All posts by Dr. ESP

Situational Representation

 

Integrity, a standard of personal morality and ethics, is not relative to the situation you happen to find yourself in and doesn’t sell out to expediency. Its short supply is getting shorter – but without it, leadership is a façade.

~Denis Waitley on Situational Ethics

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I team-taught a course titled “Entrepreneurship and Ethics” at Miami University.  Much of the content focused on situational ethics, those circumstances when one’s value system bumps up against the specifics of the issue at hand.   These occasions are the test of one’s moral compass.

However, as a trained political scientist, I found, for many elected officials, the distinction between allegiance to one’s values and expediency was blurred by how they perceived their responsibility to their constituents.  In Government 101, we learn there are two models of democratic representation, delegate and trustee, both originally coined by British philosopher Edmund Burke.

The former (delegates) are exemplified by legislators who check the pulse of those who elected them and vote in accordance with those preferences.  Although they are sometimes criticized for making decisions “on whichever way the wind blows,” I do not share that opinion.  “I was elected to articulate the viewpoint of residents in my district” is a value statement, not a concession to expediency.

Trustees approach their job from a different perspective.  They believe they were elected based on their ability to consider arguments for and against proposed legislation and decide what is in the best interests of their constituents.  A broader view of the trustee model suggests a legislator, though chosen by a subset of a larger population, should also balance the national interest with local priorities.  To stay in office, delegate representatives have an additional burden to explain votes which differ from the majority opinion of those who put them in office.

Which raises the question, “If both the delegate and trustee models are accepted means of public service, is there such as thing as situational representation?”  The evidence suggests the answer is a resounding YES.  We see it when a local, state or federal representative switches back and forth between the two models.  Just yesterday, Florida Senator Rick Scott was a case in point.

Florida's Scott Has One Eye on 2022—and Another on 2024 - WSJWhen it fits his partisan leanings or career ambitions, he plays the role of delegate.  Perhaps the best example was his vote in the early hours of January 7th, when he opposed the certification of Joe Biden as president.  He knew his path to the 2024 Republican nomination would disappear if he publicly acknowledged the facts.  The majority of likely voters in 2024 GOP primaries, despite dozens of audits and failed legal challenges, still believe Trump is the rightful president.  Therefore, Rick Scott dare not suggest otherwise.

Last night was a different story.  Scott voted “no” when it came to avoiding a filibuster which would have tanked the bi-partisan infrastructure bill.  He did so despite 60 percent Republican support for the compromise measure according to a June 21 YouGov poll.  In this situation “Delegate Scott” became “Trustee Scott.”

Ironically, the one member of the GOP who has been the most consistent is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  He acts based on his own analysis of whatever it is the modern Republican party stands for, regardless of the opinion of his party’s registered voters.  He blocks legislation which has overwhelming public support, even among Republicans.  Universal background checks.  Fifteen dollar minimum wage.  The Dream Act.

McConnell: Wearing a mask is 'single most significant thing' to fight  pandemic | TheHillBut he also has bucked his own party, being an advocate of science-based responses to the coronavirus despite skepticism among Trump supporters.  He encouraged colleagues to wear masks.  And yesterday, McConnell announced he will use funds from his own re-election campaign for pro-vaccine radio ads in Kentucky designed to counter bad-advice from “people practicing medicine without a license.”

Which model anyone adopts as modus operandi is not the issue.  Fidelity to one’s model preference is.  Either can serve constituents and the nation as a whole.  Take same-sex marriage as an example.  In 1988, a University of Chicago poll found 67.6 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage.  In line with the national mood, there was little interest by state legislatures or Congress to address the issue.  Quite the opposite, with passage of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996.

As state supreme courts (Massachusetts/2003 and California/2008) ruled in favor of marriage equality, attitudes among state legislators “evolved” with four New England states adopting statutes in support of same-sex marriage beginning in 2008.  By the time the Supreme Court overturned DOMA in 2015 (Obergefell v. Hodges), all but 17 states had legislation guaranteeing equally treatment of same-sex marriages.

This shift was the result of support from both trustee representatives (calling for change ahead of public opinion) and delegate representatives whose own votes came as a result of an about-face in national support.  Immediately following the Obergefell decision, support for same-sex marriage rose to 61 percent (Gallup/May 2016).  A June 2021 Gallup poll shows support now stands at 70 percent.

As the 2022 midterms approach, candidates will be asked their opinions on a range of issues.  Unfortunately, few if any of the questioners ask whether candidates see themselves as trustees or delegates.  Why is this important?  Because it offers voters the opportunity to delve deeper into a candidate’s motivation.  If they claim to be a delegate representative, ask them why their stance on an issue is contradictory to the voters’ position.  And if they claim trustee status, ask them to explain why their position makes sense in light of public opposition.  (Hint: Follow the money.)

 

If they cannot answer the above question, beware!  Their BURKE is worse than their PLIGHT.

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

 

 

A W. Moment

From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. Our nation has been put on notice, we’re not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans.

~George W. Bush/September 20, 2001

Belongs in The Hague': Online Disgust Follows Glowing Praise for George W. Bush's Covid-19 Message | Common Dreams NewsWith these words, in the aftermath of September 11th, President Bush sent a clear, unequivocal message to every nation that claimed it believed in democracy.  You are either with us or against us.  You did not need to be an active participant in a physical attack against Americans at home or on foreign soil.  Nor did you need to voice support for the terrorists.  Silence, in the face of a growing threat directed at the very freedom and lifestyle of citizens of all free nations, was an offense.

Over the last 24 hours, as I watched testimony by Capitol and D.C. Metropolitan police during the first session of the House Select Committee on January 6th and the response of some who still believe the event was a walk in the park, I wondered who might issue the same warning today.  Not to foreign terrorists and the nations who allow them to spread their propaganda and train their mercenaries.  But to Americans who voice support for domestic terrorists, who call them “patriots” or who prefer to remain silent while these forces continue to spread “the big lie” and prepare for the next insurrection.

Imagine if airport security in Portland, Maine had discovered the security breach as Mohamed Atta boarded his connection to American Airlines Flight #11 in New York.  And imagine if, when Atta pulled out his box cutter, he was shot and killed.  Do you think any congressman would have held a press conference in front of the newly created Department of Homeland Security and claimed that Atta had been “executed?”  Yet, that is EXACTLY what U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) did yesterday.  Location:  the U.S. Department of Justice.  At the same time four police officers shared their experiences on January 6th,  Gosar described the death of Ashi Babbit while attempting to force her way into the House Chamber as an “execution” and demanded the officer who shot her be tried for murder.

Has Gosar already forgotten he was one of the people in the line of fire on January 6th?  Did he really believe the insurrectionists  could differentiate between Democrats and Republicans?   As we now know, Douglas Austin Jenson announced he was “at the White House” as he took a selfie at the base of the U.S. Capitol.  Or Josiah Colt who proudly claimed he was sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s chair, even though he was in the Senate chamber.  These are not people you want making a split-second decision whether you are friend or foe.

While Gosar and comrades-in-arms Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX), might be brushed off as fringe members of the GOP, the same message was somewhat more tactfully delivered by House minority leader Kevin McCarthy.  He called the select committee a “partisan sham” and claimed it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s responsibility to protect the building from the rioters.  (As many have suggested, if that was the case, why didn’t McCarthy call Pelosi instead of Donald Trump to do something about the attack?)  Likewise, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson continues to promote conspiracy theories that the January attack “was not what armed insurrection would look like,” was an inside job by the FBI or an effort by  those “agent provocateurs” Antifa to take advantage of an otherwise peaceful protest.

Jan. 6 still isn't over for me:' Capitol Police officer describes racist abuse he and other Black officers endured during attack - The Boston GlobeTo paraphrase an old adage, successful coups have many fathers;  but failed coups are an orphan.  That does not mean the orphans are not accountable.  Consider the testimony of Capitol policeman Harry Dunn who asked the select committee “to get to the bottom of what happened.”  When asked what he meant by that, he replied, “If a hitman is hired, and he kills somebody, the hitman goes to jail. But not only does the hitman go to jail, the person who hired them does.”  Dunn is half right.  In addition, the individual who drove the getaway car and those who obstruct justice by hiding or destroying evidence often end up behind bars as well.

In this case, the “orphans” include media outlets such as Fox News, NewsMax and One America News Network (OANN).  Attorneys such as Rudy Giuliani, Sydney Powell and Lynn Wood.  Social media giants Facebook and Twitter.  Self-proclaimed purveyors of truth like My Pillow’s Mike Lindell.  There is a lot of responsibility and blame to go around when it comes to aiding and abetting the January 6th insurrection.

But none of us can point a finger without looking in the mirror.  Every American needs to ask themselves, “Am I for democracy or against it?”  You do not need to be an elected official or have a television show.  If you promote “a big lie” on social media, you are against democracy.  If you vote to re-elect any member of Congress who challenged the results of the 2020 election following the assault on the Capitol, you are against democracy.  If you are silent and let others deny the voting rights of any American based on false claims of election fraud, you are against democracy.

And especially next year, you have a choice.  You can confront this threat to 240 years of the American experiment in self-governance.  Or you can provide safe harbor for the domestic terrorists who are leading the assault. As George W. Bush suggested 20 years ago, “you have been put on notice the United States is under attack.”

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

 

What, Me Worry!

Roy Wood Jr. - WikipediaBut if we get rid of the confederate flags (pause) how am I going to know who the dangerous white people are? I’m just saying, the flag had a couple of up sides.  I grew up in the south.  I can’t tell you how many times the flag came in handy.  You stop for gas at a strange place at two in the morning.  You see that flag hanging in the window.  You know this is NOT the place to get gas.

~Comedian Roy Wood, Jr./Father Figure (2017)

I live in Florida, one of three states along with Texas and Missouri, which account for 40 percent of the total number of new U.S. COVID cases in the last seven days.  A state where the number of new cases has increased by 232 percent over the last two weeks.  And COVID related deaths have risen by 30 percent.

More specifically, my wife and I reside in Nassau County, Florida.  The weekly “Situation Report” provided by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) reported, for the week of July 9-15, there were 445 new cases.  The new case positivity rate was 24.5 percent and the new cases per 100,000 residents was 499.2.  Both these latter statistics are twice those for the entire state for the same timeframe, positivity rate of 11.5 percent and 207.5 cases per 100,000 population.  In other words, Nassau County is among the worse counties in one of the three worse states in the country when it comes to the fourth wave of the on-going pandemic.

How did Nassau County achieve this “honor?”  The first clue is in that same weekly “Situation Report.”  For the week of July 9-15, the number of new vaccinated county residents totaled 370.  That’s right.  There were 75 more new reported cases than vaccinations.  Therefore, it should be no surprise only 37.1 percent of county residents 18 years old and up are fully vaccinated compared to 60 percent for the country as a whole. [NOTE:  The state used to provide a daily update until Governor Ron DeSantis declared “mission accomplished” and issued several executive orders prohibiting local governments and private businesses from requiring masks or proof of vaccination.]

The above statistics and two experiences Friday morning made me  think about Roy Wood, Jr.  What is the equivalent of the confederate flag during this variant induced surge in new COVID cases?  Do we need something similar that tells us whether an establishment is the place to do business or whether we should move on?  My first stop this morning was at IdentoGo, a federal contractor that facilitates background checks for security clearances including TSA PreCheck.  The email which confirmed the date and time of my appointment included the following, “ALL CUSTOMERS MUST WEAR A FACE COVERING TO ENTER OUR CENTERS. (their emphasis)”  Upon arrival, it was clear the rule was being strictly enforced.  No confederate flags in sight.  I felt safe.

On the way home, I stopped at the local Walmart to pick up a few items.  I put on a mask and approached the store.  In the front window was the following sign.  “Fully vaccinated customers are welcome to shop without a mask.  We will continue to request that non-vaccinated customers wear face coverings in our stores.”  I imagined how Roy Wood might interpret this directive.

It was different from the high point of infections in late January when the newly inaugurated president called for a national mask mandate.  Wood might have welcomed Biden’s directive, suggesting:

But if we get rid of the mask mandate (pause) how am I going to know who the COVIDiots are?

But the current situation is akin to the “what color is the dress” challenge that took over the internet in the winter of 2015.  The message I saw in Walmart’s window was still a “red flag.”  Why?  Because it was not totally accurate.  At the peak of the pandemic, Walmart was one of the safest places to shop due to the stringent enforcement of the mask mandate.  At a risk to their own safety, employees refused to allow the unmasked to enter the store.  To say “we will CONTINUE to REQUEST” (my emphasis) misrepresents their former policy.  They continued nothing.  Instead, they changed their policy from REQUIRE to REQUEST.

A majority of the shoppers, however, saw it as a “green flag” that could be ignored.  How do I know?  Just do the math.  The store was moderately busy, and only a handful of shoppers wore masks.  But for argument’s sake, say it was 10 percent.  Based on the FDOH Situation Report, 63 percent of the customers in Nassau County were likely not to be fully vaccinated.  It was probably higher since that does not account for fully vaccinated individuals, like myself, who out of caution chose to wear face covering.

What’s more, Florida is analogous to an Aesop fable with the title, “The Boy Who Thinks Everyone Else Cried Wolf.”  The protagonist in the story is, of course, Governor DeSantis.  He has ignored concerns voiced by his own health officials and by local officials in the most impacted jurisdictions.  He is spending taxpayers money to sue a cruise line that challenged his executive order prohibiting the company the right to require proof of vaccination to protect both its employees and passengers.

Last weekend, DeSantis chose to participate in an anti-immigration photo op with Texas Governor Greg Abbott at the southern border.  Does he really believe that is the priority when 148 of his constituents died of a virus-related illness in one day (July 23)?  Which, by the way, accounted for 30.2 percent of the total U.S. COVID-related deaths (486) that same day.  When the governor brags Florida has handled the coronavirus better than any other state, he is not lying if you look at the situation from the virus’ perspective.  It is amazing what transpires when you confront a crisis wearing kid gloves.

Furthermore, in the latest “karma is a  bitch” moment, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody tweeted she had tested positive for coronavirus four days after accompanying DeSantis to the Texas border. DeSantis’ office refused to respond to a Miami Herald inquiry “whether the governor would get tested for COVID-19 or take any precautions after coming in close contact with Moody over the weekend.”

At times like these, I imagine how current events would have been covered by individuals who are no longer at the forefront of the news and entertainment industry.  One wonders if 2016 would have turned out differently if Tim Russert had a chance to interview Donald Trump on “Meet the Press.”  Or how David Letterman might have dealt with the misery in New York City during the early days of the pandemic when it was again “ground zero” during another national crisis.

Mort Drucker, Master of the Mad Caricature, Is Dead at 91 - The New York TimesToday, my thoughts turn to Mort Drucker (1929-2020) who, for more than 50 years, drew many of the classic cartoon parodies in Mad Magazine, including the iconic portrait of mop-haired, gap-toothed Alfred E. Newman.  Would the cover of this month’s edition feature a drawing of an ostrich with Ron DeSantis’ head, in front of a hospital or cemetery?  Would he be walking up to a podium bearing the great seal of the state of Florida except on this rendition, instead of “In God We Trust,” the state motto would read, “What, Me Worry!”?

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

 

mRNC

 

No, that’s not a typo in the subject line.  Today’s post is not about “messenger RNA,” the therapeutic breakthrough at the center of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines.  In this case, “mRNC” refers to “mouthpieces of the Republic National Committee,” the media sources who, in a swap that would make Faust blush, have abandoned their intellectual integrity in pursuit of being the loudest voice in the right-wing echo chamber.

If I Had to Start All Over Again, I Would…Addressing this topic was precipitated when a respected friend sent me an article by Neil Patel, co-founder of The Daily Caller, titled, “What the Protests in Cuba Tell Us About the Left’s Agenda for America.”  Let me start by quoting Patel’s own description of his media outlet. It is “an online news outlet, and The Daily Caller News Foundation, a nonprofit that trains journalists, produces fact checks, and does investigative reporting.”  A worthy mission that seems more honored in the breach than the practice.  Here are today’s headlines on The Daily Caller’s home page.

  • Rand Paul To Send Letter To DOJ Asking For Criminal Referral Into Dr. Fauci
  • Deion Sanders Has Pathetic Reaction After Reporter Addresses Him By His First Name
  • U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Gets Humiliated At The Olympics
  • Dolly Parton Goes Viral With One Simple Video
  • Wednesday Morning Dispatch: Eric Swalwell Embarrasses Himself Yet Again

Based on these news “priorities,” the journalists Patel claims his non-profit trains seem more likely to be the next generation of anchors and  correspondents at TMZ or Entertainment Tonight or InfoWars contributors.  Take the story about the U.S. women’s soccer team by Daily Caller Foundation trained David Hookstead, who writes:

I never cheer against America, but it’s damn hard to cheer for our women’s national soccer team. They’ve spent years protesting and complaining about money, and then they get obliterated to open the Olympics.

If you can’t even show up and win, then why are we putting up with any of the other nonsense?

Yes, the women lost their first Olympic match ending a 44 game winning streak.  Will they still be “humiliated” if they make it out of group play and win the gold medal in what everyone admits will be a less than normal Olympic environment?  Additionally, Patel did not mention the history of income disparity between the men’s and women’s squads or the fact the men’s national team failed to qualify for the Olympics.  So much for fact-checking and thorough investigative reporting.

Which brings me back to Patel’s take on Cuba.  Make no mistake about the dire situation in Cuba, a nation in crisis searching for an identity whose future has been influenced for 70 years by strong personalities ranging from U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista, a military dictator who served as head of the government from 1952-59 to Russian-backed Fidel Castro who led the nation from 1959 to 2008.  Two extremes neither of which have foreshadowed a better life for the Cuban people.

FACT:  The current situation in Cuba represents a difficult foreign policy choice for President Biden not helped by an inconsistent back and forth by his three predecessors.  In 2002, George W. Bush announced “the initiative for a New Cuba.”  In exchange for political and economic reforms, Bush offered to ease restrictions on humanitarian assistance and resume mail service between Cuba and the U.S.  In 2014, following 18 months of secret talks, Barack Obama announced the reestablishment of diplomatic relations.  In response to bipartisan criticism, Obama pointed to a half decade of tension which had served neither the Cuban people nor American national security interests.  To fulfill his desire to undo the Obama legacy, Donald Trump immediately re-imposed travel restrictions and severed diplomatic ties.  To hamstring his successor, on January 11, 2021, Trump re-designated Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism” and imposed new sanctions.

History may not have the answer to the current crisis, but it does tell us what not to do.

  • Support the protesters with armed mercenaries.
  • Covert operations to take out the current leadership.
  • Create an environment that results in another Mariel boatlift.
  • Make Cuba more dependent on Russian assistance in return for Cuba becoming a Kremlin puppet including a Russian military base within 100 miles of the U.S. mainland.

Graham Allison on the Cuban Missile Crisis - YouTubeIt might be a good time for politicians and journalists to read Graham T. Allison’s analysis of October 1962 titled, “Conceptual Models and The Cuban Missile Crisis” (September 1969/American Political Science Review).  Graham found that the two more traditional models of decision making–the state is a unitary rational actor and there are systems/procedures that produce rational outputs–would have been disastrous.  He posits a third model, based on Miles’ Law, “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”  It requires the reconciliation of different viewpoints (e.g. the hawkish General Curtis LeMay and the more dovish long-time JFK aid Theodore Sorenson).  In contrast to the Bay of Pigs, in which tactical decisions were seen as the purview of the Department of Defense and CIA, Kennedy wanted a team of advisors with very diverse perspectives.  In October 1962 that collective arguably made the difference between peace and nuclear war.

For argument sake, let’s assume Patel is correct when he claims there are Democrat members of Congress who support communism over the aspirations of the Cuban people (although there is no evidence to support this position).  In line with Graham’s third model of decision making, they should have a place at the table as they are the ones who might envision a pathway to resolving the crisis in a way that meets major objectives without backing any stakeholder into a precipitous corner.

But that also assumes Patel actually cares about resolving the crisis in Cuba.  Instead he uses the crisis to reinforce false narratives.  Biden and his followers are anti-capitalists.  The corporate media is a tool of Biden and the left-wing of the Democratic party.  Big Tech is turning us all into socialists. The proof comes when he completely forgets his concerns about Cuba and jumps the shark to take on his real target.

The American left is pushing a truly radical policy vision through the Biden administration. It is attempting to expand the government by trillions of dollars more than any time in history. Its vision includes government involvement in many new areas of American life.

In other words, the Cuban crisis was just one more beard to disguise Patel’s true passion, once again promoting an RNC talking point, Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda is a radical, anti-capitalism plot.  Let me remind Patel and other “journalists” of his ilk, owning the libs solves nothing.  Which is what makes him a certified, clinically tested mRNC.

POSTSCRIPT

Patel names names.  Five to be exact.  And generalizes these five individuals represent the Democratic leadership, 314 members of Congress and 82 million voters who made Biden the 46th president.  I wonder what his response would be if I reminded him of the dozen or more 2020 congressional candidates who embraced QAnon.  Would he agree these 12 plus advocates of debunked conspiracy theories are representative of the entire GOP?

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

The American Open

 

Collin Morikawa wins British Open for his second major at age 24There was a moment yesterday, during the presentation of the Claret Jug to Collin Morikawa, when I thought his overwhelmingly positive reception by the patrons at Royal St. George might turn to enmity.  As reported by Yahoo Sports, there was an “audible gasp” and “stir on social media” when the new champion said, “To see some of the best crowds I’ve ever seen, I look forward to my trip every year to the British (my emphasis) Open to see you guys.”  The United States does not have a monopoly on political correctness.

Some think referring to the final major each year as THE OPEN is a relatively new phenomenon.  Actually, the opposite is true.  Just ask Malcolm Booth, the communications director for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, golf’s most recognizable venue and the present day keeper of the flame.

The name of the championship hasn’t changed in 155 years.  The reason we think 155 years on there (sic) is legitimacy in calling it ‘The Open Championship’ is it really was the birthplace of open competition.  (Associated Press interview in 2016)

Hard to argue with that, except times have changed.  A century and a half ago, the event at St. Andrews was the only “open” golf competition which allowed both professionals and amateurs (as opposed to the “open era” in tennis which began in 1968).  Today, every country which now belongs to the community of golfing nations has a similar if not quite as venerable event.  The same might be said if one compares the world of George Washington with the present.  When the United States emerged as the first modern republic in 1789, if you referred to Washington as THE president, everyone knew about whom you were talking.  But imagine if, today, the secretary general of the United Nations introduced Joe Biden as THE president.  He would be greeted with more catcalls than Roger Goodell at a Patriots football game.

However, this was just one of many stories coming out of Sandwich, Kent, England.  The return of the open and its patrons. Phil Michelson’s first round 80.  Jordan Spieth’s roller coaster ride to a second place finish.  Another Oosthuizen near miss.  However, the main event was the contrast between two American players which mirrored what may be the major but least documented factor causing the current division in the American psyche.  Not partisanship or ideology or even culture.  STYLE!

At one extreme of the spectrum was Bryson DeChambeau.  In 2019, DeChambeau promised to transform himself and the game of golf by gaining 30 pounds and focusing on swing speed.  His goal?  To overpower a golf course starting from the tee box with drives that left him with short irons to almost every green.  Since re-emerging as the “bully of the fairways” in 2020, he has won three tournaments including the 2020 U.S. Open.  [NOTE:  Prior to the transformation he won five PGA tournaments from June 2017 through November 2018.]

He has two other traits which might also remind you of another American.  He believes he always has the right answer, and when he does not succeed, he looks for a scapegoat.  This latter characteristic was on full display last week when he blamed Cobra, the manufacturer of his driver, for all the errant tee shots that left him three over par, 15 strokes off the lead, at the finish of Saturday’s third round.

At the other extreme was the eventual winner Morikawa.  Above all, he paid attention to history.  He took a lesson from Tiger Wood’s 2006 Open victory at Hoylake, when he pulled out his driver only once over four days.  Prioritizing ball placement over distance, Woods avoided the overgrown rough and pot bunkers that spelled disaster for other competitors.  A similar approach served Morikawa well as he finished the tournament without a bogey on any of the final 31 holes.

This diversity in styles, a modern day fable of a hare (DeChambeau) and a tortoise (Morikawa), is why, despite the location, this Open was much more American than British.  It was a metaphor for the state of our nation’s body politic which is too often driven (pun intended) by decibel level rather than substance.  Where a belief there is nothing to learn from history competes with knowledge and experience.

There is an old saying among golfers.  “You drive for show and putt for dough.”  DeChambeau, like that other American, does put on a good show.  But the proof is in the putting.  Can you effectively finish what you started?  If golfers were assessed like Olympic divers and skaters, it’s safe to say the panel of judges (and history) would still be out.  Otherwise, you have to look at the scorecard where the record currently sits at the 24 year-old, 160 pound tortoise-two majors, the 27 year-old, 240 pound hare-one.  For now at least, Aesop is still right!

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP