Patriotism hangs by a thread
The China Syndrome: Berets & big logos are a bigger deal than Team U.S.A. gear'scountry of origin
The London 2012 Olympics haven't even started and already we're hearing trash-talking and finger-pointing. This has nothing to do with the games themselves, but the fact the official Team U.S.A. gear was made in China (insert gasp here).
You don't hear of much bipartisan agreement in Washington these days, but it appears that everyone can agree that outsourcing the production of the outfits to China was a bad idea. Republican House Speaker John Boehner said that Ralph Lauren (the evil mastermind behind this sinister plot) should "know better."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, suggested that the uniforms be put in a pile and "burned" immediately, conjuring up heartwarming images of the burning of books in Nazi Germany and the burning of The Beatles' records in the Bible Belt.
It's important to note that only five percent of clothing sold in the United States is actually made by Americans. That figure was 95 percent back in 1960.
It's interesting how politics can force one to speak out of both sides one's mouth: Moving jobs to China is simply part of free enterprise, part of living in a global economy — but having an American company like Ralph Lauren design uniforms to be manufactured outside of our borders? That's simply un-American!
What's a citizen to do? Next thing you know, they'll want to take away our iPhones!
Before we go and burn Mr. Lauren in effigy (although one does wonder what he would wear to it), it's important to note that only five percent of clothing sold in the United States is actually made by Americans. That figure was 95 percent back in 1960.
Ralph Lauren could have created a glossy "Made In America" campaign that had us all waving the flag, but then again, nobody seemed to care that the U.S. uniforms for the 2002 Winter Games in Utah, as well as those seen at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, were manufactured in Canada.
Putting all that aside, I'm more irked that the U.S. athletes will be wearing berets with stripes of red, white and blue that look more reminiscent of the French flag — is that supposed to invoke a feeling of Americana?
And what's up with the huge Ralph Lauren polo player emblazoned on the front of the blazer? If we want to go down that road, why not take a cue from NASCAR and sell multiple sponsorship logos — maybe we could use that money to bring down the national debt.