|Olympic Political Lessons
Posted 08/21/2008 ET
Updated 08/21/2008 ET
As the Beijing Summer Olympics draws to a close, the media is getting set to shift its spotlight from the likes of Olympic swimming, track, and tennis, back onto the Anna Kournikova of American politics, Barack Obama, just in time to help him recover from suddenly being five points behind John McCain in the polls. But some political lessons have emerged from these games. If you missed them, then you must have been watching for the sports. In which case, I’ll help you out:
Hating President George W. Bush is actually an Olympic sport, scored in the privacy of liberals’ basements. The President shows up with his family at the Games. He cheers on the home team at various venues, gives an interview to NBC about the little “dual meet” sideshow between Russia and Georgia, takes some photos with Michael Phelps’ mom and some American beach volleyball chicks - and then has to contend with the liberal blogosphere calling him “drunk”, “stupid”, “a pervert”, or some variation of the above. No, bloggers, this is simply what a normal person looks like when they are having fun in the absence of a computer keyboard.
Liberals even want to redistribute other people’s Olympic wealth. American swimmer Michael Phelps earned an unprecedented eight gold medals during the games, and is now possibly looking at endorsement deals of up to $100 million – all through years of hard work and sacrifice by him and his single-parent family. But in an interview this week, Ken Sunshine – flack to world class leftist “limousine liberati” luminaries like Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, and the Dixie Chicks – said to CNN’s Campbell Brown: “I mean, we're just talking about a lot of money. The Michael Phelps phenomenon is so unique and his story is so great, and he just fits the pattern perfectly that it almost isn't fair. I think what makes more sense are the people that won one medal or two medals and compare them. And it's a double standard. We need to make it fairer and it's not.” In that case, I’d like to use Ken Sunshine’s posh Hampton’s home for half the year, please - because I don’t have one, and it isn’t fair.
The “one world” view is overrated and unrealistic. In the real world, balkanization and nationalism is de rigueur – not the contrived globalism foisted upon us in the form of world governing bodies like the United Nations. Despite what liberals keep telling us (that is, when they aren’t cashing in by shilling for special interest groups), we really aren’t all the same – nor do any of us really want to be. The Olympics proves that. What fun would it be if three identical flags were raised for every single medal ceremony, or we were only ever competing against fellow teammates?
Islamists will never get it. They just won’t. Iranian swimmer, Mohammad Alirezaeli, reportedly was only cool with competing against an Israeli in the same pool when it was determined that, according to the Israeli Iranian National Olympic Committee, “Alirezaei swims in lane one and the representative of the Zionist regime (Israel) in lane seven, so they will not face each other.” Oooh, I smell a sportsmanship award for Mohammad! Perhaps we just should be grateful that they at least managed to keep their jihadist pursuits outside of Beijing and relegated to places like Kashgar, where they blew up 16 cops.
Western liberals have Stockholm syndrome when it comes to communist regimes. Communist governments and liberal protesters typically bond over their common loathing of American and Western values. That is, until the same protesters try telling the communists what to do on human rights, as they attempted to do during these Olympics – in which case, they get rounded up and deported. Unrequited love – so sad. At least when they get back home to the US, they can bury their grief in a pint of Haagen-Dazs.
Lippy types usually end up getting punched in the mouth. The French 4x100m men’s relay discovered the hard way that if you threaten to “smash” the Americans, you’ll probably end up regretting it. Sometimes it’s really in your best interest to lay low and keep your mouth shut. Saddam Hussein learned the same lesson. And Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems intent on launching himself down that well-worn path.
Ageism, as a form of prejudice, is rather gauche at the moment. American swimmer Dara Torres won a silver medal in the 50m freestyle and set a personal best time and American record – at the age of 41. Not a bad lesson, perhaps, for people who have turned their ageist prejudices against John McCain in the current election cycle.
Olympic goodwill rarely changes the political landscape. Russian President Vladimir Putin chilled at the Games, even as his troops were invading and routing the Georgians in an alternative showing of Russian national pride. He promised French President Nicolas Sarkozy that he’d knock it off – yet his troops still haven’t withdrawn. Meanwhile, China tells Reuters that it plans to axe their smog problem. What exactly have they been doing since they signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998? Personally, I’ll believe it when their “16-year old gymnasts” start looking a day over twelve.
|Ms. Marsden is a New York based political strategist and the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical.com. Her first book about politics is due out next year. She can be reached at email@example.com|