Although probably not one of the main reasons for the 2016 Democratic defeat, education reform could have cost Clinton electoral votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Because it is the policy that I most fully understand, I will describe education reform as a metaphor for how “the Billionaires Boys Club” and the Obama administration pushed technocratic policies that helped open the door for Trump’s victory.
First, then-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan staffed his agency with Gates Foundation wonks and imposed a set of Gov. Scott Walker-lite, anti-union, anti-teacher corporate school reforms. Second, the Democratic Party remained on the sidelines during the campaigns to resist Right to Work and recall Walker and Koch-funded legislators. As they should be, deep-pocket donors and the Ten Percent, are always quick to open their wallets in support of liberal social issues, however, they seemed oblivious to the need to support blue collar workers and teachers.