A political science course at the publicly funded University of Wisconsin-Madison calls President Donald Trump a "catastrophically unfit egomaniac," "spectacularly unqualified," as well as a "threat to the Republic."
No, it's not a course about Trump — the course title is "The American Presidency" — but you wouldn't necessarily pick that up based on the opening three paragraphs of professor Kenneth Mayer's syllabus, which was acquired by The College Fix.
"We are 2 years into the most (how shall we put it?) unconventional presidency in American history, with a president who gleefully flouts the norms of governing and presidential behavior that have structured the office since George Washington," the syllabus states.
"To his supporters, this is not a bug, but a feature, and they rejoice in his contempt for what they insist is a corrupt D.C. establishment," the course outline adds. "If elites are against it, Trump's supporters are for it."
Then comes a long rant, er, paragraph further spelling out all things Trump to students:
To others, he is a spectacularly unqualified and catastrophically unfit egomaniac who poses an overt threat to the Republic. And this was before U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russian operatives, with the approval of Putin himself, hacked DNC computers and carefully leaked embarrassing emails as a way of damaging Clinton, all with the goal of helping Trump; before multiple campaign officials pled [sic] guilty to lying to the FBI or to other crimes; before federal prosecutors said in a court filing that Michael Cohen was acting at Trump's direction to violate campaign finance laws by making payoffs to multiple women who said they had affairs with Trump in order to buy their silence during the campaign, or that Cohen lied about ongoing efforts during the campaign to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Other shoes are almost certain to drop, and evidence continues to emerge of ongoing contacts and engagement between Trump campaign officials and Russian intelligence assets and government officials.
Not that the prof's taking sides or anything.
What did one student have to say?
McKenna Collins, a student in the class, provided the syllabus to The College Fix and said she's disappointed by its bias.
"His one-sided, lengthy articulation of the anti-Trump position in the syllabus stands in stark contrast to the feeble, effortless explanation he offers for the pro-Trump position," Collins told the outlet in an email. "His choice of language serves only to set a negative, partisan tone about the subject matter before students even set foot in the classroom."
She added: "The professor's implicit bias against Trump supporters has robbed students of the opportunity to think objectively about the subject matter and formulate their own opinions."
What did the professor have to say?
The College Fix said Mayer didn't respond to its email request for comment on the syllabus.
What did the college have to say?
UW-Madison spokesperson Meredith McGlone told the outlet in a statement that Mayer "is a popular instructor and award-winning presidential scholar who leaves his political opinions at the classroom door and asks his students to do the same."
"At a time of perhaps unprecedented political polarization, he balances the readings for this class to represent both conservative and liberal views and encourages students to draw their own conclusions based on evidence and thoughtful debate," McGlone added to The College Fix.
More from the outlet:
Required readings for the class, according to the syllabus, include reading a national newspaper of record, with The New York Times and the Washington Post cited by name. Other readings include various books addressing presidential power and political systems, as well as "To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment" by Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz.
Mayer will also have students read Federalist Papers 67, 70, 71, 72 and George Washington's inaugural address from 1789.
A section on "The President and the Public and the Media" assigns study on "the rise of the 'public presidency'" and cites some examples, such as an FDR fireside chat, Ronald Reagan's July 1981 tax speech, and Donald Trump's Twitter feed.
Anything else from the syllabus on Trump?
The College Fix noted that it's "clear Mayer's special focus of the class is Trump."
The outlet said the syllabus' other assigned readings include "Hostile Sexism, Racism Denial, and the Historic Education Gap in Support for Trump," "Understanding Trump's Voters: How He Pulled it Off and What Lies Ahead," "How Rural Resentment Helps Explain the Surprising Victory of Donald Trump," "How Trump Won," and "What Trump Got Right About American Democracy."