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Editor's Corner: The idiocy Lars should have left untweeted

April 17, 2017

First, let me say this: I believe that Fresno State University history lecturer Lars Maischak has every right to hate President Trump, and to express those feelings, even on Twitter, where he expressed them starting in February. After all, the most famous Twitter user on earth is the very president himself, and if Maischak wanted to call attention to his own opinions, and express his desire that Trump be hung (along with Republicans, by the way), Twitter was the way to go.


However, his vitriolic hate for Trump should stop before calling for the president to be hung.


The last time I looked, it is illegal to threaten the life of the president of the United States. Or for that matter, to threaten anyone’s life.


Threatening the president’s life is a federal crime, and is treated seriously. The Secret Service does not like presidents to be targeted on its watch.


Perhaps Maischak should become a lecturer at the Federal Correctional Institution in Mendota or the U.S. Penitentiary in Atwater for a few years, just to serve as an example for others among us who may hope something terrible happens to the president of the United States.


But assuming that Maischak meant no harm, as he claims, in posting death wishes for the president and Republicans on his Twitter account, perhaps it is instructive for the rest of us. For what we now know about Maischak is that he is an idiot who should not be on the public payroll.


Nobody posts things on Twitter that they intend to be private. If you don’t believe that is true, ask the president of the United States, who uses Twitter to communicate with the American people.


Maichak claims he only had 28 followers on Twitter when he began posting his diatribes of hate, and he says he didn’t mean any harm and that his comments were taken out of context by other media that began spreading around what he posted earlier this month.


What? Posting something like that is like walking down the street naked. Someone is bound to notice.


You have to be pretty pathetic to troll for Twitter followers by baiting your tweets with threats to the lives not only of the president but of Republicans, or any political party in general.


This also raises the question of whether Maichak is an alien, legal or otherwise. Yes, he allegedly got a Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University, but wouldn’t he have learned early on in eight years of study about the dangers of tweeting idiocy? How could he not have known the danger to himself of what he was doing?


If he’s that obtuse, do we really want him standing in front of students in a lecture hall teaching U.S. history?


By the way, he apparently didn’t threaten the president during one of his lectures, which shows he may not be totally lacking in good sense.


Fresno State President Joseph Castro has a problem on his hands with Maichak, even though Maichak has groveled an apology for his ill-advised tweeting. As Castro should be well aware, a lot of people who give money to Fresno State are Republicans, the objects of Maichak’s hatred. A lot of those Republicans won’t be writing checks to the university, nor will they be wanting to send their children there as long as there’s any chance those children may wind up having to sit through any classes taught by the now-well-known Republican hater who is dumb enough to spread that hatred around on Twitter.

Webmaster's  addendum: Fresno State has cancelled today's classes taught by lecturer Lars Maischak as well as Tuesday's ones "in an effort to minimize disruption and ensure campus safety," according to a campus representative. Students will be further informed Tuesday about the five sections of History 11 ("American history to 1877") taught by Maischak.

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