While millions of Americans are happily tuning in to cheer on their fellow countrymen and root for Team USA, some members of the liberal media are not smiling. Salon.com writer David Sirota, author of a lengthy piece published on Wednesday, is among them, and finds himself "increasingly interrupted by pangs of discomfort" watching our nation's athletes compete on the world stage. "Not because," he claims, he is "ashamed of our country or our Olympians," but because of the way that "the relationship between American nationalism and the Olympics" has been "infused with...politicized meaning."
First, he launched into a tirade about the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics which he calls "a Cold War spectacle of hyper-patriotism deliberately orchestrated to give the big middle finger to the boycotting Soviets and their allies." Then, he called the 1992 Barcelona games an excuse to use the Olympics to "to spike the ball in the end zone — or, more accurately, 360 windmill dunk over the rest of the planet" and questions why "we have to rub our strength in" and "preen on the world stage in such cartoonish fashion."
Sirota, of course, is quick to offer his own explanation. The fault, in his eyes, is the "desire to publicly showcase American preeminence" which "we've been programmed to haughtily express since the end of the Cold War" and are pressured to express "for fear of being labeled traitors." He finds this patriotism repulsive since he is quick to point out "we are not gold, silver or even bronze medalists" in health care.
So, to summarize the argument for all the "hyper-patriotic" viewers at home: Don't cheer. The liberal media does not want you to offer embarrassing praise for the teen gymnasts or college-age swimmers representing the USA. It might make you seem - God forbid - proud of your country.
While Sirota himself has "out-grown the lust for an overpowering victory that has us, medal-count-wise, leav[ing] everyone else in the dust," most people are just less concerned by left-wing psychoanalyzing. Americans just want to show pride in their country and chanting U-S-A is one way to do it. If anyone's politicizing the games, it's liberal journalists such as Mr. Sirota.