My German Professor Made Verbal Love To Obamacare

by Emma Colton - The College of New Jersey on January 7, 2014

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.”

When our instructor wasn’t writing out unnecessarily long German words on the blackboard, or taking an unorthodox classroom survey, he espoused his views on Europe’s “superior” healthcare system, saying it’s fantastic because it’s “free.”

Benjamin went on to explain that once the “few errors” are worked out with the healthcare.gov website, Obamacare should be a well-oiled, beneficial machine.

Lest you think he made such remarks with a smirk, be assured – all of his lines were delivered with a hawkish seriousness. Sometimes in English, often in German – always deadpan.

Benjamin’s unrequited love of Obama and universal healthcare was equally matched by his dislike of the Republican Party.

During last fall’s special Senate election to fill the late Frank Lautenberg’s seat, (D-NJ), Benjamin bemoaned to the class how disturbed he was that the election results produced such a slim, final margin between winner Democrat Cory Booker and loser Republican Steve Lonegan.

He suggested members of the Tea Party who voted for Lonegan had to be “old” and “very moronic,” adding the Tea Party as a whole is laughable and run by inept know-nothings. That Gov. Chris Christie continues to be catapulted to victory by this voting bloc, he added, is a truly unfortunate circumstance indeed.

As if all this wasn’t enough, he once praised the Occupy Wall Street crew, in German, of course – noting the movement was truly beneficial in exposing the one percenters who rule this country.

The effect of these comments on my glassy-eyed peers was minimal. No one challenged him. Apathy choked the room like a pungent odor.

They appeared to care little about his pontifications, as if it was expected or they’d heard it all before. Passing the class was clearly their primary concern, as one of the requirements to earn a bachelor’s degree at The College of New Jersey is to gain competency in a language you’ll likely never use again.

I’d made a note to myself to have a friendly little conversation with the good professor after the semester ended. But alas, Benjamin abruptly left his job after finals and moved to England.

Perhaps he’ll finally get his wish, to be closer to socialism, and maybe I’ll get mine too – for the university to hire a scholar who leaves their political rhetoric at the classroom door.

College Fix contributor Emma Colton is a student at The College of New Jersey.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 M F Scotto January 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm

My daughter’s English professor used her class to bash the Republican legislature here in NC. I’m sure this stuff goes on just about everywhere.

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2 NoPasaran January 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Germany is the most merchantilist society you could possibly imagine. There is nothing going on there that ISN’T in “Occupy’s” special list of agonies.

He’s an oaf.

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3 NoPasaran January 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm

“allgemeine Gesundheitsversorgung” is the wrong word. It’s “Gesundheitsversicherung”

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4 Bilwick January 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

The Groves of Academe have always been the stomping grounds of statist Eloi; but even my left-wing professors back in the Sixties weren’t this blatant or stupid.

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5 abacab January 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Oh, so it’s free in all of Europe is it? I’ll remember that when paying my health insurance and my $3000-equivalent copay.

Write out 100 times: Europe is not a country. Each country in Europe has its own healthcare system. Most are NOT “free”.

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6 CiceroTheLatest January 9, 2014 at 3:30 pm

And anyone who thinks everybody gets the same health care is utterly clueless – which covers Democrats and other Leftists.

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7 Peejay70 January 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm

And in most countries in Europe, you can pay more to go to a private hospital if you don’t want to wait in line, resulting in a 2 tier system, which is what Democrats claim to want to avoid.

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8 markbuehner January 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm

There is no place on earth where healthcare is free, unless health care professionals are out donating their services. No such thing as a free lunch.

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9 rightisright5116 January 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Its only free if you’re not a tax payer.

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10 jack burton January 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm

I am too old and cranky to put up with that nonsense. The first time a professor tries that in any classroom I am paying money to be in I would simply tell him out loud and emphatically to shut up and teach the subject I was paying to learn.

I did it in high school 40 years ago, I did it in college, and I’ll do it again if I have to.

Unless more people are willing to do this instead of meekly going along then those professors will continue to subvert their positions and authority.

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11 bobtuba January 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Hey NoParasan, that’s part of the problem! Gesundheitsversorgung means health CARE whereby Gesundheitsversicherung means health INSURANCE. The Left continually confuses the two. As everyone in this country is about to find out, you can have health insurance without having any health care. Moreover, you can have health care without necessarily having health insurance.
After 26 years in the Air Force (the last 24 thereof overseas), I retired and taught Music and English in a German high school (Gymnasium). The students were students. But about my so-called colleagues I would say the following: I had no idea that such a rabid collection of Anti-American socialists could exist OUTSIDE an American university!

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12 Mark Langford January 9, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Ms. Colton, can we assume you’ve reported this vile teacher to the school’s administration? Truly, I pray you have already done so. If not, please do so quickly.

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13 Sammy January 9, 2014 at 5:09 pm

He already left for the UK so he can enjoy the wonders of NHS.

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14 fred1724 January 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Waste of time . The administration knows (and approves).

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15 Jim Sweet January 9, 2014 at 3:37 pm

So he was preaching the virtues of German socialism. Sieg Heil Prof.

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16 Mark Well January 9, 2014 at 3:37 pm

The headline needs work. An Instructor certainly isn’t a professor and this particular Instructor certainly isn’t German.

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17 The Sanity Inspector January 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm

A way must be found to break higher education’s choke hold on entry into a good earning life.

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18 tcnjgrad January 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I went to TCNJ and loved my time there on the whole, but this sort of thing happened all the time. I’m sure it’s common in most of academia, but many of the professors I had assumed there were no conservatives (or even moderates) in their classes and, worse, that the students deserved to be subjected to their liberal drivel. One particularly egregious example occurred in an entry-level class I was required to take to graduate, which essentially dealt with technology (not politics, history, or anything where this sort of discussion would have been topically appropriate). The professor used to drone on about politics all the time (this was during Bush II, so profs had a lot to say). Once, when he started espousing the benefits of endless welfare, I dared to challenge him by saying I didn’t think it was totally outrageous to have limitations on the amount of time one could be on welfare. He responded by essentially calling me a racist in front of the entire class – even though I didn’t mention a thing about race. He was obviously imputing his own prejudices, but it didn’t matter; after that reaction, I was so taken aback that I was dissuaded from ever participating again – which was, undoubtedly, his point. This kind of behavior is appalling and I’m impressed that the writer was able to bite her tongue all semester – I wouldn’t have been able to.

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19 Davy Jones January 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Whenever the Germans (Don’t mention the War!) get under my skin, I relax by viewing selected Hitler Rants Parodies on You Tube until I feel better. Perhaps, you should forward some links to your old Herr Professor so that he could get over the Germans in particular and Europeans in general.

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20 rightisright5116 January 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm

When the market was hot during the Internet bubble, everyone was a Wall Street whiz kid. When the housing market was hot during the Bush era, everyone was Donald Trump. Now the shiny coin is being a political talking head. Everyone wants to be Bill O’Reilly or Rachell Maddow.

Universities need to cut this crap. its unprofessional. Everyone wants to separate Church and State. What we really need is to separate College and State.

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21 fred1724 January 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Nothing new. Our colleges have been home to far leftists for years.

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22 Karen January 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Angela Merkel will kick his butt.

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23 NotFromHavana January 9, 2014 at 8:48 pm

They should have requested that if he was going to push this vapid leftist drivel, that he should at least try to put it into the context of a German lesson. I doubt my grade would have been so good as I’m not sure I could have contained my laughter.

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24 Sam Duncan January 10, 2014 at 7:31 am

Europe’s “superior” healthcare system, saying it’s fantastic because it’s “free.”

1) Europe doesn’t have “a healthcare system”. It has several. Most countries have some form of insurance with a greater or lesser degree of state involvement, while here in the UK we have a system funded out of general taxation that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Soviet Union.

2) That system cost £130,000,000,000 last year, a fifth of the government’s entire budget, almost £2000 ($3200) for every man, woman, and child in the country, and three times as much as it spent on defence. So much for “free”.

3) Despite the government buying every last one of us $3000 health “insurance”, we have the worst death rates from heart disease and survivable cancers in the developed world, and waiting lists that would give you a bloody heart attack, while the NHS – the world’s third-largest employer – is constantly “in crisis”.

3) He’s welcome to try living here. I’d strongly advise him to stay healthy. An NHS hospital is not a place to enter lightly.

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25 rocinante2 January 10, 2014 at 11:41 am

Ugh. Academia is fully of his type, and has been for a long time: youngish people, who lived a bohemian (i.e., non-working, non-taxpaying life) for a few months or a year in some European country and on that basis decided everything is better there.

I once sat through a twenty-minute diatribe by a professor about why European stop signs are better than ours. He also only bathed every few days, wore a lot of leather, and had nothing but poorly-concealed contempt for the mostly-suburban kids in the program.

He was especially torqued with me because I was one of the poor kids in the class and didn’t automatically do my proletarian duty and fall into line behind his Marxist-critique pronouncements about the US. Clearly, I suffered from “false consciousness”…. lol.

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26 NotAReaderYet January 10, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Is Mr. Benjamin an American? I’ve seen it before. All it takes is a few semesters abroad for this sort of thing to develop. I’ve had many of leftist leaning, wannabe ex–pat teachers give the same sort of “lectures”.

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27 bo ure January 10, 2014 at 1:22 pm

My favorite part of this whole thing is, “it’s free!”

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28 Pepperspray137 January 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

In an ethics class a couple of semesters ago my teacher showed us a PBS special touting the awesomeness that is universal health care. They visited and reported on 4 separate nations, nationalized healthcare models. Although all seemed happy with the high taxes and low pay for doctors, they all said the exact same thing for the last 30 seconds of each of their respective segments. Each system, from Europe to Asia was losing money in a bad way. Not one country could account for it, nor were they pressed to answer for it. Free healthcare can only be achieved if slavery is made legal, otherwise doctors will expect to be paid after investing so much time and money into their education.

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