Students in college classrooms around the country are accustomed to hearing from their professors that conservative ideas are the cause of the country’s woes. But the three-week government shutdown incited some especially colorful commentary from liberal teachers.
Amy Rosemond, an ecology professor at the University of Georgia, called House Republicans “terrorists” who were holding the government hostage.
In an interview with Campus Reform, Rosemond expressed regret for using the word “terrorist,” but said her point was still valid.
While Rosemond’s comments came during a rally she organized outside of Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun’s office, not all liberal professors kept their views outside the classroom.
Pat Willerton, an associate professor of politics at the University of Arizona, told his class that Republicans had single-handedly caused the shutdown, and were only in control of the House of Representatives because they had used gerrymandering to rig the elections.
Willerton regularly launches tirades against Republicans before class begins, according to The College Fix.
“It’s maddening,” said one of his students, in a statement to The College Fix. “No one in the class challenges his ideas or questions what he has to say, which is what I find the most discouraging.”
The university disagreed with the student, and stood by its professor.
“Prof. Willerton is conducting the class responsibly and within his authority and expertise,” Chris Sigurdson, a spokesperson of the University of Arizona, told The Daily Caller.
Willerton also disparaged Fox News and its audience. The Fix released a video of Willerton insisting that Fox News viewers were ignorant.
“The average viewer knows more than the person who doesn’t consult any source, but they survey people who watch Fox News regularly and they know less,” he said in the video.
A recent analysis by an Ivy League professor cuts against some of Willerton’s assumptions, however. Dan Kahan, a professor of law and psychology at Yale University, recently concluded that conservatives who self-identified with the Tea Party possessed more scientific intelligence than the average person. (RELATED: Prof sets out to prove tea partiers are stupid, admits he was wrong)
This finding caused Kahan, a liberal, to re-evaluate his view that tea party beliefs stemmed from ignorance of science.
Whether other liberal academics will show the same potential for growth remains to be seen.