Before Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced his run president on Monday, a liberal college professor made sure to let her Twitter followers know she is “terrified” by the similarities he has to Adolf Hitler.
Walker has been a favorite target of liberals in higher education after taking aim at unions and tenure in his home state. The most recent budget signed by Walker included changes to the state’s rules for public universities, making it easier for regents to dismiss teachers protected by tenure.
Predictably, professors and liberal activists were outraged by the slight tweak to higher education’s employment protections.
— Daniel T. Clark (@Danieldcclark) July 13, 2015
(That guy must be refreshing in the faculty lounge.)
One user even conjured up the classic image of book burning.
Scott Walker: burning the books step one: destroy the Universities http://t.co/Xkl1jBv2Jw
— DMConner (@DeborahMConner) July 13, 2015
But that wasn’t the first time Walker has been accused of having something in common with people who enjoy burning books.
In her criticism of Walker ahead of the recent tenure rule changes, Sara Goldrick-Rab — a professor of educational policies and sociology — was already drawing comparisons between the Republican governor and Hitler.
My grandfather, a psychologist, just walked me through similarities between Walker and Hitler. There are so many- it’s terrifying. — Sara Goldrick-Rab (@saragoldrickrab) July 1, 2015
In a letter to the College Fix, Goldrick-Rab claims she wasn’t calling Walker a Nazi or a genocidal madman, but was merely pointing out “psychological characteristics” that he happened to share with one of the 20th centuries most notorious mass murderers.
Please note that I have taken time out of my unpaid vacation to respond, as a courtesy to the timeliness of your request.
If you reread the tweet, you will see that I stated that an expert in the field – a psychoanalyst with decades of experience – compared the ‘psychological characteristics’ of the two individuals, and that I was struck by his analysis. There do appear to be commonalities.
I’m confident you are capable of seeing the difference between such an assessment and equating the whole of two different people.
In light of Walker’s bid for the White House and his recent weakening of the state’s tenure rules, social media users are taking a renewed interest in Goldrick-Rab’s Hitler comparison.
And they’re not being kind.
— Ron Getty (@MorteAiTiranni) July 14, 2015
.@saragoldrickrab Your ignorance is terrifying! -Signed, Graduate of Appalachian State University, Bachelor of Science in Sociology
— Becca H (@LadyOnTheRight1) July 14, 2015
@saragoldrickrab Because Hitler was known for cutting taxes, wanting less public employees, balancing budgets? Or are you just hysterical?
— DM (@idaho_expatriot) July 14, 2015
@saragoldrickrab I hear they both wore pants.
— Directive 10-289 (@Major_Skidmark) July 14, 2015
@saragoldrickrab With intellect like that I can see why loss of tenure scares you.
— soxfan4life (@hasherhater) July 14, 2015
@saragoldrickrab have they walked u thru ur hatred of those who disagree with u?
— Charlotte Whitaker (@ChaWhitaker) July 14, 2015
@saragoldrickrab Your grandfather might need to hang up the psychology stuff and get a glass of warm milk. Sheesh.
— DepthTested (@FosterRight) July 14, 2015
Are you TERRIFIED, @saragoldrickrab? Ridiculous hyperventilating like this will surely strengthen your argument for tenure. Good luck, Prof!
— Duble MacGuffin (@DubleMacGuffin) July 14, 2015
@saragoldrickrab except for the Socialism, and the Left-wing ideology, and the Centralizing of the private sector…
— Kristopher Battles (@KrisBattles) July 14, 2015
— TLT 2020 (@twilightz2020) July 14, 2015
Of course, there’s nothing shocking about a liberal tenured professor — a specialist in educational policy and sociology no less — casually comparing a Republican to Adolf Hitler.
And that might explain why some people believe tenure needed a little reworking.