April 16, 2021

Obama and the Olympics


I would have thought that this would have been in the bag.  I’m not quite sure why a President of the United States would have been allowed (by his own people) to go lobby for something that had such a great a chance for failure.

I think it reflects poorly on our country, and what the people of the world think of our country, and for that I’m saddened.

However, yesterday morning when I was asked whether I thought Chicago would get the 2016 Olympics, my answer was no.

As much as I would have preferred that America would not have been embarrassed this way, the writing was all over the wall (to use an expression).  It was obvious we would lose.

Since President Obama has taken office, he has done nothing but repeat two ideas:

  • America has been very, very bad.
  • I’m doing all I can to make this right.

When you go into a situation talking down your country and putting all that’s good on yourself, you’re doomed to failure.  Anyone that’s making a sales pitch knows that you start with the positives and then mention the detractions later.

For President Obama to say “America has been very bad, but we deserve this…” reinforces those abroad that are our enemies (as opposed to our friends) and gives no good reason why someone should treat us well.  “Why reward bad behavior, and why should I trust you to make it better?” is the thought that would go through my mind.

The part of bravado that works is that it’s consistent.  It places oneself in a leadership context and makes you decide whether you’ll follow or not.  When  you appease or use appeasement, you cede your power to another and they will use it.

There’s a reason that one U.S. President got Libya to volunteer to stop armament production and one U.S. President is watching Iran become a nuclear power.  Like it or not, there are a different set of rules at play at home and overseas.  You cannot talk about submitting to another authority because “My country has done wrong” without also seceding your country’s greatness to another.

And that’s the story of the Olympics for me.  The rest of the world is gleefully looking Post-American dominance, and from his speeches, so is our President.

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