When Vice President Pence cast the deciding vote to confirm conservative billionaire public education activist Betsy DeVos as our next Secretary of Education, the result was an incredible and explosive response from enraged constituents who immediately took to social media outlets to express their outrage.
Despite an unprecedented letter-writing and phone-messaging campaign, undertaken by the millions of Americans nationwide who opposed the DeVos nomination, Republican senators confirmed her nomination anyway, choosing to ignore thousands of constituents who contacted them personally begging them not to vote for the DeVos nomination. Protesters repeatedly cited DeVos’ lack of experience, conflicts of interest and public opposition to the governmental department she has been nominated to lead as factors that should disqualify her from the nomination.
Only two Republican Senators listened to their constituents and voted against the nomination, resulting in a 50-50 tie. The result was a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence, who swore DeVos in as Secretary of Education soon afterward.
Completely unqualified to hold a cabinet level position, DeVos appears to have garnered the votes to secure her nomination by donating millions of dollars to the Republican Party, and Trump Super PAC’s, including hundreds of thousands of dollars to the very senators who voted for her confirmation. In seemingly off-the-cuff remarks to the press, DeVos has been quoted as saying that she expects a return on her investment when she makes a political donation.
DeVos is such a controversial pick because she has absolutely no experience at all with Public Education. Not only has the billionaire Republican education activist never attended a public school, she also chose to send her own children to elite private schools while advocating for privately run, Christian charter schools throughout her native Michigan. DeVos has also invested millions of dollars of her own money in for-profit educational business ventures, like Neurocore which claims to cure psychological disorders like ADHD and mood disorders in extremely unconventional ways.
Another glaring aspect of the DeVos nomination is her life long advocacy of anti-gay and anti-LGBT causes, including donating thousands of dollars to groups that advocate highly controversial gay conversion therapy. Add to this her public opposition of special education and her stated plans to divert funds from public schools to private charter schools, and you can see how she will be leaving particularly vulnerable students at the mercy of bullies and other potentially harmful situations.
On Twitter alone, thousands of activists have been Tweeting at their senators continuously for several days, first trying to prevent, and now protesting the DeVos nomination. Disgruntled constituents cite a variety of reasons to contest the DeVos nomination, including her disastrous confirmation hearings in which she made incredibly ridiculous claims. For instance, DeVos claimed that one could not ‘ban’ guns from public schools because some schools may need protection from grizzly bears.
While many of the Tweets concerning these insane views are comical in nature, there is nothing funny about a corrupt Republican Senate forcing their constituents to accept the most clearly unqualified candidate in the history of the Department of Education.