Academic Freedom

Other than exploring the social media applications and implications of this year’s election, I’ve stayed away from political advocacy on SMUG. But I do feel compelled to share this YouTube video — Obama’s Attack Ad Against Himself — because it is the kind of social media creation that no campaign could afford to put on TV (and it didn’t come from a campaign.)


I mean, no campaign could possibly afford to buy a TV commercial that was four minutes long! (Er…check that, no campaign that hadn’t disabled fraud-prevention safeguards on credit card contributions could afford such an ad.)

From my perspective, Charles Krauthammer’s column on why he is voting “for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb” expresses the substantive reasons why I support Sen. McCain and have concerns about Sen. Obama. I also thought his follow-up column was excellent. Here are some other opinions that I find compelling, from PowerLine, Thomas Sowell and David Frum.

I want all SMUGgles to know that it’s absolutely fine to disagree with the Chancellor, and that there will be no retribution reflected in course grading. (Especially since we don’t offer letter grades!)

But given the political tilt I see in the social media world (particularly in Twitterville), I also wanted to be on the record expressing my hope that Sen. McCain will be elected today. If professors at state-funded universities can express their political opinions at taxpayer expense, it seems fair for the Chancellor of a virtual university that receives no government funding (or funding of any kind, for that matter) to have the same academic freedom.

If Sen. Obama wins, I will hope that I’m wrong about him and will pray the best for him and for the rest of us.

Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 15. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. Emeritus staff of Mayo Clinic. Founder of HELPcare and Administrator for HELPcare Clinic.

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