One San Diego State University professor is perturbed by all the well wishes for “war criminal” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was diagnosed with brain cancer last week.
“I find myself annoyed at the groundswell of good wishes for John McCain after his diagnosis of glioblastoma and have been thinking through why,” professor Jonathan Graubart wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post, per KGTV-TV.
He went on to describe the 80-year-old senator as “a war criminal” and “someone who as a politician has championed horrifying actions and been lousy on state commitment to public health. So dying or not, he’s a risible public figure (I have no idea what he is like on the personal level and don’t care).”
Graubart said he was most troubled by the fact that so many people would send “such well wishes to an utter stranger as it reinforces the notion that some lives are more important than others.”
The San Diego political science professor’s tone deaf comments didn’t go unnoticed.
“I would never wish cancer upon my worst enemy and then to be annoyed by people just wishing you the best for having cancer, I just thought it was totally inappropriate,” student Ben Dilbeck told KGTV.
And former SDSU student Colby Tunick, who saw the Facebook post while in Prague, said he was “a little disturbed” by Graubart’s biting remarks about McCain.
“You may disagree with someone politically, morally, philosophically, but you don’t wish someone harm,” Tunick said, noting that he was not surprised by Graubart’s words. “He has told me that he thinks it’s his job as an academic to stir controversy and he normally does that through Facebook.”
In a statement of its own, the SDSU College Republicans called Graubart’s “sickening lack of respect” for McCain a “disappointment,” adding that his words “should not be tolerated by university administration.”
The university, for its part, said the administration “does not have a social media policy for faculty and staff.”
“As a public institution, we do not and cannot regulate the private speech of students, faculty or staff,” the statement read. “However, that should not imply the university’s endorsement of any particular viewpoint.”
As for McCain, the Arizona Republican spent the weekend outdoors. Just days after undergoing surgery, McCain went on a hike with his daughter Meghan McCain and friend Joe Harper.