Daily Engagement: Two Republicans Have Listened to Constituents’ Concerns About Betsy DeVos — Call More


Daily Engagement is a new, brief, daily feature on Flavorwire. It’s aimed at helping people feel somewhat less helpless and hopeless (or at least in control of their helplessness and hopelessness) in the midst of a political news cycle that’s been doling out daily affronts to human decency.

Every day, we’ll post one easy thing that people can do to continue to resist the current state of politics under the Trump administration, focusing on the creative ways (we are a culture website after all) that citizens are finding to resist.

The Hill reports today that both Maine Senator Susan Collins and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski have become the first — yup, first — Republicans to dissent on any of Trump’s cabinet picks. The target of their dissent? Voucher-exalting, public-education averse, grizzly-phobic gun advocate/billionnaire-whose-foundation-has-ties-to-a-hate-group Betsy DeVos.

The good news is that this means it’s looking a bit harder for DeVos to be confirmed. The bad news is that, even with the disapproval from both of these Republicans — and their ultimate vote to substantiate that disapproval — there’d still be a tie, which Mike Pence could easily break.

Thus, it’s quite crucial, as our favorite political dissident clumps of land — National Parks Underground — point out, to get more Republicans onboard with not being onboard with the sweetly-named, educationally toxic Secretary of Education candidate. In fact, if it helps spur your phone call, it’s as simple, for starters, as getting one more Republican to vote against her appointment.

Her ideology, it must be reemphasized, suggests comfort with — perhaps even glee about — the anti-education of the nation’s poor, so long as they’re safe from mid-sized bears, but apparently not safe from firearms. (By the way: average deaths by bear per year in U.S.: 1. Number of people killed in 2015 by a firearm: 13,286.) Beyond her meme-worthy but fundamentally horrifying take on the role of guns in school DeVos is a huge advocate for the funneling of federal money into allowing kids to attend private schools, seemingly with an aim towards getting more children into schools where religious education is stressed. She seems to have plagiarized — a thing that, ironically, can get you expelled from school — some answers to a confirmation test she was given. She’s ignorant towards laws regarding students with disabilities. She seemed unclear about education fundamentals like the difference between proficiency versus growth. And more.

So now: if you live in a red state, call your Republican Senator. Surely not all of them have an interest in listening to anything critical about a candidate so long as they’re on the Republican team. But the very fact that these confirmations, which have otherwise seen Republicans voting entirely along party lines, have even remotely diverged for DeVos is saying something big about her level of inexperience and extreme positions. And one of the reasons any Republicans have dissented at all is due to constituents voicing concerns. The aforementioned article in the Hill notes that Murkowski was led to her decision to vote against DeVos in part because, “her office had been flooded with calls from constituents opposing Trump’s pick.”

Find your Senators’ phone number here.