Despite having no background in the field of psychology, a sociology professor employed at the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Educational Studies has taken to social media claiming she has inside scoop proving their are ‘terrifying’ similarities between the psychological make-up of Wisconsin governor/GOP presidential contender Scott Walker and those of long-dead German leader Adolf Hitler. As reported by the higher education-centric news portal The Campus Fix on July 13, 2015, Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab posted in a July 1 Twitter posting “My grandfather, a psychologist, just walked me through similarities between Walker and Hitler. There are so many-it’s terrifying.”
The rather harsh comparisons didn’t quite end there. Within a mere 24 hours, Ms. Goldrick-Rap again took to Twitter: “No doubt about it-Walker and many Wisconsin Legislators are fascists. Period. They proved it today. #SHAME.”
Reporter David Hookstead of The College Fix noted his publication attempted to contact Goldrick-Rab regarding her Führer comparison. Eventually, the career academic respond with the following statement:
Thank you for your question. 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.
I’m also confident you will note that the tweet was not a ‘reaction’ to any particular event, and thus it may not fit with your narrative.
In spite of Goldrick-Rab claiming there is no “event” that may have prompted her on-line slam, Gov. Walker has been in the headlines due to his push to place fiscal safety valves on the once untouchable subject of tenure for taxpayer funded state university professors. As Politico.com reported earlier this month, Wisconsin’s state legislature approved of Walker’s de facto ending of protected tenure at state schools.
As Politico’s Kimberly Hefling penned, “The effort has outraged unions and higher education groups, leaving them fearful that other lawmakers will follow suit to unravel labor protections in higher education that have long been considered sacred ground.” Hefling also reported that part of Walker’s now approved budget proposal is that tuition at all taxpayer funded schools in the state will see tuition frozen in place for the next two years.
In a curious turn of events, Goldrick-Rab was also in the news early last month in the self-professed “progressive” website The Cap Times of Madison, Wisconsin. The professional sociologist warned that if Walker’s budget proposal passed, that would “signal it’s time to leave UW-Madison”. The College Fix also cited that the professor recently added to her Twitter litany in two separate postings on July 12.
During mid-afternoon, she tweeted, “I spent more than 20 years working for & honoring the tenure I earned. Walker just robbed me of it. He robbed Wisconsin. It’s unforgivable.” Later that evening she posted “You should hear my kids, trying to figure out what moving means. Walker is driving them out of their home state. He took mom’s job.”
As of press time, Ms. Goldrick-Rab has yet to be discharged by the Wisconsin University School System.