As we look forward to the new year and the swearing in of the GOP senators and representatives elected during the massive Republican midterm wave, some on the other side of the political spectrum are understandably cranky.
National Review Online’s Katherine Timpf, for example, noticed an article published this week on the lefty In These Times website titled, “It’s Okay to Hate Republicans.” Not surprisingly, the author was an educator: Susan J. Douglas, professor of communications and department chair at the University of Michigan. The introductory paragraph says just about all you need to know about the piece:
I hate Republicans. I can’t stand the thought of having to spend the next two years watching Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Darrell Issa or any of the legions of other blowhards denying climate change, thwarting immigration reform or championing fetal “personhood.”
So, why is it OK to hate Republicans? Science says so! “Researchers” have concluded that “the two core dimensions of conservative thought are resistance to change and support for inequality. These, in turn, are core elements of social intolerance,” which in turn lead to “a desire to deride those not like you—whether people of color, LGBT people or Democrats.”
Timpf’s dismantles Douglas’ piece in her own response at National Review Online, noting that “for a student who votes Republican, knowing you had a teacher who assumed you were an intolerant bigot and blatantly advocated for hating you would likely create an ‘intimidating’ educational environment,” presumably a violation of the school’s anti-discrimination policy.
Finally, the University of Michigan responded with a great big squish.
The views expressed are those of the individual faculty member and not those of the University of Michigan. Faculty freedom of expression, including in the public sphere, is one of the core values of our institution. At the same time, the university must and will work vigilantly to ensure students can express diverse ideas and perspectives in a respectful environment and without fear of reprisal. The university values viewpoint diversity and encourages a wide range of opinions.
In the meantime, “In These Times” reposted Douglas’ piece under its original (and safer) print version headline, “We Can’t All Just Get Along,” adding an editor’s note that — get this — “the author rejects the online title as not representative of the piece or its main points.”