Weekly Poll

Should wolves receive federal protection in Wyoming?




Results

 


August 13, 2008 2:26 pm

Olympic Games give us common ground

Written by Tribune Staff

At a time when Americans are more polarized than ever — the primary election is creeping closer, and races promise to rise in intensity in the coming months — the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games offer a welcome moment of pause.
When the Olympics roll around, most of us actually agree on one thing: We want our team to bring home as many medals as possible.
People who struggle to see eye-to-eye at any other time find it hard to argue about Michael Phelps' stunning performances — and he's only halfway through his races. Others who usually would be hard-pressed to cop to watching gymnastics or beach volleyball admit to being riveted to their TV screens when an American medal is on the line.
And who doesn't get misty-eyed, or at least feel a twinge of emotion, as they watch a U.S. athlete fall off the balance beam? Or when an unsung or underdog American teammate pulls off a medal-winning performance?
It's a nice reminder that patriotism has a place and a role.
In a couple of weeks, we'll see polarization return to the forefront. Increased drilling vs. conservation. Stay the course vs. pull out the troops.
Public funding of capital facilities vs. no new buildings. Red Sox vs. Yankees. Business as usual.
But for the moment, “our” team is playing. Our players are doing great. And we're pulling for them.