Add American History to the List of Things Betsy DeVos Does Not Understand

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A short list of things Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos does not understand includes the United States public education system, higher education system, student loan policy, school safety, and, apparently, the Civil War.


The stunning array of subjects DeVos knows nothing about was on full display last night when she spoke at the president’s dinner for Colorado Christian University held at something called the Museum of the Bible. In her speech, DeVos, who also attended a private religious university, seemingly compared a woman’s right to choose abortion to a slave’s right to choose whether or not to be a slave, a right Abraham Lincoln took away:

“[Former President Abraham Lincoln] too contended with the pro-choice arguments of his day. They suggested that a state’s choice to be slave or to be free had no moral question in it,” DeVos said, according to the Colorado Times Recorder. “Well, President Lincoln reminded those pro-choicers that is a vast portion of the American people that do not look upon that matter as being this very little thing. They look upon it as a vast moral evil.”

She also called it ironic that women who would like full control over what happens inside their bodies would be in opposition to the United States government providing financial backing for private schools that, if Devos’s oratory skills are any indication, teach neither critical thinking skills nor the definition of irony:

“DeVos called out the ‘irony’ of supporting a woman’s choice to have an abortion but not for mothers who want to enroll their children in nontraditional public schools, receiving a vocal laugh and round of applause.”

DeVos, who has rolled back protections for disabled and trans students, as well as Title IX, believes that the withholding of public funds from private schools is the “last allowable prejudice” in the United States. She also expressed hope that a case currently being heard by the Supreme Court, Espinoza v. Minnesota Department of Revenue, will allow taxpayer money to flow into academic institutions no doubt as equally intellectually rigorous as those responsible for producing DeVos.



Ok. So, I was married to a very smart malignant narcissist for over 20 years, so I am well versed in the finer points of circular thinking, straw man arguments and false equivalencies. BUT. This? I can usually sort of see the tortured mental path a psycho took to get to their crazy argument. But with the argument that somehow slavery was akin to being pro choice because of ... reasons?

I’ve got NOTHING. In her argument, were the slave states the ones saying they SHOULD have “choice”? And somehow, was the wanting to have that choice the moral or immoral one?

.... I am so confused right now.