In a meeting with The Des Moines Register’s editorial board today, Ben Carson defended his proposal to crack down on political bias on college campuses by saying that the Department of Education should have the power to secretly monitor classrooms and libraries to root out and uncover potential bias.
He said that the same surveillance could also root out inefficiencies in federal government agencies.
Carson, ironically, then railed against the “craziness” of “safe zones” on campus that try to “shelter” students from offensive language. He has regularly claimed that the “P.C. Police” wants to restrict “the freedom of speech [and] the freedom of expression.”
Ben Carson suggested on Wednesday that the Department of Education and other government agencies should secretly enter classrooms, libraries and other government offices to track instances of political bias and inefficiency.
Carson, a Republican presidential candidate, was responding to a question from The Des Moines Register’s editorial board regarding prior statements he’s made calling for federal monitoring of colleges and universities for political bias.
“Basically, when complaints are heard, you know, from students or from other faculty members, you would go in and investigate,” Carson said. “You can do that rather surreptitiously.”
When pressed by an editorial writer whether surreptitious federal investigations into college classroom discussions would amount to policing people’s thoughts, Carson answered that such action is appropriate any time federal money is involved.
“I believe in the secret shopper concept for all government agencies,” he said. “I believe that there should be people out there who are acting as consumers and seeing if we are taking care of them appropriately.”
He went on, “Not just classrooms and libraries, but anything that the taxpayers are paying for. We ought to be monitoring it and making sure it is done appropriately.”