Al Gore 101

by Lauren Cooley - Furman University on May 16, 2014

Poly Sci course touts former vice president

A government course at the University of South Carolina is led by the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and touts former Vice President Al Gore and his environmentalism causes.

Dr. Don Fowler, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, taught American Politics 2035 this spring at the University of South Carolina’s Honors College, a course which landed Gore as a guest lecturer and used one of Gore’s books as required reading.

“He’s a very important person intellectually and in terms of business in this country,” Fowler told a local Fox News affiliate about Gore.

While the course is said to “examine contemporary trends and conditions in American and world politics” and seeks “to project the important relevant factors for two decades to 2035,” it appears the government class’ bent is decidedly in the blue corner.

The course has three required readings: two books co-authored by Morley Winograd and Mike Hais, as well as a book by Gore called “The Future.”

According to its Amazon description, the book looks at globalization, or what Gore calls “Earth Inc.,” as well as the digital “global mind” and unsustainable planetary consumption.

Earlier in the semester, Gore lectured Dr. Fowler’s class via Skype.

“Gore stayed on the topics covered in his book, avoiding any mention of partisan politics or delving into Congress or the president,” WACH Fox reports. “Instead, Gore focused on topics including emerging world powers and the potential effects of climate change.”

In an email, Assistant Director of Media Relations at the University of South Carolina Margaret “Peggy” Ryan Binette said “it was a good talk.”

“[Gore] touched upon the various themes in his latest book which is one of the texts our [sic] SC Honors College students are using this semester,” she wrote.

In conversations with some students at the University of South Carolina, many were surprised Gore was available to talk to the college class. However it turns out Dr. Fowler’s son, Donnie Fowler, was the National Field Director for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential bid.

Ties between Al Gore and the USC class even go further.

Morley Winograd, one of the aforementioned textbook authors, is a former senior policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore. Winograd was also director of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, a Clinton-Gore Administration’s interagency task force to reform and streamline the way in which the federal government functions. Mike Hais, Winogard’s co-author, also has ties to the Democratic Party in Michigan.

Jameson Broggi, a student member of the Gamecock Conservatives, says “Dr. Don Fowler is liberal, but a lot of conservatives consider him a fair man.”

According to the popular website “Rate My Professors” – which college students often use when choosing classes – Fowler certainly doesn’t shy away from giving his opinion.

“He is very opinionated, but I didn’t care, because he is very liberal and so am I,” one student wrote. “I guess if you are conservative it would get old, but he is willing to listen to other opinions.”

“Amazing man,” gushed another, noting he is extremely intelligent and has real world field experience to back it up.

Other posters were not so nice.

“Spawn of Satan,” one read. “As liberal as Hillary Clinton and as friendly as Nancy Pelosi.”

Said another: “Flaming liberal who claims to be nonpartisan.”

The class was listed as “new” on the university’s website, indicating it likely debuted this semester. It’s unclear whether it will be offered again this fall.

College Fix contributor Lauren Cooley is a recent graduate of Furman University.

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