The Senate confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education on Tuesday Feb. 7 is a clear example of how bribery, favoritism and general corruption runs our nation’s government.
DeVos—who infamously has no experience in public education and is actively against it—was confirmed 51-50 by the Senate with a rare tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence. Two Republican senators crossed party lines and voted against DeVos, yet the confirmation only requires a simple majority to pass.
DeVos’ shocking lack of qualification for this position of education secretary has been important news and a current topic of discussion. It is inherently problematic that the position can be confirmed with one mere tie-breaking vote. Like a hung jury, a Senate in a complete 50-50 disagreement on a cabinet position should reconsider the nominee and address the vote again on a later date.
DeVos’ inexperience alone should be enough to warrant a unanimous rejection—not to mention her financial ties and donor relationships with Republicans. Many suggest her wealthy status and influence was enough for her to gain the position despite the common sense red flags.
Her history with the Republican party is suspicious as well. In 1997, she wrote in Roll Call, “My family is the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee. I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return.”
The blatant disregard for the significance of the education secretary position—and its influence on the future of education in the United States, arguably one of the most important federal programs—leaves DeVos’ critics at a loss for words. It seems that when money is involved, logic and responsibility are nowhere to be found in our government.
The overwhelming criticism of DeVos on part of the public and half of all senators will hopefully survive to prevent and extinguish any future policy or budget cuts that may severely damage public education. Our government system has failed us once again, and we owe it to future generations to fix these mounting mistakes.