The future of public education in America could very well end up as a barren wasteland with the reckless vote by Senate Republicans to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Widely considered to be totally unqualified for the post, her nomination and confirmation perfectly demonstrate just how low our political system has sunk with a man voted into the White House who apparently can’t read more than 160 characters (the max allowed in a Tweet) and a Senate full of lap dog Republicans who only serve their rich donor owners rather than the citizens of our country.
The Atlantic raised serious concerns in an article regarding DeVos’ evasiveness in responding to questions about her qualifications. “DeVos—who has never taught public school, never attended public school, and never held elected office—sidestepped questions about everything from how she will ensure that groups she has backed financially in the past will not feel pressure to behave a certain way to whether guns belong in schools.”
Or consider this from the New York Times in its coverage of her confirmation. “For many in the education community, Ms. DeVos’s full-throated support for charter schools and vouchers — which allow students to use taxpayer dollars to pay tuition at private, religious and for-profit schools — is emblematic of a disconnection from the realities of the education system. Neither Ms. DeVos nor any of her children attended a public school. And she has never taken out a federal student loan, which is striking when considering she will head a department that is the country’s largest provider of student loans.”
It’s no wonder that senators were swamped with calls from outraged citizens demanding that a person so unqualified not be given an opportunity to wreck our public education system and jeopardize the futures of our children and grandchildren. It is heartening that all 48 Democratic senators and even 2 Republican senators (both women it should be noted) cared enough about our concerns and the fate of public education voted against her nomination.
Unfortunately, Mitch McConnell, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch Brothers, and the rest of his Republican Trump rubber-stampers voted to cripple public education in their efforts to create only 2 classes — the well-educated wealthy and the uneducated drones who do their bidding. I wish that was just hyperbole, but that’s what they’re working toward.
However, the Republican arrogance in confirming DeVos and ignoring America’s concerns may well prove to be their undoing. An already restive electorate has just been given another very strong motivation to show these conservative dinosaurs that their time is up and start putting progressives in their place who care about Americans and will work toward a better future for all instead of just a chosen few.
It will be a long haul and take an unflinching commitment, but the GOP will learn that when you pour gasoline on a fire that’s already burning, it will blow up in your face.
Let the R.A.I.N. wash away the roadblocks to progress!
The Divine Miss Briby