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Betsy DeVos thinks young people are an unholy mob

October 21, 2020

It has been six and a half months since the US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has given a public speech. Back in late March, DeVos made some remarks on COVID 19 and education, but began her comments by thanking President Trump for his “clear-eyed leadership during these challenging times.”

Six months later, there have been 221,000 deaths in the US because of the pandemic. So much for clear-eyed leadership.

Once Betsy DeVos decided to leave the confines of Washington, DC, or one of the many DeVos mansions, she chose to go to the most non-threatening place she could find to give a speech, Hillsdale College. 

Hillsdale College is an arch-Conservative school that has a long history of promoting free market Capitalism and US global supremacy. One of the college’s former Presidents, George Roche, was on the advisory board of the US affiliate of the World Anti-Communist League. Roche also was vehemently anti-public education and believed that the US government should not be involved in the education of American children. 

So, you can see why Betsy DeVos would decide to make her first public appearance in six months at a college that shares the same ideological framework that she does.

DeVos’s speech before the Hillsdale College audience was sort of what you would expect from the champion of the Neo-Liberal Education model. There were standard comments about “school choice” and putting parents in charge of their children’s education. However, there was a an even meaner, nastier, maybe more desperate aspect of Betsy’s speech. At one point she said, Let me suggest we could fix education for so many children in America if we “go Dutch..”

Now, to those at Hillsdale College, listening to DeVos’s speech, the idea of going Dutch might not have been offensive. However, when one considers that a disproportionate number of Black and Latinx public school students in the US, the idea of going Dutch might seem offensive, even ridiculous. 

DeVos clarifies her point about what she means to go Dutch, saying:

That means we embrace the family as the sovereign sphere that it is. A sphere that predates government altogether. It’s been said, after all, that the family is not only an institution; it’s also the foundation for all other institutions. The nuclear family cultivates art, athletics, business, education, faith, music, film—in a word, culture. And just as the family shapes its culture, it also shapes its government. 

Following her narrow definition of what the family means, DeVos then continues her school choice mantra and more attacks against teacher unions.

About two thirds of the way into the speech, DeVos then shifts gears and begins to trash the idea of Socialism. 

Too many today—especially among our rising generation—don’t seem to understand the dangers of such a view. They somehow have come to believe that socialism is the cure, not the deadly disease it really is.

Tragically, it’s because no one has taught them differently. And worse, some have been indoctrinated to believe not in themselves, but in government.

Not only is she trashing Socialism, DeVos is talking shit about young people. I know lots of “our rising generation” from my own first hand experience and I can confidentially say that they understand a great deal about economics and how the world works…….mostly against them. 

When Betsy DeVos says, “It’s ignorant to hate capitalism when you don’t really know how communism hasn’t worked. It’s ignorant to hate freedom, when you don’t really know how tyranny hasn’t worked,” how can we possible take her seriously? This is a person who was born into wealth and privilege and then married into even more wealth and privilege. In addition, Betsy reflects her own narrow binary view of the world, by thinking there is either capitalism or communism, and nothing else.There have been countless economic models that humans have used and created, many of which were based on cooperation. Just because Betsy’s family in part of the Billionaire Class doesn’t mean that Capitalism works for everyone.

DeVos, then gets real nasty, saying:

So, the unholy mob thinks our economies need redistributing. It thinks our Constitution needs rewriting. It thinks our families need restructuring. One prominent group was explicit about its desire to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”

That’s taken right from the old Marxist playbook. It admits the goal is to “[do] away with private property and [educate] children on a communal basis, and in this way [remove] the two bases of traditional marriage.”

When DeVos says “the unholy mob,” she is referring to the hundreds of thousands of people, most Black people, who have taken to the streets over the past several months, demanding an end to police brutality, mass incarceration, and the plague capitalism, which has devastated Black communities. 

Betsy DeVos can’t even imagine that the people on the streets are anything other than Marxists ideologues. Living in an ivory tower has prevented DeVos from being on the ground with real people who are not only tired of the lies of Capitalism, they are tired from having 2 or 3 jobs just to pay the bills an pay off the students loans. DeVos would also learn that people all over the US are practicing Mutual Aid, where they take care of each other in multiples ways, including financially. The rising generation is practicing community care, cooperation, and compassion. 

As long as Betsy DeVos stays confined to her $40 million yacht, in one of her multi-million dollar homes, in the halls of government, or the ideologically safe confines of Hillsdale College, she will never really understand that most people are struggling to barely survive under Capitalism. They know that the system isn’t working for them and they want something else and are likely to get want they want by any means necessary. 

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