The Corner

#gettalking in German

Emma Colton at The College Fix:

When I enrolled in an advanced German for beginners class last fall at The College of New Jersey, I intended to improve my ability to speak and write in conversational German.

What I did not expect to learn in German 103 was that the Affordable Care Act – a.k.a Obamacare – is the answer to our prayers, the Tea Party is made up of “old,” “very moronic” people, life is far better in Europe, and Occupy Wall Streeters were really on to something.

Now that my grade is securely documented on my transcripts, I feel safe sharing my recent experiences inside the classroom, during which lessons on the German language frequently morphed into soliloquies on the benefits of universal health care.

Instructor John Benjamin, a man in his early 30s with a thick beard and a fondness for donning sweaters, often used his course as a platform to tout liberal ideologies on Obamacare.

The Berkeley- and Princeton-educated professor, for example, turned grammar lessons on the intricacies of the German language into claims that universal healthcare, or “allgemeine Gesundheitsversorgung” (a phrase Benjamin took many opportunities to write on the board), as the savior of the American public. According to the professor, Obamacare will insure and take care of the poor, viewed by Benjamin as a group of people utterly neglected in America.

One day, when he was in one of his particularly brazen and jaded moods, Benjamin went so far as to have students raise their hands if they planned on signing up for the exchange – adding that students’ answers will not impact their grades.

When the room was left with idle, stationary hands, Benjamin appeared shocked and a bit speechless. He told us: “You might want to take a little longer and examine the great benefits of Obamacare before you make decisions. That’s all I have to say.”

John J. Miller — John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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