Betsy DeVos Begins Long Quest of Reforming Education

We are living in what could be considered an evolved political climate. the rise of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee corresponded directly with a seemingly changing of the guard among American voters. People, now more than ever, are looking to political outsiders to come into the system and change it for the better. Of course, this could be easier said than done but still Americans are showing confidence in some of the selections that President Trump is making to his new administration. Among his new selections is Betsy DeVos, the recently confirmed Secretary of Education at the Department of Education. Betsy DeVos is a complete political outsider and she is coming to Washington in order to pursue the kind of change that America seems intent on embracing.


In order to fully appreciate the work that Betsy DeVos is planning on doing in Washington D.C., we must first learn a little bit about the woman herself. Betsy DeVos comes to Washington D.C. as someone completely green to the political environment. She has never served the federal government nor has she held a high ranking position for the state that she comes from, Michigan. With all of that being said, DeVos’ outsider perspective is actually something that people are praising. She comes into Washington D.C. having been untouched by the corruption that has so often plagued the so-called ‘swamp’. Even without experience in Washington D.C. or at the State level, DeVos isn’t without her own professional traits and areas of expertise and one area that she has been uniquely focused is the arena of education.


Betsy DeVos has long been one of the most outspoken critics of the current education system that the government has played a heavy hand in crafting. With that being said, DeVos has also been working to bring about solutions to the age-old system that she believes to be completely broken. DeVos has turned to the writing of Milton Friedman and his concept of school choice in order to be one of her guiding factors and principles in crafting something better. DeVos believes in giving more control over to the parents and the family structure in their pursuit of better education rather than letting the government control it all.


Still, even with a guiding principle as strong as school choice, Betsy DeVos will need to learn quickly what she can accomplish and what she’ll have to fight for. DeVos knows that she will be entering Washington D.C. with a target on her back and that she’ll have to handle constant barrages of criticism. So far, DeVos has worked hard to establish herself as someone more than just an outsider. She has been working to establish herself as a strong proponent of education reform and a hardy negotiator that can stand her ground in the face of any attacks from her own party or the opposition party. If DeVos can continue to lead with confidence, the Department of Education may just end up being better off.


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No One Wants Money In Politics, So Why Is It There? ECU’s Fight For Justice

Republicans and Democrats (mostly) both agree that money in politics is bad. Despite almost universal opposition, however, corporate interests continue to make a significant impact on American elections. The 2016 election showcases how intertwined the private sector and government currently are. Not only did a businessman billionaire win office, but his only relevant opponent was also a common target of criticism in regards to corporate corruption. Unfortunately, a number of passionate members of the political process were isolated by the General Election’s transformation into a Hillary vs. Trump affair.


But not everyone has submitted to pessimism and defeat. Instead, political action groups like End Citizens United (ECU) have stood up after the temporary defeat of 2016 and continue to wage war against corporate influence in politics. End Citizens United dedicates their mission to fighting against political corruption, and their primary objective is to eventually reverse or terminate the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision on the Citizens United case. Citizens United is, in many ways, the exact type of financial corruption that members of ECU and similar organizations loathe so intensely. Due to Citizens United, political contributions cannot be restricted and are therefore unlimited. The Supreme Court’s opinion on the Citizens United case essentially equates people to corporations, and in the minds of ECU, this comparison is faulty and results in injustice.


ECU doesn’t limit their battle to corporate corruption, though. Just recently, ECU, along with organizations Every Voice, Common Cause, and Daily Kos, sent 300,000 petitions to the Department of Justice. These petitions demand an investigation into Russian’s alleged interaction with the 2016 general election. This effort represents the broader issue that ECU seeks to illuminate and eliminate: unethical practices within government. Money in politics is an enormous ethics issue within America, but ECU tackles anything that threatens the integrity of our governing body.


Fortunately for those desperate for change, ECU is doing remarkably well at raising money. According to a USA Today article, ECU raised $4 million during the first quarter of 2018. If ECU continues this pace, they project their earnings will total $35 million before the beginning of midterms. This is a grassroots movement, with the average contribution coming in at around $12. 100,000 have donated, and 40,000 were first-time donators, which suggest an upswing within ECU. For those angry with the results of the 2016 election and the continued corruption of politics, End Citizen United serves as a viable outlet to put energy towards: their efforts are making an impact, and with help, they can make a sizable dent on the outcome of the 2018 midterms.