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Now that President-elect Donald J. Trump has shocked the world and won the presidency, the talk has quickly shifted to the individuals he should consider for positions in his administration.

Politico reported on November 9, 2016 in a story titled “Meet Trump’s Cabinet-in-waiting” the following:

President-elect Donald Trump does not have the traditional cadre of Washington insiders and donors to build out his Cabinet, but his transition team has spent the past several months quietly building a short list of industry titans and conservative activists who could comprise one of the more eclectic and controversial presidential Cabinets in modern history.

As USA Today reports, there are plenty of names being floated for various administration positions. However, the best way to make the federal government great again (if that is even possible) is to shrink it. One interesting appointment should be Trump’s decision on who is to be the next Secretary of Education, and he could use that appointment to send a strong small government message. In Trump’s book, as reported by Business Insider, Trump has implied that the U.S Department of Education should be abolished.

During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly hit at the role of federal government in education, arguing instead for increased local control of schools. He has also hinted that the Department of Education should be abolished.

"A lot of people believe the Department of Education should just be eliminated. Get rid of it. If we don't eliminate it completely, we certainly need to cut its power and reach," he wrote in his book "Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America."

It would be a bold move for President Trump to refuse to nominate a new head of the Department of Education to show that he is committed to abolishing it. For years, abolishing the Department of Education was part of the Republican platform until President George W. Bush teamed up with a liberal icon, the late Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, to pass No Child Left Behind that expanded federal intervention in education.

Education is best left to the states. That issue came into focus again when in May the Obama administration issued a letter ordering every public school in America to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the opposite sex. Furthermore, the Department of Justice sued North Carolina over a law that prohibited people from the opposite sex to use public bathrooms. This action showed all followers of national news that the power of the federal government over education policy has gone haywire.

When one scans the Constitution, one cannot find any reference to education policy as an enumerated power of the federal government. Education has traditionally been a function of the states and ideas like No Child Left Behind have perverted that concept. 

The time is now to create some incremental change in federal policy, particularly with regard to education. A good first step to at least scaling back the Department of Education would be for President Donald J. Trump to refuse to appoint anyone to be the next Secretary of Education.

Bruce Fein, former Associate Deputy Attorney General and General Counsel to the FCC under President Ronald Reagan takes my recommendation a few steps further and tells Conservative Review,

Trump should refuse to fill Department of Education, HUD, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Department of Labor, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Consumer Finance Protection Board. If there are one or a few serious things any of these agencies do, Trump should transfer them to another Cabinet Department, like DOE control over nuclear facilities.

That would be a bold, bold move and would show that Trump truly is coming to Washington to dismantle big government.

The time is now to create some incremental change in federal policy, particularly with regard to education.

At a minimum, leaving the Secretary of Education position vacant would be a daring move that would help in convincing conservative and libertarian Republicans that the president-elect is serious about implementing small government reforms.



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Brian Darling is a former staffer for Sen. Rand Paul. Follow him on Twitter @BrianHDarling.

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