Monday, October 5, 2009

A Big Assumption

The headline that caught my eye this morning read, "GOP Rooting Against America". The author, one Glenn Thrush, does a decent job of presenting the facts of the story without injecting personal views. The premise is that a) Republicans called Democrats 'unpatriotic' when the Dems questioned the Bush administrations desire to defend America from what it viewed as threats (specifically: Iraq, intelligence, surveillance) and b) Democrats are now calling Republicans 'unpatriotic' for criticizing the Obama administration's extremely poor track record thus far on the economy (ineffective stimulus packages, continually rising unemployment) and the IOC's "snub" of Chicago as an Olympic host city despite Obama lending his star power to the sales pitch personally.

I suppose one could attempt to make that argument - if recklessly borrowing trillions of dollars to fund fruitless, ineffective ideological programs, systematically dismantling the world's greatest military, subsidizing ill advised home and auto purchases, perpetuating the entirely unproven fear of global warming solely for the purpose of consolidating power, refusing to wear an American flag lapel pin, and failing to salute the American flag during the National Anthem - if those activities are in fact patriotic, then I suppose opposition to such would have to be considered unpatriotic.

It was also silly to presume the city of Chicago was somehow the de facto front runner in its bid for the 2016 Olympic games. A "snub", as I understand it, is when the obvious choice is not made - like how Pee Wee Herman was somehow overlooked for the 1986 Oscar. To suggest that Madrid, Tokyo or Rio were less deserving than Chicago is, I think, an insult to those great cities. Why do the Olympics have to be in the US every time? That's not un-American of me to say. If I've learned anything at all from the Opening Ceremonies it is that the Olympics are about one world; one people. In my modest lifespan the US has already hosted four Olympics - two Summer and two Winter (Lake Placid, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Salt Lake). These Rio de Janeiro games, which are still seven years away, will be the FIRST time ever that ANY country in South America has hosted. How can anyone be upset or bitter about that? I'm happy for Rio. Brasil is an up-and-coming world power.

As a potential Olympic viewer, what backdrop would you rather see? a tropical paradise in the exotic, legendary land of Samba that most people have only read about? or Chicago, the scenery of which can be seen daily on WGN - the local Chicago television station that for some reason broadcasts to the entire nation on basic cable.

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