In today’s Paddle News: “Tariffs Set to Hit Paddlesports Hard.” Is paddling.com now taking a stance on political issues? Or allowing people to submit political articles for publication? I agree with the writer’s political position in this case, but this should have been called an editorial rather than placing it on the “Learn” page. It clearly represents the view of a stakeholder. The author’s name—John Hoge, VP of Sea Eagle—should be posted at the top of the page, not the end, so we know who’s writing it and can read it accordingly. I have no objection to such articles if they’re called what they are, editorials.
Where do I sign up to submit a political editorial related to paddling? My pitch: If the present administration isn’t removed soon, you won’t have clean, protected waters to paddle in and you won’t enjoy paddling when the temperature is over 100 degrees from May through October and smoke from massive fires blankets your state. I hope John Hoge is doing what he can to fight the battle on those fronts as well—it’s not all, or even mostly, about how much things cost! The larger questions are about the planet.
Also, is paddling really a middle-class thing, as Hoge states? (“Paddlesports have long been a way for the middle class to enjoy the outdoors on a reasonable budget.”) Ouch. That’s a risky statement. It’s striking that in recent years the political discussion has been around the middle class and the wealthy. Low-income people don’t really exist anymore. They have no place in debates like tariffs and climate change.