Friday, October 26, 2012
What is really going on with Lance Armstrong
I know the whole long sordid story. But it is what is going on between the lines of the story that may be more telling than the details.
Lance Armstrong overcame testicular cancer and was an elite athlete for over a decade. The media built him up over time, making him into an American hero. Companies all over the world jumped onto the Lance Armstrong bandwagon, wanting his face on their products. His face was know all over the world, not just here in America, he was a universal icon.
So what happened? The very same thing that has been happening to many celebrities for many many decades. It happened with Tiger Woods, and Michael Phelps as well. The media loves to build up an athlete and then drag them down through the mud and dirty up their reputations and ruin their names. We cannot just allow the athletes to be human, we have to make them into super humans and then rejoice in tearing them down.
But it is not just about the athletes. This is just another of a long line of attacks against American Exceptional-ism that has climaxed with the Obama apology tour of the middle east. It has become fashionable to bash Americans and tear them down. The third world is lining up to take credit for the accomplishments of American pioneers and great thinkers. I was appalled when Obama announced the new goal of NASA was to recognize the contributions of Muslims to the space program. The way I see it, if Muslims had been as big of contributors to the sciences, we would not have to specially recognize them. By doing so he was down playing the exceptional contributions of Americans of all other descents. Why not recognize the contributions of Native Americans? or Asian Americans? or maybe Christian or Jewish Americans?
America is exceptional, we have a political system that allows greatness to be manifest, whether that is through the hard work an athlete puts into his sport or for the scientists who put men on the moon. And now, whether Lance Armstrong is guilty or not of the steroidal doping he is accused of, another example of what is good about America is being ripped from our hands and our hearts, incrementally.
This has more to do with defeating American Exceptional-ism than it does with Lance Armstrong and the Tour-de-France titles that he has been stripped of.