December 30, 2009

Stupidity From The National Review Online

In today's political scene of dangerous polemicism centered more on power than pragmatism, intelligent thought often flies out of the window quickly.  We see it from all sides of the political spectrum, as no one has any patent or solid claim on good sense.  Today's idiocy comes from the National Review Online, the dubious shadow of a once-thoughtful and thought-provoking conservative journal originally started by William F. Buckley.  Writer Michelle Cottle displays a breathtaking lack of any common sense or reason when she says that
[G]olf is a dubious pastime for any decent, sane person
To which she then attempts to tie to our current president
Why would a leader vowing to shake up Washington--to alter the very nature of politics--sell his soul to a leisure activity that screams stodgy, hyperconventional Old Guard?
While I do not agree with every decision Barack Obama makes (as I have yet to have a president in my lifetime I've been 100% agreement with) I do completely agree with his taking respite from the demands of his duties from time to time on the golf course.  Any regular player knows the rejuvenation one gets from playing 18 holes and concentrating not on the problems of the day but instead on the white ball's path down towards the hole.  It clears the mind, and if there is any place a clear mind is needed, it is in Washington DC.

Finally, Cottle summarizes her specious argument with this:
And if we really want to get harsh about it: Golf is a dying game--on the skids for nearly a decade, according to a 2008 report by the National Golf Foundation. The number of Americans who golf has fallen by some four million, while the number who golf frequently (25-plus rounds a year) has plummeted by a third. One observed problem: evolving family dynamics. Men once free to spend all weekend on the links are now expected to help shuttle the kids to soccer, walk the dog, and generally pull their weight on the home front. The first lady may be understanding about her man’s special recreational needs. But does President Obama really want to be associated with a game so antithetical to modern life?
Generalize much, Michelle?  A decline in golf rounds nationally could not possibly be linked to the fact that when economic times get tough, the first belt-tightening move is to reduce the discretionary spending budget to focus on core items like home, food and transportation, right?  Or perhaps another explanation that also fits into the overall picture is that there was an explosion in new players that coincided with the rise of Tiger Woods on television, and after a number of these new players discovered that they would never be as good as Tiger in their own right, they gave up the game.  Yes, there are increasing home demands, but to paint that as the sole reason for any decline in the game is manipulating the facts to fit the story she writes, not the other way around.

To me, the bottom line with this article is that once again we have a writer with such a strong lean politically that she will simply alter or omit facts to make a point, knowing full well that she is writing to an audience that is inclined to agree with what she says without applying any critical thinking to her prose.

That's why I generally avoid the likes of Huffington Post and NRO.  Truth often does not matter there.  And it is truth that is sorely needed yet is in critically short supply in this great country of ours.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back, Charles. Surgery and recuperation hasn't dimmed your writing skills. Political writers really should stay away from opinions about golf, or any other sport, especially when they know little about it.


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