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Should our Olympic athletes just go naked?

July 12, 2012|By Paul Whitefield
  • U.S. Olympians, from left, swimmer Ryan Lochte, decathlete Bryan Clay, rower Giuseppe Lanzone and soccer player Heather Mitts model the the official Team USA opening ceremony uniform, designed by Ralph Lauren and made in China.
U.S. Olympians, from left, swimmer Ryan Lochte, decathlete Bryan Clay,… (Ralph Lauren )

Boy, am I steamed: I just found out that the U.S. Olympic team’s opening ceremony outfits were made in China!

I’m so mad as I write this that I’m in danger of breaking the keyboard of my computer, which was made in -- oops -- China.

This news has had me upset all morning. First, I heard it on my Chinese-made radio. My wife was out, so I texted her on my made-in-China cellphone.

When I’m this mad, I need a workout. I pulled on my made-in-Vietnam running shoes and went for a jog. It didn’t help.

So I showered and got dressed for work, putting on clothes -- holy cow, mine were also made in China! (Not the dress shoes, though -- they were made in India.)

Then I got into my Japanese car to drive to work. Naturally, the guy on the radio was talking about this affront to all things American (OK, mostly I listened to another guy, who was talking about the Lakers’ chances of getting Dwight Howard, but I’m so over the Lakers right now).

Then I saw I needed gas, so I stopped at an Arco station, which last time I checked was still owned by what used to be called British Petroleum.

But I digress. Something has to be done. As Sen. Harry Reid said Thursday:

"I am so upset. I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves... I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them. And start all over again.”

You go, Harry, another problem-solver in Washington. Of course, then he jumped the shark:

"I hope they wear nothing but a singlet that says 'USA' on it painted by hand. We have people in America working in the textile industry who are desperate for jobs."

Oh, Harry. Yes, we do have people desperate for jobs. No, we don't want our athletes looking like some of those Soviet Bloc teams from the 1970s.

So why don’t you just run along, Harry, and do what Congress always does -- convene a hearing. You know, call in the Ralph Lauren folks and scold them on camera. After all, the Republicans just held another “show vote” on the healthcare law; I’ll bet you could get plenty of posturing on this one, even bipartisan posturing.

Because in the end, that’s all this controversy is: posturing.

What, did Reid and Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner do a Rip Van Winkle? Did they suddenly wake up and discover that American-made goods -- and the jobs that produced them -- kinda got up and went over the last 30 years or so?

I mean, we may be about to elect a guy who has no problem with outsourcing U.S. jobs, and who once ran a company that did just that. Even columnist Michael Kinsley argued in Thursday’s Times that outsourcing has gotten a bad rap.

So I think I’ll just root for Team USA in the Olympics, whatever they’re wearing.

And I'll do it while watching them on my made-in-China TV.  

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