Politics & Policy

U Michigan Department Chair: We Should ‘Hate Republicans’

A professor explains that studies show the GOP is bad.

A University of Michigan department chairwoman has published an article titled, “It’s Okay To Hate Republicans,” which will probably make all of her conservative students feel really comfortable and totally certain that they’re being graded fairly. 

“I hate Republicans,” communications department chairwoman and professor Susan J. Douglas boldly declares in the opening of the piece. “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.’”

She writes that although the fact that her “tendency is to blame the Republicans . . . may seem biased,” historical and psychological research back her up, and so it’s basically actually a fact that Republicans are bad! 

Douglas said that in the 1970s she did work for a Republican, Rhode Island’s senate minority leader Fred Lippitt, but she hates them all now because Lippitt was a “brand of Republican” who no longer exists in that he was “fiscally conservative but progressive about women’s rights, racial justice and environmental preservation.” 

Republicans now, she writes, are focused on the “determined vilification” of others, and have “crafted a political identity that rests on a complete repudiation of the idea that the opposing party and its followers have any legitimacy at all.”

(Apparently, the irony of this accusation given the content of her own article was lost on her.)

Douglas adds that Republicans are really good at being mean because studies have proven that they usually have psychological traits such as “dogmatism, rigidity and intolerance of ambiguity,” and that  “two core dimensions of conservative thought are resistance to change and support for inequality.”

“These, in turn, are core elements of social intolerance . . . which could certainly lead to a desire to deride those not like you — whether people of color, LGBT people or Democrats.”

“So now we hate them back,” she explains. “And with good reason.” 

U of M’s anti-discrimination policy forbids “creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive environment for that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University activity.”

It seems as though, 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; however, the anti-discrimination policy only protects against discrimination against someone “because of that person’s race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight or veteran’s status.” (Basically anything except for political affiliation.) 

Douglas declined an interview with National Review Online on Tuesday, saying she was “so sorry” but just too “buried with work and meetings today.” She assured that she really did enjoy working with Lippitt in the ’70s.

“[I] think it’s terrible we’ve come to this pass of such extreme mutual animus,” she wrote. 

The university did not respond to repeated requests for comment. 

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.

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