Civics & first amendment: Teaching about Trump: UW-Madison professor whose syllabus drew backlash speaks out

Kelly Meyerhofer:

Ken Mayer watched on TV earlier this month as a violent mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, killing a police officer, pillaging the hallowed halls of democracy and delaying the process of certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The UW-Madison political science professor had previously described how Trump critics’ feared this could happen — how Trump posed a threat to democracy — in a January 2019 syllabus for his class on the American Presidency.

A student enrolled in the course at that time considered Mayer’s description of Trump as biased and inflammatory. She posted the document to Facebook, which went viral, prompting stories in conservative media and a letter from a Republican lawmaker who leads the Assembly’s higher education committee.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson slammed Mayer for brainwashing students during a segment of his show called “Campus Craziness.” To Carlson’s millions of viewers, Mayer was just the latest example of liberal indoctrination of students on a college campus.