In promos for his forthcoming special with young conservatives, Glenn Beck states, "Is education a right or a privilege? You know what I think." Indeed, Beck has previously suggested that those who say education is a right are promoting "a radical agenda that makes people a slave to government." Those smeared by Beck's outrageous claim include Fox News colleague Newt Gingrich and former presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
Beck promo promises more on whether education is "a right or a privilege"
From a Fox News ad for Beck's April 9 special, "Time to be Heard: Young Conservatives":
BECK: Is education a right or a privilege? You know what I think, but you're going to hear soon what a lot of students think when we sit down with them for an entire hour on the Glenn Beck program. Time for young conservatives, their voices to be heard.
Beck links those who call education a right to fascists, communists, "radical agenda"
From the March 5 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: So what was the theme of the protest yesterday? Protect your education. The poster said nothing of budget cuts. Instead, they claim defend public services. Defend public services. And education is a right. Education is a right.
You know what? Eric is right. That is a non-partisan issue. Because before the progressive movement, when we were tethered to our Constitution, not a single Republican or a single Democrat would claim that education was a right.
We were educated enough to know better, on our own policies. But the school system -- they've erased all of that. We don't even teach our Constitution anymore.
This is a glimpse of what lies beneath all of it. It is easy to attract people to a cause seemingly as noble as saving education. Who sits there and says, "I'm against education, I want kids to be big fat dummy dumb-dumbs"? Nobody.
But education is not a right. It's a privilege. How many of our students even look at that right as a privilege? They sit there. They don't listen because they don't have to earn it. Unless you earn it, you don't value it. If something is given to you, you don't value it.
And for those who call an education a right and you're teaching our youth, our immigrants and anyone else who hasn't paid attention to history, they are teaching them that the government is a granter of this right. Really? Well, gee, everything's upside down.
This is the ideology that caused freedom-loving people to search for a new home. Do you realize how freaked out they were when they came across the Atlantic? They didn't want to come here. The pilgrims got on their knees and they were like, "No, no, no, we can't go to North America. It'll end in cannibalism. It'll end in the Indians killing us all."
They didn't want to come here. They were seeking to get away from a government that told them exactly what to do. They knew the only one that could tell them what to do was God.
It's making us vulnerable and they're teaching it to the most vulnerable. Our children are being taught to be slaves to government -- because if the government is a granter of rights, if they're the one that dole out the rights and hold all the rights, if they are the ultimate provider, they who giveth can taketh away.
Come on, let's do something noble. People want to crush education. Your kids go, "Well, that's wrong."
Every fascist and communist dictator has used this system. Is it a coincidence? You see the people who funded this rally yesterday, and it looks communist.
This rally is not about saving your education. It's about furthering a radical agenda that makes people a slave to government.
Reality: Reagan, Gingrich, Bush all called education a right
Gingrich: "Education has to be the number one civil right of the 21st century." During an interview on the August 14, 2009, edition of NBC's Today, Gingrich said that Al Sharpton "has it exactly right, that education has to be the number one civil right of the 21st century."
Reagan: "A good, solid education is the right of every child in our land." During a July 1983 speech, Reagan stated:
We also believe that a good, solid education is the right of every child in our land. It is a vital, first step to opportunity, the means by which Amercian families traditionally have made life better for themselves and for generations who followed. And that's why we've launched a national campaign to improve the quality of America's classrooms and have begun to outline an agenda for excellence in education that will leave no child behind. We are also aggressively combating segregation in schools. The Justice Department, for example, has recently taken legal action against one State, charging discrimination in its higher education system.
Bush: "I believe a good education is a civil right." During an October 2007 speech, Bush said:
I met yesterday with civil rights leaders. See, I believe a good education is a civil right. And we talked about how we can work together to make sure the No Child Left Behind Act is not only reauthorized, but is made stronger. The Congress needs to make sure we don't lower standards. Congress needs to make sure we raise standards and hold people to account, so that every child, every child can learn in the United States of America.