President Donald Trump signs the so-called "Buy American, Hire American" executive order on April 18, 2017, during a visit to Snap-on Inc. in Kenosha, Wis. The orders clamp down on guest worker visas and require federal agencies to buy more goods and services from U.S. companies and workers. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/TNS)

Elliot: Would trade war affect golf courses?


What kind of person feels the need to put the presidential seal on golf course tee markers?

Beau Elliot

This is a small thing.

Of course, most of our lives are consumed, or at least nudged along, by small things. Grocery shopping, buying shoe laces. Picking the right kind of rice so your girlfriend/boyfriend doesn’t start thinking you’re a closet carnivore.

(In some circles, that can be all she wrote. Or he wrote. Sometimes, the writing in some circles get tricky, so tricky that you’re willing to chuck it all and move on to rhombi. We hear it’s great this time of year.)

So this is a small thing. You know, sort of like college. Then graduation. Then post-graduation, post-post-graduation, post-post-post-graduation, post-living in your parents’ basement, post-post-basement, post-post-post-basement, Post-It notes. The cycle of life moves in mysterious ways, which is why so many people wind up in circles.

We all know that the Trumpster, sly joker that he is, loves to have his name adorn things. Water, steaks, buildings, more buildings, golf courses. He’s tickled pink (or some color in that neighborhood) that most rounds of bridge have a suit named after him. (Not so tickled when a round of bridge plays no-trump. He’s thinking of outlawing that.)

Speaking of golf courses, it appears that small things being named after him tickle the Trumpster, too. As ProPublica reports, tee markers at some of Trumpy’s golf courses now carry presidential seals. You know, that official thingy that marks the podium that the president stands behind from time to time.

So what? you say. Who cares if some 12-inch markers on a golf course have presidential seals? He’s the president. He owns the golf courses.

Yes. Right and right. The problem is, that practice appears to be illegal. As ProPublica points out, the use of the presidential seal on anything nongovermental is verboten. Which is German for don’t do this if you value having the freedom of walking downtown on a sunny day. (Germans can cram a lot of meaning into three syllables.)

So before you scoff and say, Why worry about golf tee markers when we’re on the brink of a trade war? Let us remind you that the George W. Bush administration went after The Onion for using a replica of the presidential seal and forced the magazine to remove it. (Presumably, the replica, not the satire. Though with the administration that invented Guantánamo, who knows?)

Trade war, huh? You’re worried about a trade war? Yes, we know: Once upon a time (the Trumpster’s favorite beginning for his daily intel reports), there was a trade war so pitched that it practically sunk the global economy.

But that was back in the Middle Ages or something, and people were still using MySpace. If you can imagine.

Besides, Trumpy says a trade war will be fun and easy to win. Piece of cake. (He did not, contrary to some reports, say, Let them eat cake.)

Of course, some administrations said much the same thing about Vietnam. And the Bush administration said similar things about invading Iraq. But, you know, those were shooting wars. This will be bloodless.

Well, except that, if the Trumpster slaps tariffs on steel and aluminum, the EU has threatened to slap back with tariffs on Harley-Davidsons, bourbon, and blue jeans. The James Dean Trio, as some have labeled it. The Holy Trinity of Americana.

And then, there’s an economist from Ohio State who says the U.S. tariffs would be a disaster for American steel and manufacturing. Ned Hill describes the tariffs to NPR as, “I think of this as the president doing a cannonball into the swimming pool. The water’s going to go everywhere.”

Oh, well. In the midst of trade-war talk, the Trumpster announced he wanted to be president for life, à la Xi Jinping in China.

Sounds like life without parole for the American people.

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