Penny Rue, the Vice President for Campus Life and a Professor of Counseling at Wake Forest University, does not hold back any of her political opinions on Twitter. Even though her main responsibility is to promote the safety and well-being of students on campus, the campus administrator tweets or retweets Democratic talking points about President Trump, Speaker Ryan, tax reform, voter suppression, Medicare, and Medicaid. At the time of publishing, her account does not indicate that retweets do not constitute endorsements.
In the past year, Vice President Rue has retweeted factually questionable, left-wing tweets from Linda Sarsour, Michael Moore, Stop the Speaker PAC, UltraViolet Action, Social Security Works, Adam Schiff, Jason Kander and Not ALT WORLD. Just last week, she provided her own hot take, asking whether “is the GOP going to figure out how to take the vote away from women?” in response to a Washington Post opinion piece.
Rue retweeted Linda Sarsour twice over the past year. The first tweet came around the time of the Women’s March leaders to Wake Forest and Carmen Perez, one of the Women’s March organizers. The second retweet was a list of organizations Sarsour encouraged her followers to donate to after Hurricane Harvey. The National Review showed that many of Sarsour’s solicitations were more for leftist community organizing than for disaster relief.
Many of Rue’s recent tweets were highly critical of Republican tax reform efforts. Rue retweeted a cartoon from Michael Moore’s account which portrayed the Senate Republicans saying, “Before we discuss raising taxes on the poor & middle class, adding $1 trillion to the deficit, taking health insurance away from 13 trillion, raising premiums by 10%, defending treason and swearing in a pedophile, let’s begin with a prayer.”
Not only is the statement depicted in the cartoon based on false negative stereotypes of Republicans, but it’s also not factual. According to the Tax Policy Center, middle-income taxpayers (people making between $43,000 and $86,000) would pay around $900 less (roughly 1.6% of after-tax income) in 2018. Furthermore, those making between $20,000 and $30,000 will see a 0.7% boost in after-tax income in 2018.
Check out some additional tweets and retweets from Rue’s hyper-political Twitter account
In another retweet, UltraViolet tried to make a statement that the GOP tax plan is bad for women and that slashing taxes for corporations was bad for workers. However, corporate tax cuts have proven to be a boon for both women and American workers in general as a growing list of corporations have provided bonuses to employees and increased investments in the United States.
Rue also retweeted Democrat and former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander’s tweet stating “GOP willing to pass an unpopular tax bill and worsen their terrible standing with the public, because if they don’t, they’ll lose campaign funds. When politicians fear donors more than voters, it’s time to get new politicians who want to change the system.” Public polling, however, has shown that the tax bill has actually become more popular after it was passed.
Rue declined to comment on her Twitter decision making.
As a Vice President at an institution as prestigious and elite as Wake Forest, it’s inappropriate for someone to push a political agenda on the students he or she is representing. Students should be allowed to think freely for themselves, not be misled into thinking the same way that people in power tell them to. While Vice President Rue may be a very kind person, administrators at universities across the country need to take a step back and allow students and other members of a community to think for themselves. Whether your job is in Campus Life or teaching English literature, please stick to your respective responsibilities and do not push an agenda on young people who want nothing to do with your political opinions.