The Right

The Real Betsy Devos

Betsy DeVos
Betsy DeVos
Betsy DeVos
Elisabeth Dee "Betsy" DeVos, born January 8, 1958, is an American businesswoman, philanthropist, and politician who is currently serving as the 11th United States Secretary of Education under the Trump Administration. DeVos is a member of the Republican Party known for her advocacy of school choice, school voucher programs, charter schools, and ties to the Reformed Christian community. | Betsy Devos, Secretary Of Education, Politician, Blackwater, Erik Prince, Republican, Teeth, Businesswoman,

Not as evil as they say

Our public education system, as we know it, is at an end. With the Senate's confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, America's children are destined to wander aimlessly through life dumb as a box of rocks on a submarine with screen doors. In fact, you'd better check - DeVos has been EdSec for about a month now; your kid may be dumber already.

At least, this is how Democrats are telling the story. But one thing I've found over the course of the first month of Donald Trump's presidency is that every person nominated to Trump's cabinet instantly becomes the Worst Person In The World immediately upon their nomination.

But is Betsy DeVos really as bad as they say? Is anyone, for that matter? The Democrats and their allies in the media, in their ongoing efforts to #Resist the Trump Administration's each and every moment of existence, has tended so toward hyperbole that it sometimes difficult to find what is true in a sea of bipartisan Alternate Facts.

Who is Betsy DeVos, really?


Betsy DeVos comes from a very wealthy family, and married into another very wealthy family. She has been active in the Republican Party in Michigan for many years, and has long been an advocate for school choice. While she has been criticized for her lack of experience in education, she has actually been active in the realm of education for many years.

Not only is DeVos an advocate for school choice, she puts her money where her mouth is. She started a foundation to provide scholarships to low-income families, giving them the resources they needed to choose where their kids went to school. She has devoted herself to this cause for over 20 years, yet career Washington politicians, all of whom can afford to send their kids to whatever cushy private school they choose, say she is unqualified.

The reality that led Betsy DeVos to advocate for school choice is that too many of America's public schools are failing, and for parents that want something different for their child but cannot afford private or homeschooling, they have no other options. The government's education monopoly cuts most Americans off from any choices in their childrens' education.

While Democrats are all about choice when it comes to killing children in utero, they are much less so when it comes to educating the children that survive.

But opposition to Betsy DeVos wasn't strictly partisan; the divide was defined not by political parties, but by Big Union Money. It was union money, not ideology, that pushed two Republican Senators to vote against DeVos, pushing the vote to a tie and requiring the Vice President to cast a vote to break the tie.

The teachers' unions are so firmly embedded in America's government education bureaucracy that they vociferously oppose any and all efforts to give Americans the ability to choose anything else. So it should come as no surprise that they sent their bought-and-paid-for politicians out to oppose DeVos. After all, the Department of Education was created during the Carter administration as a way of paying back the unions for their endorsement. In their minds, the Department of Education is their department. It belongs to them, and no Republican interloper is going to come in and start introducing competition to the education monopoly they have worked so hard to build.

As the saying goes, "follow the money."

For myself, I hope that Betsy DeVos is wildly successful in introducing school choice all across America. As a libertarian/conservative in California, I find the dictatorial nature of this state's education bureaucracy to be intolerable. All politics is local, and all education should be local, too. As a parent to three children, I don't need some far-off bureaucracy raising my kids for me - and as someone who understands liberty, I'm in favor of any measure that takes power away from the bureaucrats and puts it back into the hands of the parents.

Comment on Disqus

Comment on Facebook

Updated Jun 7, 2017 5:46 AM EDT | More details

AND Magazine AND MAGAZINE

©2017 AND Magazine, LLC
5 Columbus Circle, 8th Floor
New York, New York 10019 USA

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written permission from AND Magazine corporate offices. All rights reserved.