The Hypocrisy of a “Putt-Putt” President

Wyatt Mosiman, Commentary Editor

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In an age when the line between fact and fiction has become more blurred than ever before, few places on the Internet can honestly claim to remain entirely loyal to the truth. One of these places is constantly at work maintaining an accurate record of one of the seemingly trivial things about the Trump presidency: his golf outings. This is the intricate, complicated job of Sophie Germain and her website Trump Golf Count.

While tracking the president’s wherabouts seems like a straightforward task, Trump isn’t making it easy. According to many journalists, Trump has taken numerous measures to keep the media away, including shutting his press corp in a Mar-A-Lago basement suite and covering the suite’s windows with black plastic. Moreover, sources confirming golf outings can sometimes be questionable.

In an interview, Germain explained, “Finding and validating good sources has been the most difficult part of working on TrumpGolfCount.”

Pictures provide fairly solid evidence of the president’s activities, but some reports are less verifiable.

“[Germain has had] two people email [her] saying ‘I was golfing at X club on X date and I saw the President golfing,’ but they had no pictures and weren’t willing to go on record with their name,” negating any evidence they provided.

To remain accurate, Germain only publishes confirmed accounts of golfing to her website although a separate count is kept for likely golf outings and visits to resorts in general.

Several similar websites exist, all tracking the president’s leisure activities (mainly golf) in slightly different ways. While some sites attempt to be more shocking just to get the point through, “trumpgolfcount.com aims to be more data-driven,” Germain said. The site makes obvious use of charts, cites all sources, and includes links to various news articles.

A common question Germain receives is why? It’s not an unfair question. Why track something that seems as insignificant as Trump’s golfing habits, especially when so many other presidents spent plenty of time enjoying the game? According to Germain, it’s all about the hypocrisy.

“Trump spoke on and on during his campaign about how outrageous Obama was for golfing and vacationing, and then he turned around and did the exact same thing during his presidency, only more so. [The] site’s end goal is to point out his hypocrisy. Period.”

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