By GORDON GLANTZ
GORDONVILLE — This past Monday was the most manic of Mondays I’ve had in quite some time.
I emerged in such grumpy old man form that I may as well had been wearing a moldy cardigan sweater.
Set against the backdrop of the surreal Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris, there were two other dueling issues I wished would go away.
There was Tiger Woods winning the Master’s Open.
And there was Pete Buttigieg officially throwing his hat into the ring of a million Democrats in the quest for the presidency.
I have nothing against Woods or Buttigieg, and I have nothing against the need for political correctness –especially in the era of your president (not mine) setting such a low bar for civility.
But I can’t help but think, in both cases, that we may be dealing with political correctness run amok.
While I regard golf as a four-letter word, it was a big deal when Woods lived up to his advance hype and won his first major tournament in 1997. But all I learned in a career of journalism was lost with a headline from a Philadelphia paper that read “Tiger Wins One For Us All.”
Did everyone – i.e. “us all” — win that day?
And, in those pre-Internet days of steadfast rules, first names in headlines were for middle school papers with faculty advisors who napped through production.
After a stretch of dominance in his “sport,” Woods fell into oblivion with physical and personal issues.
And yet, he remained the biggest name in the game. News reports would start with “Tiger (not Woods) is 17 strokes behind in 45th place after the second day of the XYZ Invitational” without even a mention of who was winning.
Because of his name – his brand, if you will – he stayed on tour long enough to hit a ball in a hole a few less times than everyone else last weekend.
Sorry, not quite the “comeback of the century” it was made out to be, and I’m willing to stray from the PC script to say it.
Meanwhile, the situation with Buttigieg is less benign, as the need to vanquish your president (not mine) grows by the tweet.
And being PC is not OK if we want to KO the current climate of the presidency in 2020.
“Mayor Pete,” already drawing hecklers about his sexual orientation, is not the right choice – at least not right now.
And something tells me he will be.
Just like something told me your president (not mine) was going to be the GOP nominee. We were at a Loretta Lynn concert (yes, she is still alive) in Lancaster, and she said her son, Earl (eye roll), wanted to make a political statement.
He bellowed the name of your president (not mine), at which point a surprising roar came from the throng.
Cult 45 was alive and well.
Something similar happened recently, when Bill Maher didn’t make it all the way through Buttigieg’s last name of 1,001 pronouncements when the crowd erupted in raucous cheer.
Even though his platform is a bit Hillaryesque, “Mayor Pete” already has rock star status.
In a common foot-shooting drill, PC-minded Democrats are so quick to show how enlightened they are that that they are not considering that the chances of this realistically working with a thick-headed national electorate that can’t see past the idea of the spouse of the president being a man.
I get it with “Mayor Pete,” I do. He is the antithesis of your president (not mine). With no alleged “bone spurs,” he actually went to war. He’s well-educated, well-spoken and insightful.
After the Notre Dame fire, for example, he went on French TV and spoke French in the interview.
Big change from a current “president” who butchers the English language, huh?
But he is also 37 and is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana — a small town in a middling state.
How about moving on to the Indiana governor’s mansion and/or the US Senate before taking a serious run at the White House when we are more open-minded?
The fear here is that he will get chewed up and spit out in a general election, thus ruining his promising brand so severely that it may take Tiger Woods-type comeback to be viable again.
And the embarrassment of another loss on the left will be pretty severe.
Democrats need to build a farm system as in baseball, with the likes of “Mayor Pete” and AOC as blue-chip prospects rising up through the ranks.
Putting this mayor – gay or straight – in the presidential race now would equate to promoting someone from single-A to the big leagues.
You’d root for the kid – you know, just to be PC – but he’d be overwhelmed.
Nominating the first openly gay man for president in 2020 could backfire into winning the PC battle just to lose the war of harsh reality in the quest for the larger and more pressing issues (health care, gun control, education, environment, etc.).
We’re past the point of trying to prove a point, as we are at the point of no return.
Any day of the week.
This column appeared in The Times Herald on April 21, 2019