A Modest Proposal For Betsy DeVos

02/08/2017 12:36 pm ET Updated Feb 08, 2017
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Dear Betsy DeVos,

Congratulations on your completely unexpected appointment as Secretary of Education! Americans everywhere can rejoice that our public education system will finally be overhauled by someone who doesn’t believe in it. That is a startlingly original idea, and I salute your sense of innovation.

I understand you’ve recently said it’s “possible” your family contributed $200 million to various Republican politicians. That’s certainly an influential amount of money! Having given the matter a great deal of thought, I have a proposition for you. (That’s “proposition,” not “preposition,” a difference I learned years ago while attending public school. I never thought it would come in this handy.)

While I don’t know much about Amway, or inheriting massive amounts of money, I do know a bit about payback. That’s what happens when someone does something for or to someone else, and then gets paid back for it later on.

I see this in my business. For instance, another artist records one of my songs, and it’s “streamed” a million times. Two years later, I get a check for $100.00. While songwriters have consistently tried to educate Congress on intellectual property, most lawmakers understand that voting for artists’ rights will not help them get re-elected, and they resent being lectured by us. Therefore, Congress consistently votes against fair pay for songwriters. This is called “payback.”

I saw it in my mother, who attended the Civil Rights Congress and worked for voter registration. As a result, she was under surveillance by the FBI for most of my childhood. This is also called “payback.”

I saw it in my father, whose college education was paid for by the G.I. Bill. Because of his service to his country, he was able to become a teacher, and our family could move off the chicken farm and into town. This is a good example of “payback.”

My father later ran a summer camp that advertised itself as “integrated.” A group called the Minutemen were incensed at the idea of an integrated children’s camp and planted bombs in the 6-year-old’s area. This is another kind of “payback.”

As you can see, Ms. DeVos, I understand the concept of “payback” pretty well. And since you’ve given so much to so many, I would like to throw my hat in the ring.

While it’s true I am not a career politician, I take comfort in the fact that you and Donald Trump aren’t either. Perhaps, having found this common ground, we can now talk frankly about my reason for writing to you.

Working together, I am positive we can find a way to completely re-invent the American educational system, much as Steve Bannon is trying to completely re-invent the American political process.

True, though I’ve never been certified as a teacher (or indeed, anything but a Red Cross lifeguard, and that woefully out of date), there are plenty of states that require no certification for charter school teachers. Since charter schools are your specialty, I’m sure you already know this. So I cannot imagine my lack of qualifications or experience will preclude my being hired. And once hired, I have a boatload of ideas!

For instance, by using Skype instead of brick and mortar classrooms, I can give lessons to millions of children at once, with no overhead! The cost? Approximately $0.13 per hour. Think of the savings for our country! I could even do this internationally, using Google Translate at no cost whatsoever to the taxpayers.

Using my methodology (which I like to call “The Skoogle Method” ― get it? Skype + Google translate? Pretty catchy, eh?), children who would otherwise have gone to racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse schools will be able to study at home instead, never running the risk of hearing opinions that differ from their parents’.

Inhibiting their social skills in this manner will also ensure that we never again see the kind of protests we saw during the recent inaugural period. If they don’t know how to talk to strangers, they will avoid them like the plague!

Now, you are probably thinking I would like some share of that $200 million as “payback” in return for my brilliant ideas. Nothing could be further from the truth!

I thank God every day that a family like yours has enough money to influence our elections more than the Russians did! After all, without money like yours, who will out-spend the foreigners attempting to rig our political system for their own benefit?! I’d much rather it be rigged by a true American like you than by any outside influences!!! That’s plenty of payback for me. Plenty.

Betsy DeVos, I believe that by judicious use of my ideas, and your politicians, we can radically change this country. Two or three generations from now, you will barely recognize it as America.

Thank you for your consideration.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

CONVERSATIONS