My grandfather told me that Sara Goldrick-Rab is an idiot. He didn’t really, but it doesn’t matter because he wasn’t a “psychoanalyst with decades of experience” like Goldrick-Rab’s grandpa, so his opinion doesn’t count anyway.
Goldrick-Rab, in case your curiosity is piqued, is a professor of Educational Policy Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She recently generated a little self-directed buzz for this tweet, first noticed by the College Fix:
My grandfather, a psychologist, just walked me through similarities between Walker and Hitler. There are so many- it's terrifying.
— Sara Goldrick-Rab (@saragoldrickrab) July 1, 2015
If Goldrick-Rab was going to make such an incendiary charge, it might have behooved her to select a medium that isn’t constrained by an upward limit of 140 characters. It would be interesting to learn more about the many terrifying similarities she (correction: her grandfather) finds between der Führer and the governor of Wisconsin, though this Al Jazeera America story might hold some answers.
It also might have occurred to Goldrick-Rab as someone with the status of full professor at an accredited university to present her ideas in a fashion that doesn’t evoke an image of her sitting on her grandfather’s knee while he explains the world to her. In an email to the College Fix defending her tweet, she wrote:
If you reread the tweet, you will see that I stated that an expert in the field – a psychoanalyst with decades of experience – compared the ‘psychological characteristics’ of the two individuals, and that I was struck by his analysis. There do appear to be commonalities.
Her grandfather isn’t the only authority she cites. She also tweeted this:
As for the claim that Walker and Hitler are terrifyingly similar, I did a little digging, and all I was able to come up with was evidence of an ever-so-slight physical resemblance:
- Telling students they can succeed by working hard? That’s a microaggression at U. Wisconsin campus
- Wisconsin English prof. gives extra credit for attending anti-Walker rally
- U of Wisconsin at Madison implements ‘grade redistribution’ based on race