As I watch the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo and see our American athletes competing at such a high level and achieving such great success, I think about how far America has come.
I think about Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin; I think about a young Muhammad Ali - then Cassius Clay - at the 1960 games in Rome; I think about Mike Eruzione and our men’s hockey team defeating the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War at the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid; I think about track and field stars Evelyn Ashford, Florence Griffith Joyner, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee; and I think about Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and the “Dream Team” showcasing American basketball dominance at the 1992 games in Barcelona.
These are just a few examples of American exceptionalism that have created our stellar legacy at the Olympics.
But in addition to the fantastic athletes and accomplishments taking place in Japan, you can’t help but see the masks, the empty seats, and the absence of patriotic fans from around the world cheering on their countrymen and women. When I look at these pictures on television, I think about the things that make America great and what makes people worldwide want to come here to follow their dreams.
America is great because we’re governed by “We the People.” We’re not controlled by a king, an international organization, or some faceless all-powerful bureaucracy. The American people call the shots, not the United Nations, not Anthony Fauci, and not even Joe Biden. When the will of the American people demands liberty, liberty is what we get. That’s why we see packed baseball games in America and empty seats at the Olympics. And at this pivotal moment, it’s up to the American people to keep it that way.
The legendary athletes who have represented the United States around the globe with such talent and grace through the decades speak volumes about the story of America and the concept of American exceptionalism. The motto, “E Pluribus Unum” or “Out Of Many, One,” is what makes America special.
The Olympic Games - usually held every two years - are a built-in reminder for us to focus on what unites us as a people instead of what divides us. Americans are united by the belief that all men and women are created equal. We’re united by the God-given rights enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. We’re united by the promise of hope, growth, and opportunity for all, also known as the American Dream. We’re united by the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - that we should be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.
Our flag and our national anthem unite us. We’re united by the right to worship as we see fit without fear of government intervention.
And we’re united by the belief that freedom is fragile and never more than a generation away from extinction, in the words of President Ronald Reagan. These things are real, and these things are to be defended and cherished - don’t let anyone ever tell you differently.
Olympians who choose to kneel during the national anthem or protest the American flag disrespect the memory of the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us a free country.
In these turbulent times, it’s never been more important to talk about these critically important principles and reinforce them again and again.
We must redouble our efforts because a radical agenda is being pushed by the left and its political leadership that’s anchored by the idea that we should be focused on what divides us instead of what unites us.
Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer are asking us to ignore all the progress America has made since the Civil War began in 1861 and convince us that we should be divided by race, color, gender, and creed instead of united by our shared values and ideals such as love of freedom, family, friendship, and country. The left wants us to focus on the bad instead of all the good. They want us to focus on anger and division instead of loving thy neighbor, respecting the police, and teaching our children the whole truth, not ideologically driven half-truths.
Now is the time for a broad coalition of Americans from all ages and walks of life to reject this dangerous doctrine that’s presented itself.
America remains the envy of the world because of the progress we’ve made and all the good we’ve done; that’s a fact. So, as you watch the Olympics, make sure to wave the flag and be proud of who you are - an American.
• David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United and he served as deputy campaign manager for Donald J. Trump for President.
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