Betsy DeVos came into Washington D.C. fully aware of the fact that she was a political outsider. DeVos was handpicked by the GOP and she was personally touted by President Trump. Despite the support that DeVos has received from her colleagues, she still has an uphill battle ahead of her. Why is this the case? Well, DeVos has always prided herself on being an outsider and a reformer, two terms that get you pushed directly outside of the establishment’s grasp. As a political reformer, Betsy DeVos has spent her entire adult life working toward fixing the United State’s education system. As the Secretary of Education, DeVos is in a position to make her life’s work come true.
Despite being embraced by conservatives of every stripe, DeVos knows that she has plenty of work ahead of her. In order to bring school choice into the mainstream, DeVos has had to work more than thirty years. DeVos has served on several high-profile national boards and she has even started her own charitable foundations. Despite her success as a private citizen, DeVos won’t make the real changes she seeks until she gets her political colleagues on board. DeVos was only in her position for a few months when she was forced to face the reality that this will be a tougher task than she had planned. The inciting incident, oddly enough, came from a point of contention between herself and President Trump.
President Trump has made it obvious that his goal is to reform America from the perspective of an outsider conservative. President Trump has also made it obvious that he plans to undo as much of President Obama’s legacy as he possibly can. This mindset took a problematic turn when President Trump set sights on Obama’s federal protections for transgendered students Betsy DeVos knew that repealing those federal protections would directly damage the work that she was trying to accomplish. While DeVos could not publicly lambast her party or President Trump, she quietly fought against the decision behind the scenes. Publicly, DeVos reiterated the GOP’s talking points regarding the federal repeal process. She called Obama’s federal protections a prime example of executive overreach. Privately, DeVos assured her LGBTQ colleagues that she was going to fight the decision while fighting for their needs.
In order to succeed in politics, Betsy DeVos is going to have to continue toeing the line between her politics and her ideals. DeVos has become increasingly aware that her job will not be an easy one. With the 2020 elections around the corner, DeVos is coming closer and closer to running out of time. Look for Betsy DeVos to continue riding her moment forward as she seeks to make educational choice the new norm.
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