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At Least We’re Good At Sports

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What the presidential candidates could learn from Olympians

The 2016 presidential campaign cycle isn’t exactly showing the world America’s good side. We’ve nominated two of the least popular candidates in history and neither seems to be significantly improving their standing.

Polls show that Hillary is not trusted by the public and incapable of owning up to her mistakes. Meanwhile, Trump is either ignorant of the rules and courtesies of politics, or is simply content to light them on fire. He says what he wants at any given moment without a single consideration of how his rhetoric affects those who are listening, let alone deciding his fate. Somehow, we have chosen these two individuals for the top ticket in November.

Forgive me, Washington, D.C. and fellow politicos, as I take a break from politics for at least the next few weeks and focus on something much more inspiring: the Olympics.

Olympic athletes demonstrate the best of what a nation has to offer. They are patriotic, optimistic, competitive, dedicated, courteous. One does not rise to that level without incredibly hard work, support from a coach, family and friends, and an understanding that win or lose, they will give their competition their all and learn from the experience to become stronger.

In an ideal world, that description would also apply to the candidates who are campaigning to become the leader of the free world. The President of the United States should be someone kids look up to and learn from. He or she should demonstrate the ability to work with people from all sides of the political spectrum in an effort to make our country stronger, safer, and more prosperous.

Fawn Johnson, Chief Policy Editor of the Morning Consult, seems to agree. She told FamousDC, “I am most attracted to how competitors handle being attacked and how they handle losing, both realities of an election. Serena Williams lost to a 21-year-old Ukrainian who refused to be intimidated by the best tennis player in the world. The commentators worried about Williams’s shoulder, but Williams wouldn’t blame her mistakes on a bum muscle. She accepted the loss, which was unforced at match point, and waved to the crowd gracefully as she exited.”

Fawn even vowed to take the same advice she’s giving to the candidates adding, “So, candidates, be like that. Tell you what. I’ll try to be dignified when you attack me, too.”

August is a time for most Americans to refresh and reboot. I appreciate that campaigns do not rest, but I’d encourage our candidates to take some time to watch the best of what America has to offer as they compete in Rio and learn from them. The cheerful optimism of Simone Biles, the poise and strength of Katie Ledecky, and the maturity of Kerri Walsh Jennings are all qualities our candidates could stand to develop. I know it will be back to politics soon enough, but in the meantime I will be keeping my TV and news tuned to those who I am proud to see representing our country to the rest of the world.


Not representing us well, though?  NBC’s nonstop damn commercials.  Chill, dudes.