Now 72 years old, NBA career scoring champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has dedicated much of his writing to attacking conservatives. His latest post on The Guardian describes an over-emphasis on sports in America and "a troubling trend of lazy and arrogant anti-intellectualism that has very real and dangerous consequences to American society." At the root of this is "ignorance masquerading as conservative ethos" and President Donald Trump is the champion of this irrational thinking.
Abdul-Jabbar (seen in photo receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama in 2016) writes that as Americans increasingly embrace sports, they have elevated an anti-intellectualism, starting with facts, science and logic.:
"Anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, even flat-earthers are on the rise. Part of the reason for this is the promotion of fuzzy thinking as a positive political statement. All those people who were told in school that their opinions lack any meaningful support and are filled with logical fallacies can now band together in shared ignorance masquerading as conservative ethos. They get to thumb their noses at the 'elite' thinkers."
Abdul-Jabbar writes that President Trump is "the figurehead of celebrating irrational thinking as a patriotic act. He’s the rabble rouser in the saloon whipping the mob into a lynching frenzy. Every time there’s a snow storm, he comments about this being proof that there is no global warming. And he keeps doing this despite the scientific experts explaining that there is a vast difference between weather and climate."
Trump, Abdul-Jabbar continues, lacks an understanding of what "clean coal" is. Worse yet, he's absolved the crimes of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, despite the evidence put forth by his own intelligence experts. Barack Obama, who gave Abdul-Jabbar the award mentioned above, gets a pass for his promised flexibility with the Russians.
Abdul-Jabbar's attack forged onward:
"This kind of convoluted thinking has led to the dismantling of EPA protections, attacks on voter access and open political corruption without consequences. The lesson for our children: ignore facts and evidence if it disagrees with what benefits you personally. Even if it means everyone else will suffer. Ironically, that’s the opposite lesson that sports teach about sacrificing for the good of the team."
These people eschew logic and politicians target them with a constant barrage of "emotional gobbledygook reasoning to pump up their egos without challenging their minds. They are led around by the nose, voting how they are told but thinking they are independent."
Abdul-Jabbar complains that it’s easier for deniers "to deny, deny, deny. Like those 'common sense' citizens who loudly decried the existence of germs, the benefits of penicillin, or the evidence of DNA, such anti-intellectualism leads to sickness, death and the hobbling of a society’s progress."
In conclusion, Abdul-Jabbar is himself promoting fake, disproven, intellectually dishonest science on climate (remember the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change hockey stick scandal?) and should be taken as less than an intellectual giant. Abdul-Jabbar's politics are decidedly to the Left, as evidenced by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointing the man who idolized President John F. Kennedy as a cultural ambassador for the United States.