‘Suck It Up, Buttercup’ Bill Targets Postelection ‘Hysteria’

Iowa lawmaker Bobby Kaufmann seeks to stop colleges from “coddling” students with postelection counseling, and also wants to punish protesters who impede traffic.

Protesters chant as then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center at Iowa State University on Jan. 19, 2016, in Ames. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump’s election victory was met with immediate backlash in the form of nationwide protests. Students from middle school to college walked out of classes in widespread demonstrations against the man who campaigned on misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism.

Many college campuses offered counseling and healing spaces to help students cope, and according to the Washington Post, one Iowa lawmaker seeks to end what he calls the “coddling” of students by their colleges.

Bobby Kaufmann, a Republican member of the Iowa House of Representatives, says that he finds this “whole hysteria to be incredibly annoying,” and plans to introduce a piece of legislation he refers to as the “Suck it up, buttercup” bill when the legislature resumes in January.

The bill targets state universities that offer election-related sit-ins and grief counseling beyond what is normally offered to students, and would subject them to a budget cut for double the amount they spend for such activities if they use taxpayer dollars.

“People have the right to be hysterical on their own time,” Kaufmann said.

According to the Post, a number of public colleges in Iowa provided safe spaces for students to discuss and deal with the election results, and three of those schools—Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa—confirmed that they did not spend any additional state resources to run the programs.

“I think universities are the perfect place to have these types of conversations,” said Scott Ketelsen, director of university relations at the University of Northern Iowa. “It’s where people learn. It’s where they share ideas. I don’t consider it coddling.”

However, state Rep. Kaufmann also criticized some of the rallies and protests that took place after the election, and called out protesters who shut down highways. He said that he plans to establish a task force to consider options on how to address the issue and create criminal penalties for those who impede traffic.

“I have no issue with protesting,” Kaufmann said. “In fact, I would go to political war for anyone who wanted to protest or dissent and they couldn’t. But you can’t exercise your constitutional right by trampling on someone else’s.”

Read more at the Washington Post.

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