Sunday 30 April 2017

Comment: The 'liberal' anti-Trump brigade are becoming what they hate when they criticise Rory McIlroy

Terry Mc Geehan

You’d swear that Rory McIlroy had just gone ballistic and trashed the clubhouse at Augusta judging by some of the reaction to his game of golf with Donald Trump.

One outraged commentator fumed “I literally can't believe that McIlroy has done this”.

Ah, a word of advice - get a life and save your disbelief for something that really matters.

But what exactly has McIlroy done anyhow?

He’s played golf with the democratically-elected president of the United States.

Big swinging.

He hasn’t hung out with Hassan Rouhani, the President of Iran where they hang gays - and liberals are flogged and flung in jail.

He hasn’t held up the 19th hole with Bashar al Assad whose regime Amnesty International believes secretly hanged 13,000 innocent Syrians - and let’s not forget the slaughter in Aleppo.

And he hasn’t swapped entertaining golfing anecdotes with the likes of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who likes shutting down newspapers that criticise him and is currently rounding up everyone and anyone he suspects of plotting against him in the recent coup.

But the trendy anti-Trumpers who would consider themselves liberal - and hip and live-and-let-live and freedom-loving and generous and understanding and PC -  have decided in the case of Donald Trump to be dogmatic and dictatorial and judgmental and intolerant.

Just because McIlroy hit a few balls with Trump, suddenly he’s not conforming to their rosy world view.

Suddenly instead of the freedom-lovers that they consider themselves to be, they come over all North Korean and Kim Jong Un.

Suddenly they’re all disappointed with their previous poster boy Rory because he’s not behaving as they want him to.

And suddenly some of them might even be thinking “we have ways of making you liberal like us”.

So what exactly was Rory supposed to do when he got the invite from the White House?

Was he supposed to think - “Ah, I’d better run it past the Dump Trump brigade first”.

Those who would slag off Rory McIlroy for chumming it with Trump had better watch out or they are in danger of becoming all the nasty things they accuse Trump of - like intolerance, conservatism, right-wing dogmatism and creeping fascism.

Donald Trump may be many things that many people don’t like.

He’s not eloquent like Obama or slick in the wiles of Washington like Hilary Clinton or handsome, suave and attractive like JFK.

And his views on many things are hard to stomach.

But he’s democratically elected.

It’s called freedom.

And God forbid the day that people like Rory McIlroy can’t make a free choice just because they’re afraid of what the reaction might be from some quarters.

On second thoughts, maybe that day is already here.

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