If I had the time, and the energy, and the non-financial needs, I’d love, love, love to write a 5,000-word piece on the political radicalization of Mark Mulder, former (enjoyable, agreeable, friendly) Oakland A’s pitcher-turned-hard-right zealot.
In case you don’t follow Mark on Twitter, well, I wouldn’t start now (unless you’re a fan of Biden Sucks memes and ultimately debunked political “facts”). But, either way, this is a topic worth exploring. Because it’s so much of America: 2021.
First, to be clear—I have no problem with people thinking Joe Biden is a shit president. I have no problem with people thinking he screwed the pooch on Afghanistan. I have no problem with people thinking Nancy Pelosi is a liberal hack. I have no problem with people who are pro-life (I get it), even with people who believe marriage is a sacred church-ordained institution that needs to be specifically man-woman (I obviously strongly disagree. But if one was raised in the church, and this is what he/she was taught …).
I understand all of this, because it’s what politics used to be. I feel this way, you feel that way. You believe in lower taxes, I believe in higher (for some). You want to negotiate with Russia, I think it’s a bad idea. We’d argue, disagree, deliberate, then sorta walk off and maybe have a drink. No biggie.
Now, however, it’s personal. It’s a Civil War without the muskets. It’s “THE GREATEST THREAT FACING AMERICA ISN’T RUSSIA OR NORTH KOREA—IT’S THE LIBERALS!!!!!!!“
Enter: Mark Mulder.
Mulder’s feed is … I don’t even know the word. But I’ll say it’s a weirdly paranoid view of the country, with Donald Trump and Co. as God-like creatures and anyone affiliated with Biden/Obama/Harris/Pelosi cast as demonic spawn. Take a look …
And what fascinates me—truly, truly fascinates me—is you’d think Mark Mulder might know better, based upon life experience.
Example: Mulder is decidedly anti-immigration. The kids in cages didn’t ruffle his feathers. People seeking asylum—no empathy. In Mulder World, it seems, the only people worthy of being brought into this nation from “shit-hole countries” are … guys like this. And this. And this. And this. And this. In other words, men who gift our cherished nation with the import societal contribution of being able to throw a baseball really, really hard. In that case, “Welcome to America! Grab a uni!” Because, lord knows, Mark Mulder never uttered a peep when the A’s/Cardinals found a way to important that 17-year-old Dominican second baseman who grew up living in a shack without energy or running water.
Example: Mulder has shown little-to-no (I see no) empathy toward victims of police brutality. Hell, he’s a huge admirer of a president who made law and order (by any means necessary) a backbone of his talking points. And yet, Mulder spent five years in Oakland—a city with a long, jarring, soul-crushing history of police abusing minority citizens. Was he too busy learning a slider to notice? Did he find a route from his apartment to the ballpark that took him around Oakland’s innards? Did he just not care?
Example: Mark Mulder is v-e-r-y anti-vaccination. A. Because he
has a deep background in infectious diseases that brought him to this point. is a fool. B. Because he seems to genuinely believe everything Alex Jones says. So, in Mulder Land, you can’t trust the vaccine because you don’t know what’s in it. Which makes me want to know every supplement, vitamin, pill Mark Mulder took throughout his career. List them. Tell me the ingredients. Protein shakes. Powders. You’re the expert, bruh. What were you ingesting? What were the long-term impacts?
Example: Mark Mulder supports the military. This is very clear. And great. So (asking for a friend) … what to think of a president who mocked POWs because his heroes aren’t captured? What to think of a president who smacked down Gold Star families? What to think of a president with four draft deferments because of (wait for it) bone spurs? How about a president who couldn’t tolerate John McCain’s name on a ship, and had a tarp placed over the words? How about a president who refused to honor veterans—because it was fucking raining?
I don’t think Mark Mulder is dumb. I really don’t. I recall him as well-spoken and thoughtful from the times I wrote about the A’s. But something has snapped—not just with him, but America. Political figures have turned into villains. Everything you think is right. Everything they think is wrong. Mulder Tweeted about the stolen election—but seemed to have no opinion on Trump also accusing Ted Cruz of stealing the 2016 Iowa caucus and accusing Hillary Clinton of rigging 2020. Because it doesn’t fit the narrative of Evil (them) v. Good (us). It wasn’t solid material.
Mark Mulder seems to have a nice life. Wife. Kids. Golfs a lot. He comes from the entitled perch of a man who fulfilled his dreams in a nation that allowed him such a pleasure.
But, as a consequence, he’s sheltered as fuck.
And excruciatingly simple.
PS: Here’s the tell-tale: Had Donald Trump taken the steps Biden took in Afghanistan, Mulder would have praised him. Decisive leadership! Finally got us out! Cleaned up the mistakes others wouldn’t! That’s a guarantee. (and, to be clear, I think Biden did a shit job—and I voted for him).