Twenty-One Reasons People Hate, Hate, HATE Betsy DeVos



Lesley Stahl: Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?


Betsy DeVos: I’m not sure exactly how that happened…

I’m more misunderstood than anything.



The above exchange from last night’s 60 Minutes interview highlights an important point about our Education Secretary.


She is deeply unpopular, but not because she’s misunderstood. If anything, she’s understood too well.


We know what she stands for and we don’t like it.


If she was really so misunderstood, why didn’t her answers in the interview veer away from the same usual canned responses she’s given time-and-time-again to the same type of questions?


What’s wrong with schools? NOT ENOUGH CHOICE.


How do we prevent school shootings? LET SCHOOLS ARM TEACHERS.


You didn’t really even need DeVos to show up to the interview to be able to guess with a high degree of accuracy what her answers would be.


In fact, many of her responses seemed to have been coached – as if someone had prepared her with talking points before the interview even took place.


So without further ado, here is my exhaustive list of all the reasons I can think of why people really, REALLY hate Betsy Devos. If I’ve left something out, please feel free to add it in a comment.




1) She didn’t earn her position as Education Secretary. She bought it. And even then it took a tie breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence to shove her down our throats.


2) She wants to spend tax dollars to boost privatized schools in which she has a financial stake.


3) She doesn’t mind taking funding away from public schools to do it.


4) She wants to destroy the entire system of public schools which enroll 90% of America’s children.


5) She doesn’t really know what public schools are, having never attended one or having never sent her children or grandchildren to one.


6) She wants to arm teachers not because it will protect kids from school shooters, but because that boosts her family’s investment portfolio. (i.e. her brother’s mercenary army for hire, Blackwater)


7) She won’t make charter and voucher schools give the same services to special education kids as those provided by traditional public schools.


8) She’s getting rid of students’ civil rights protections while adding protections for nefarious student loan providers and fly-by-night on-line schools.


9) She’s rescinded rules that protected trans students.


10) She’s considering rescinding rules that protect minority students from being unfairly and disproportionately disciplined by schools.


11) She’s made it harder for victims of sexual assault and harassment to report abuse and easier for those accused to avoid prosecution.


12) She talks about state’s rights to determine their own education systems while using the power of the federal government to coerce them to doing things her way.


13) She wastes public tax dollars. She is the only Cabinet member protected by Federal Marshals, which costs us nearly $1 million a month. Whether this is necessary or not, as a billionaire she could save the taxpayers money by taking on this cost, herself.


14) She doesn’t care if the public doesn’t want her at their school or event. She goes anyway and then pretends to be angry that protestors showed up. She doesn’t seem to understand that as a public servant she should serve at our pleasure – not the other way around.


15) She uses tragedy as a photo-op – as she did when she visited the Parkland school to promote arming teachers. She didn’t meet significantly with students or staff. She didn’t listen to their concerns. She even bailed on her own press conference there when the queries weren’t to her liking.


16) She has no problem whitewashing black history as she did when she claimed historic black colleges were pioneers of school choice. In reality they had no choice. For many African Americans at the time, it was create black colleges or forgo post-secondary education at all.


17) She is ignorant (purposefully or not) of the results of her own policies. Her advocacy of school choice in her home state of Michigan has weakened that state’s public schools, not strengthened them.


18) She’s out of touch with average Americans. She’s the richest member of Trump’s cabinet and often travels in her on super luxury yacht.


19) She’s rich not because she earned it, but because she was born into it and married into even more wealth. Moreover, much of her wealth is due to her family’s Amway fortune – basically it’s founded on rooking average people out of their hard earned money with what’s essentially a pyramid scheme.


20) She’s arrogant. She smiles vacantly at topics that don’t deserve a smile – they deserve serious regard.


21) She is extremely biased and partisan. She is supposed to serve the public interest, but her radical Christian Fundamentalism and anti-LGBT activism make her untrustworthy to serve in that capacity. Statements such as “There is enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education… Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s kingdom,” do not help.


Okay. That’s all I can think of – though more may pop into mind as soon as I publish this. If I missed something please include it in the comments.


Hopefully this answers DeVos’ question about why she’s hated.

31 thoughts on “Twenty-One Reasons People Hate, Hate, HATE Betsy DeVos

  1. “And even then it took a tie breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence to shove her down our throats.”

    Well, that was a bit of kabuki theater so that some vulnerable “moderate” Republicans could have cover in a contested election. The outcome of DeVos being approved was a foregone conclusion. Having to haul in Pence just added a touch of edge-of-your-seat thrill.


  2. It is implied in your first reason, that DeVos did not earn her position, but I think she is such an awful choice for Dec. of Ed, that the “unearned” aspect be spelled out: DeVos has ZERO credentials in the PROFESSION of Education, either in studies or real work experience: where is her knowledge of Human Development -Early Childhood, Elementary, Adolescent & Young Adult, the whole spectrum. What about knowledge of the History & various Philosophies developed over the centuries? Curriculum? Special Education?

    I had some of this outrage with Arne Duncan, but at least he had studied in the social sciences and actually held jobs.

    My disgust with DeVos has so much to do with her pride in her ignorance as well as her money.


  3. Her end game: Christian dominionism. It’s all that really matters to her. To her and her allies, there is no right to religious freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here is another reason. Devos has bashed teacher unions repeatedly and blames teacher unions on the failures of students. Never mentioning ever that poverty is really the reason why many students are not getting the education they need. But then again what the heck would this nitwit know about poverty?

    Devos is now on borrowed time and really is a matter if time before she is gone. Trump will position it as she walked away from the position but the reality is that Trump needs to fire her as the assaults on her continue t mount. Bye bye Betsy nice try.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. She also lied during Congressional confirmation hearings about being involved in gay conversion advocacy.

    It is also being speculated that her appointment was because Trump has a close relationship with her brother Erik Prince, a foreign policy advisor who has active contracts with other foreign governments. Prince is now suspected of setting up a Russian backchannel in Seychelles and has been making implausible denials about his reasons for the trip.


    • I don’t think anyone here would say that hate is a good thing – not even hating Betsy DeVos. But to say that she hasn’t duly earned the antipathy she receives is incredibly naive. Don’t blame the victims for having harsh feelings about those who have victimized us. And don’t blame us for our feelings. And especially don’t do that, Teaching Economist, when you have a history of sympathizing with people like DeVos who are doing everything in their power to ruin the lives of children.


      • Did you watch the TED talk I linked to?

        If you did, perhaps you looked up the story of Bassam Aramin. He is a Palestinian, convicted of terrorism by an Israeli court at 17, he served a seven year sentence in an Israeli prison. After he was released, he earned a masters degree in holocaust studies and co founded the organization Combatants for Peace, an organization the he continued to lead after an Israeli soldier SHOT AND KILLED HIS 10 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER.

        Would you blame him for hating Israel after that? Has DeVos done anything to her victims that can compare to what Israel has done to Bassam Aramin? But he does not hate, because hating is not helpful. It does not solve anything, rather it creates more problems.

        When I started commenting on Dr. Ravitch’s blog many years ago I naively thought that it was actually a place to have discussions. It was and is not. This became clear to me when a poster on the blog began bullying me by calling me misogynistic sexually demeaning names with the silent approval of Dr. Ravitch and the commentariat. I was sticky Vicky on the blog. Her blog, and perhaps yours, are largely fueled by hate.


      • Your logic astounds me.

        You are comparing what we think about Betsy DeVos to an alleged terrorist in Isreal that spent 7 years in an Israeli prison and then came out to form an organization called Combatants for Peace.

        Your logic that we should not “hate (your words)” Betsy DeVos translates into not hating Hitler and the Nazi’s for the “Final Solution” that deliberately murdered almost six million Jews before and during World War II.

        Maybe we should throw Besty in prison for seven years and see if she comes out and leads an organization that supports public school teachers and community based, democratic transparent, non-profit, unionized public schools.

        Betsy DeVos has four children. Would one or more of her children have to be shot to death by armed Campus Police Officers too as the final test to see if she is worthy of our admiration when she drops her hate of public schools and public school teachers and starts working with public school teachers to improve the schools without using test scores?

        To be clear, I don’t hate Betsy DeVos. I testest and despise her and I do not trust her. She has to earn my trust and the odds are against that ever happening. I do not think that Betsy DeVos will ever become a Bassam Aramin.

        The many controversies of Betsy DeVos


      • Teaching Economist, I hesitate to even reply because I feel like I am just feeding the troll. It is not just that we have a reasonable difference of opinion, for an academic you seem unable to think in a straight line. Your previous comment seems little more than a distraction from the matter at hand. You have criticized the victims in this case and spared no criticism for the victimizer. It is hard to take this position seriously.


  6. She remains willfully ignorant rather than actually doing simple research or information-gathering to find out more about education and the factors affecting it.

    Also, that instant, strained smile so saw repeatedly during the 60 Minutes interview makes me wonder if she’s a Stepford.


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