Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bob McElvaine on sports fans and McCain

He suggests that they may have a particular reason to think about voting against McCain:

Sports Fans: Oppose McCain! by Robert S. McElvaine

McCain = No Chicago Olympics

As Americans make the overnight transition from the Olympics to presidential politics, shifting attention from Beijing to Denver, sports fans may want to think about an important relationship between these two pastimes and how it might affect another city.

Anyone who wants the 2016 Olympics to be held in the United States should consider how the outcome of the 2008 presidential election will affect the choice of the host city.

If Barack Obama is elected, it is highly likely that Chicago, his hometown and one of the finalists, will be chosen.

If John McCain is elected, it is almost certain that America's "Second City" will not be chosen.

Following the horrors of September 11, 2001, New York was a heavy favorite to be picked as the host of the 2012 Games. George W. Bush's thumbing of his nose at the international community with the invasion of Iraq turned the thumbs of the International Olympic Committee from up to down on having the United States host the Olympics.

The difference between the effects of the choice of one of this year's candidates or the other is quite simple, and it reflects a much deeper and more serious reason than concern over the site of the 2016 Olympics for deciding how to vote this year. The election of Barack Obama would signal to the world that the United States has rejected the arrogant, domineering approach to other nations that has been the hallmark of the Bush-Cheney Administration. Obama's election would indicate a return to the best of American traditions and values and to a multilateral approach to world problems.

The election of John McCain, on the other hand, would signal to the world that the United States will continue the arrogance towards other nations and international institutions that has been so apparent in the Bush-Cheney years.

American sports fans and non-sports fans alike have every reason to want to see the stature of the United States around the world returned to the high level at which it stood before the war started by Bush and Cheney and championed by McCain was launched.

[Historian Robert S. McElvaine is Elizabeth Chisholm Professor of Arts & Letters at Millsaps College. His latest book is Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America. This column also appears in the Huffington Post.]

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