In an email to his students, a Georgia Southwestern State University political science professor called Sen. Ted Cruz a hypocrite and described him as a heartless politician who doesn’t care if children suffer, according to a copy of the emailed obtained by The College Fix.
In the email, Dr. Gary Kline, department chairman of the public university’s political science department, also disparaged the Second Amendment and the notion of American exceptionalism, while he praised the concept of universal, government-funded health care.
The email was time/date-stamped Sept. 25 at 3:41 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time – just a few hours after Sen. Cruz ended his historic 21-hour quasi-filibuster in opposition to Obamacare.
A student at the school sent a copy of the email to her father, who in turn provided it to The College Fix.
“I am irked that any professor would inflict his/her unsolicited opinion – any opinion – in such a manner,” the father told The Fix. He asked to remain anonymous to protect his daughter’s identity.
“If the email sought a discourse or open discussion, I could understand,” the father said. “If the email was an assignment to the class to comment on his editorial (without fear of reprisal, by the way), I could understand that, too. However, an opine using this media is inappropriate and unprofessional.”
Kline did not respond to emails seeking comment. In a statement to The College Fix, university spokesman Stephen Snyder defended Kline and claimed the email was merely satire.
“Political satire is a widely practiced and well established tradition and an entirely appropriate pedagogical device,” Snyder said. “For that reason, the University defends Dr. Kline’s right to engage students in discussion of current political events in this way.”
The email reads:
From: “Gary Kline” <[email protected]>
Date: September 25, 2013 at 3:41:38 PM EDT
Subject: TED CRUZ
Reply-To: [email protected]
Thank goodness for Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz of Texas! He is standing up for our right not to be covered by health insurance. On a sad note, he has been forced to accept such a plan, himself. Yes, by virtue of having been elected to the U.S. Senate, he now has a taxpayer-funded Cadillac health care plan for life. But his misfortune does not prevent him from fighting for the right of poor Americans, the unemployed and millions of our children, not to be forced to accept health care.
Five year olds without health care? It’s character-building. They learn to get through illnesses through sheer grit. Doctors and medicine are for wimps! (Or for the rich who deserve heath care. Or for those brave Republicans in Congress who are fighting against Obamacare.)
Obamacare is full of coercive measures that should not be forced on people. Should a health insurance company have to cover someone who gets sick just because they have been paying premiums for years? No! That would be costly and would hurt corporate profits. And what of those who are already sick with pre-existing conditions? No, sick people should not get health coverage! They should have a right to guns, of course, which may suggest a cure for whatever malady they may have.
Yes, we thank Ted Cruz for his courage to stand up for keeping America the only developed country in the world that does not provide health coverage to all of its own citizens! We are exceptional, we are different, and we don’t want to be like all those other countries. Some of them even stoop so low as to guarantee food and shelter to the poor children in their nation! It’s appalling.
So thank you, Tea Party! Thank you Ted! Keep reading Dr. Seuss on the floor of the Senate until everyone else understands what you understand: Americans helping other Americans is an un-American idea!
The student’s father dismissed the notion that Kline’s email was harmless satire.
“Pedagogical? Exasperating students with inflammatory comments? What kind of teaching and instruction is that,” he said. “What are his students supposed to learn from his nonsensical statements? Where is the critical analysis of facts that accompanies teaching on his part and learning on his students’ part? Good grief.”
He added his daughter said it’s the first time she is aware of that the professor has emailed such a statement.
According to the university’s website, Kline is an award-winning and well-liked educator who received the school’s “Excellence and Commitment to Teaching Award” in 2011.
“Dr. Kline is a very skilled and experienced teacher who brings total commitment to each course he teaches,” Brian Adler, vice president for academic affairs, states on the university website. “Dr. Kline is among the most respected of all teachers who have taught at Georgia Southwestern.”
Kline has taught at the school since 1990. He earned a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.
IMAGES: Gage Skidmore/Flickr