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Don Gaetz sticks up for John Thrasher in scorching op-ed about FSU critics

Some Florida State University students and faculty were vehemently opposed to state Sen. John Thrasher becoming Florida State University's next president and let their opinions be known throughout the search process. Now that Thrasher has the job, Senate President Don Gaetz is in classic form letting Thrasher's "haters" know how he really feels.

An excerpt from the opinion page of the Tallahassee Democrat:

Granted, I didn’t threaten to “make his life a living hell” or “become an angry hive and sting him.” I didn’t chant, scream profanities, weep, accuse him of racism or sexism, call him a xenophobe or suggest he would tolerate violence against women. I went to the mat against John Thrasher on an issue just as important to me as the Florida State University presidency is to others, but I didn’t act like the handful of faculty members and students who embarrassed their university and discredited themselves by how they disagreed.

I wonder how any of us, excoriated as Sen. Thrasher was, would stretch out our hand to “academics” who couldn’t even spell “politican” correctly on a protest sign.

Their excuse is academic freedom. Really, it’s unacademic intolerance. The academicians of antiquity and the great collegiate institutions FSU seeks to emulate would be appalled by the inarticulate outbursts and tantrums that unraveled last Tuesday. These illiberal liberals broke every one of Saul Alinsky’s rules for radicals.

The rap on Thrasher is he’s not an academic. With all due respect, so what? The president doesn’t fine-tune the curriculum or micro-manage who teaches what. He doesn’t grade papers or approve thesis proposals. The president doesn’t even hire the people who do. The chief academic officer is the provost. The deans lead the colleges. The professors teach the courses.

Read the full essay here.