Friday, August 08, 2008

Go USA!

Happy Olympics to you all. I love this time. Every four years the people of America seem to come together for a common purpose…cheering for our nation’s best athletes as they compete against the world. I guess that’s what makes sports such a great thing. For a while, our petty differences don’t seem to matter all that much, whether you’re talking about the Olympics or some other sporting event.

When I go to a Cowboys game, I may be sitting next to a Liberal, or a Libertarian, maybe even a socialist. But who cares? At least I’m not sitting next to a Redskins fan. We don’t talk about politics. We don’t talk about Iraq or the energy crisis. No, we focus more on why Tony Romo can’t seem to win while he’s dating the latest hottie du jour. You won’t see Code Pink at a Cowboys game, and if you do it’s okay as long as they’re cheering for the Cowboys and not cursing our military. The point is we’re united despite our different backgrounds.

The same thing happens when I’m at a NASCAR race. You won’t hear any disagreements about drilling, or taxes, or how to properly fight Islamic extremism. Sure, there may be the occasional argument over who’s the better restrictor-plate driver, but it’s all in good fun. And the people of NASCAR are all-inclusive, a perfect metaphor for the way America should be. You’re not hated for your religious beliefs, or your sexual orientation, or your racial background. You’re not excluded based on your feelings about abortion. If you like to watch racing and you are passionate about the sport, you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Nobody cares about your political affiliation. Nobody cares about your background. The only thing that isn’t tolerated is political activism. That’s sort of a buzz kill for the folks who are there to have a good time. Be passionate about your favorite driver, but don’t talk about the Bush-Gore SCOTUS decision. After all, such talk does nothing to help your driver win the race.

Ever go to a college football game? You see quite a mix of people. There are 80 year old guys who never miss a game, and 20 year old kids who are recovering from last night’s frat party. They may vote differently but they all want their team to win and win big. It doesn’t really matter if the team wins with a conservative, grind-it-out running game or with a “showboat” progressive hook-and-ladder trick play…as long as they win. What a concept!

But nothing compares to the unity that we feel during the Olympics. We may be at each other’s throats about how to fix Social Security, but when the gun goes off we’re all pulling for Michael Phelps and the Red-White-Blue. That’s what makes the Olympics great to me. Others may say the competition is a time for world unity, but I disagree. For me, it’s more of a time for national unity. I don’t care about being united with the Chinese or the Australians. To me, it’s all about being united as Americans. I want our athletes to beat them all.

So here’s to the next 16 days. I look forward to America once again coming together as one. I’m hoping that McCain, Obama, Pelosi and Bush put aside the politics and give it a rest for a while. There’s plenty of time for jabs and mud-slinging after the closing ceremony. And, frankly, I think we’re all a bit tired of it. The Olympics only come around every four years, let’s not ruin them with the same old politics. Thank God the Olympics occur during election years. It’s good to get a break from the garbage that comes from Washington. It’s good to still see that no matter how different we may be we can still find that elusive common ground.

Coming together for the common good despite our personal differences…I think our elected leaders could learn quite a bit from American sports fans.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agreed.

But the U.S. team electing former lost boy Lopez Lamong to carry the flag in the opening ceremonies is wiping the Chinese eye.

YT in red, white, and blue.

TLGK

John F said...

So the Olympics provide you with the opportunity to put aside your differences with other Americans and get a sense of unity, am I right?

Maybe it might also provide a good opportunity to put aside your differences with people of other nationalities? They really are not that different.
Just a thought. Have a nice Olympics!

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

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Yeah. "Tutti-Tutti Pitsa-cato*" Everybody-Pinch-Everybody! Also, a good time to check 'em out, to see if any are wearing a C-4 Vest! Just a thought.

*(My favorite Italiano Dance). reb
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Robert M. said...

I rarely refer people to my blog, but since I don't want to repeat myself, I'll just put up this link. That should give you some idea of my opinion on the matter.

Auntyem said...

Robert, I checked out your blog. Very articulate, far more so than most 18 year olds I know.

John,

Yes, the Olympics are a great distraction from politics and our war in Iraq. Nothing has changed much since the games began so long ago, giving vent to human competitiveness and suspending animosities for a while. Who doesn't like to watch young people in their prime demonstrating what the human body is capable of?

I think most people like the Games because they give us the chance to see that others in the world thought to be so different from us are capable of the same things we love--pride in our communities, the accomplishments of the best of our citizens, love for our motherlands.

I notice that many of the gold medalists from the various countries shed a tear when their anthem is played. What is it about that moment when you know you have triumphed over other athletes and your country can be so proud, that prompts such emotion?

I felt that emotion driving home yesterday, when they played Ray Charles' version of "America the Beautiful". His rendition is so soulful, I always get a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye when I hear it, I wish it could be the national anthem---"oh, beuatiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain--- America! America! God shed His grace on thee, and crowned thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!" That tells more about our nationalism, I think, for our joy of our freedom in this vast land that almost came apart so long ago.

I think the story behind our national anthem and its words are more stirring than the actual song---so difficult to sing, lyrics that can trip you up---of men trapped in the bowels of a ship, hearing the bombing, wondering, asking the people topside, "Can you see? Is the flag still there?"
That was about one battle, but "America the Beautiful" and "My Country Tis of Thee" (sweet land of liberty) are for all our history.

Emilie
Port Orchard, WA

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

HAS THE WORLD FORGOTTEN ?

Th Storm-clouds of War were once again gathering across Europe in 1938.

On Nov 30, 1939 Josef Stalin's Soviet Tanks & Infantry smash across the Finnish borders...

Finland's population was 4,000,000
Mother Russia had....172,000,000
>
2008 Once again, history repeats; the tiny democracy of Georgia irritates the growling Russian Bear. Enter, Vladimir Putin! reb
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