United States Senator Lindsey Graham declared that if North Korea is allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics he believes the United States will not send a delegation. This bothers me in many ways and I’m happy to tell you why.
The 2018 Winter Olympics are being held at Pyeongchang, South Korea, and if any nation in the world has to worry about North Korea, it’s South Korea. Who is the United States to dictate to any nation, let alone the one with the greatest vested interest in the dangers of North Korea, who should or should not be allowed to participate in the Olympics? It’s the host nation’s decision who they want to invite to their event and for the United State’s to try to dictate such policy through threat of boycott is arrogance personified.
In this case it’s not even the United States attempting to put on the pressure but a single senator from one state. Who is Graham to presume to speak for the President of the United State about what he thinks should or should not be policy? He is completely out of line in attempting to dictate policy for the nation.
In addition, we are talking about not only the athletes from the United States but their friends and families who are potentially being denied the experience of participating in the Olympics. For many of the athletes this is a once in a lifetime opportunity Graham is casually throwing away for an apparent attempt at political gain. This is cruelty on an enormous scale. I’m tempted to call it callous disregard for the hard work of others but is far beyond that. It is a complete inability to empathize with other human beings at all. The statement Graham made was without even a modicum of thought to the pain such a policy would cause the athletes. Even the statement itself is damaging to them. They now must deal with fallout at every press conference for the immediate future.
Let’s talk about what political gain Graham is hoping to achieve. None. That’s what. Barring North Korea from participating in the Olympics achieves nothing. They are already heavily sanctioned and that is doing little or nothing. Graham claims allowing North Korea to participate in the Olympics gives them “legitimacy.” As if North Korea isn’t a country but somehow will become one if they participate.
North Korea exists and keeping them from the Olympics is going to have no effect on their legitimate status as a nation.
The only thing this proposed boycott does is hurt citizens of the United States. If I was cynical I’d say that’s about all politicians in this country do anyway, hurt average citizens while getting free tickets to luxury box seats at all the Olympic and sporting events they desire to attend. So, Graham and his proposed boycott is nothing more than business as usual for the Senator. Let’s screw over as many people as we can for as little benefit as possible.
I guess I am cynical, come to think of it.
By Tom Liberman
Tom Liberman is a regular fellow from St. Louis, Mo., who enjoys spending time with his wonderful family and great friends. He writes Sword and Sorcery fantasy novels in his spare time.