that he wants a federal cabinet agency to "monitor" speech on college campuses, and if a Carson administration decides it doesn't approve of the school's politics, the Republican would cut off universities' federal funding.
In other words, the far-right candidate who complains on a near-daily basis about "political correctness" envisions federal officials "monitoring" on-campus speech to ensure Carson doesn't find it offensive.
I'd love to hear more from the candidate about how he would use the Department of Education to "monitor our institutions of higher education." In June, Carson told a group of Republicans that he was “thinking very seriously” about adding “a covert division of people who look like the people in this room, who monitor what government people do.”
Would a similar "covert division" be used by a Carson administration on college campuses?