Here's the Nonsense: Ben Carson is a great candidate and his ideas shouldn't be questioned. He needs our support.
Here's the Horse Sense: Carson does appear to be very good in many areas. But his comment to Beck raises questions that we should not take lightly. We cannot fall into the mistakes the left has made or we are opening our nation to serious danger.
He's a favorite of many, running a solid #2 in the polls nationwide for the GOP presidential nomination. But did Ben Carson just let slip a view regarding the purpose of government that would make America's founders run out of the room screaming? Should his comments be a concern for voters?
At this point in the presidential race Ben Carson has a solid chance at the GOP nomination. Yes, Trump is way ahead of everyone, but that doesn't mean things can't change. Carson has just done well in 2 polls in Iowa, outperforming Trump. Even though that means very little in the national scheme of things, it does still show how large Carson's appeal is to some voters.
Carson came to prominence when he gave a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama was at that breakfast and the speech thrilled conservatives while offending President Obama and the progressives. That was enough for many people to say he should be president.
The speech was so effective at upsetting Obama that Carson has said he got a call from the Obama Administration a few hours later asking for him to apologize to the president. Carson refused and when that story got out the number of people rallying behind him grew even larger.
Now, while one speech is a really stupid reason for people to say he should be president, nonetheless he became someone many conservatives felt should pursue the White House in 2016. After all, one speech tells us almost nothing about a person, but American voters are foolish in how they choose candidates and we see it over and over again as they fall for candidates who are not in it for the good of America. Remember, that's how Obama got elected in 2008.
That said, Carson has shown himself to be very solid on a number of issues. He's not the superficial candidate that can result when the public pushes someone into the spotlight. He's a refreshing exception to what voters usually fall for because he has substance. But even with that substance we still need to know more about him and the decisions he'd make as president.
A good example has just been reported by HotAir about an interview Carson did with Glenn Beck. In the interview Carson said what he thinks should be done with the Department of Education if he's elected:
"It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists."
This is an amazing statement and makes one wonder if Carson thought through what he was saying. The idea of using a government department or agency as thought police right out of Orwell's 1984 is terrible. It is no better than what we've seen in recent years has been done with other government agencies. We've all read the stories of the EPA, IRS, and others who it's been claimed have been used as political tools, even weapons, for the administration.
We cannot forget that just because you feel you can trust someone like Carson does not mean you can trust every president who follows him with that same power.
In addition, power does funny and dangerous things to people. Ben Carson may seem like the most trustworthy person in the world, but the people working for him very well might not be.
I've learned in 40 years in business that most people should never be in a supervisory or management position. Those are leadership positions and, as I wrote in my book on leadership and management, Many Are Called But Few Can Manage, few people can handle leadership positions without being at least somewhat tyrannical in how they handle that power. Power corrupts and virtually everyone who has ever worked for someone has experienced the abuse of power under someone in a position of authority. That is exactly what could, and most likely would, happen among the people put in charge of running the DOE under such a plan.
America's founders set up our government to have limits on power, which is something the left hates. People like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton believe in the power of the government to be used over the people. Remember that Obama has said that "most people are too small-minded to govern their own affairs." And he has said that the problem with the Constitution is that it doesn't tell government what it has to do for the citizens.
Our founders understood that government needed to have very limited powers and that the Constitution was to restrain government, not grow it as progressives would do to it. The Constitution was designed to restrain government and thereby allow liberty for the citizens.
Ben Carson's suggestion about the DOE would make it an enforcement arm of the government that would control political thought and speech. HotAir pointed out correctly:
Yes, there are leftists in education who do their best to indoctrinate students into thinking the government should be involved in everyone’s business, whether it be how much people get paid, or redistribution of wealth. Yes, free speech is being silenced on campus by “trigger warnings” and “free speech zones” and a litany of other ridiculous ideas. But wanting to have the Department of Education become speech monitors to make sure it’s not “extreme political bias” is not the way to fight back. The way to fight back is to slowly get conservative and libertarian teachers into teaching positions (whether it’s history, philosophy, government, law, what you have), have them challenge students, and make them think. The Right needs to slowly take over (or at least balance out) the Left in education. This means thinking long-term, not looking towards the government to do a quick fix.
Carson's suggestion is dangerous. His idea may have been an off-the-cuff response to Beck, but that doesn't change how dangerous something like this can be. When conservatives have power they cannot misuse it and set up things like this or we are setting up our government as a tool for tyranny.
For example, too often I hear people say that the next president should use executive orders to force conservative change on America. They often use examples of Obama's abuse of power through executive orders as justification for a new president to do the same thing. This is terrible thinking. All that does is set up our system to be used against us when someone who is unscrupulous gets into office.
I like Ben Carson a lot. He's one of my favorites running for the presidency. But even though I like him I have to hold him just as accountable as any other person. Our republic is a fragile thing and must be guarded and not allowed to be misused. For only then will we assure a free future for our nation.