Where did these people go to college?

These remarks by Betsy DeVos at CPAC are revealing. It sounds like she, and the cheering crowds, have no idea what college is actually like.

The fight against the education establishment extends to you too. The faculty, from adjunct professors to deans, tell you what to do, what to say, and more ominously, what to think. They say that if you voted for Donald Trump, you’re a threat to the university community. But the real threat is silencing the First Amendment rights of people with whom you disagree.

Those are lies. What we want, at real universities, is for our students to question everything intelligently. I just gave my class an assignment to critically analyze a paper — to read it specifically with a mind to finding flaws and developing arguments and tests to evaluate its validity. That’s standard practice.

DeVos attended Calvin College. I’d really like to know what classes she took that failed to give her an education.


  1. Elladan says

    The right have been promoting a strawman version of academia since the ’90s (at least). This is nothing new: colleges are easy targets because they can’t really hit back, and academics tend to be poor at lying, subterfuge, innuendo, and so forth…

    I mean, I’m sure it’s been obvious that the right-wing internet is absolutely packed with anti-intellectuals who despise college and repeat the same dog whistles about how nobody learns anything of value there and so on.

  2. blf says

    Where did they go to college?

    Alt U.
     Motto: We own all your facts.
     Mascot: Joseph McCarthy.

  3. robro says

    Surely there’s been some mistake. The Calvin College website says, “Calvin students study the liberal arts…” That couldn’t possibly be true. There’s nothing “liberal” about Calvinism, or Betsy for that matter.

    Lovely motto for the school though: “My heart I offer to you, Lord, promptly and sincerely.” (John Calvin) Nothing like subservience to a fantasy to keep you squarely in reality.

  4. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny, how any form of politics other to *today is election day, vote if you can* in my chemistry classes. Does DeVos have some problem with the molecular theory of chemistry? Or the law of conservation of mass and energy?

  5. leerudolph says

    DeVos attended Calvin College. I’d really like to know what classes she took that failed to give her an education.

    All of them.

    …There is (or was; he’s surely old enough to retire, if he wants to) a good topologist on the faculty (who rotated in to an NSF Program Directorship for 3 years once); I’m quite hopeful that his courses contribute to whatever education is possible there, but it would not surprise me if Ms. Prince (as I presume her surname would still have been while a student there—it doesn’t seem like the sort of place that would allow married undergraduates, but I dunno) never took a math course there.

  6. charley says

    It’s ironic that a graduate of Calvin would complain of lack of academic freedom in universities. Requirements for Calvin profs:
    1. May not contradict the Belgic Confession, Canons of Dordt or Heidelberg Catechism – the doctrines of the Christian Reformed Church.
    2. May not show support for gay relationships.
    3. Must send their kids to Christian schools.

  7. Snarki, child of Loki says

    Yeah the RWNJs complain about “moral relativism” taught on campus, but that’s just one of those hand-wavy 100-level intro courses.

    The REAL complaints show up when they have to take General Relativity.

  8. vucodlak says

    Devos is a wealthy, white, cis-het, religious right-winger. As long as she refuses to take a peak outside her bubble, no amount or style of schoolin’ is going to change her mind.

    If she ever took a class that threatened her worldview, she’d have dropped it. Even if it was too late for her to do so without it effecting her GPA. Though, given her family’s wealth, a little thing like that probably didn’t apply to her. And if they tried to teach her something really awful, like “poor people are human beings with rights,” she’d probably raise hell and have the prof driven out for being a Marxist sympathizer.

    Devos knows that what she’s saying is a lie. So do the vast majority of the people cheering. The kind of people who attend CPAC want colleges to indoctrinate students in THEIR philosophy, rather than teaching them to think for themselves. Students who think for themselves too often turn against trash like Trump and company.

  9. waydude says

    The fight against the education establishment?!? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. Because kids go off to college where they are challenged to question everything they know or think they know and when they actually do that and start critically examining what has been held up their whole lives as the absolute Truth and find out that much of it is just so much bullshit, well then it’s those nasty professors and deans poisoning their minds? Am I in a bad episode of Little House on the motherfucking Prairie?!! Is Kirk Cameron and Ken Ham the new undersecretaries of Education?!

    This might’ve touched a nerve with me.

  10. smrnda says

    I taught courses in mathematics, statistics and computer science. I don’t really recall ‘telling students what to think’ outside of making sure that they knew the required material. Right wingers don’t tend to go to real schools. They go to Christian indoctrination mills and assume that their competitors are just the godless secular equivalent. They don’t realize that there is a reason why OUR faculty and students produce recognized scholarship, and the best they can do is pin some letters in some vanity press journal or some right wing propaganda rag.

    I would love to give DeVos one of the exams that most of my undergraduates could pass and laugh at her failing horribly.

  11. militantagnostic says

    Calvin College is named after the asshole who roasted Micheal Servetus (the first European to correctly describe the function of pulmonary circulation) alive on a pyre of his own books. Sounds like a good place to educate an amoral fuckwit like Betsy DeVos. DeVos was born into the Prince family whose primary business was auto parts, but they alos branched out into the hired killer business (Blackwater) and married into a family MLM grifters (Amway).

  12. chris says

    “But the real threat is silencing the First Amendment rights of people with whom you disagree.”

    Wait what? Then why did they confiscate the little Russian flags with TRUMP written in gold on the middle stripe to all the participates a CPAC? Isn’t that infringing on their First Amendment rights to bow down to their new Russian overlords? Seriously, it happened:

    And it was hilarious, because the fools had no idea what they were waving around with glee.

  13. wzrd1 says

    While, I did not attend college, I did volunteer at a college.
    So, I actually do have some experience there.

    My experience in supporting said college from inside, from multiple experiences was, trying to her college graduates is like, oh hell, still herding cats.
    Try it sometime,

    Lies and BS, they prove true, always. In days that end in ‘z’ in English.

  14. rpjohnston says

    As with the NYT and others news outlets, this is a deliberate lie intended to undermine the public’s trust in its institutions so that we will get on board when they come to “fix” this alternate reality they have created. They aren’t just dumb or wrong. They are sinister.

  15. Ichthyic says

    As with the NYT and others news outlets, this is a deliberate lie intended to undermine the public’s trust in its institutions so that we will get on board when they come to “fix” this alternate reality they have created.

    according to Bannon, they have not come to fix this world, but to bury it.

    Bannon LITERALLY said the administration’s goal was to “deconstruct the administrative state”, which given his background, you KNOW means… destroy every government agency except law enforcement, which they will directly control and use like an arm of the military.

    there may be insidious oligarchs funding these bozos, but the script currently reads: “Destroy”

  16. raven says

    Calvin College is a real fan of…Joseph Stalin.
    They are famous for their purges of faculty members.
    One group in particular has been fired.
    People who accept evolutionary biology.
    I’ve lost track of how many they’ve purged but it’s around 4.

  17. raven says

    Fall From Grace – Inside Higher Ed
    Aug 15, 2011 – The other religion professor, Daniel Harlow, remains at the college, and is refusing to … The controversy at Calvin surrounding Schneider is notable in part in … we accept the biological theory of evolution (descent with modification over … over me” of pressure from religious conservatives to have him fired.

    Fundie xianity really hasn’t changed much over the last 2,000 years.

    They still have witch hunts and heretic hunts.
    These days they can’t burn them alive on stacks of firewood, no thanks to those SJW’s, so they just fire them.
    Rooting out evolutionists and persecuting them is a popular pastime at fundie colleges.

  18. raven says

    But good news in a dark and dismal time.

    Retail chain Family Christian plans close after 85 years – USA Today
    2 days ago – Family Christian, which bills itself as the “world’s largest retailer of christian merchandise… filing for bankruptcy protection in 2015 and had no choice but to shut down. … Pat and Bernie Zondervan, who started a bookstore and publishing enterprise.

    The world’s largest chain of xian books and stuff just shut down all 240 stores.
    This isn’t the only large xian chain to close lately.

  19. Zeppelin says

    I don’t know where they went to college, but I am continually impressed by how every American alt-righter I talk to has gone through an extensive sociology and social studies curriculum. Well, I assume they must have, or they wouldn’t be confidently pontificating about the oppressive SJW indoctrination that goes on in every single one of those classes. Right?