Team USA at the Olympic Games in Rio.
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Trump Ignores American Success

Give Donald Trump some credit for traveling down south to lend his support to the flood victims in Louisiana. Despite the mayor of Baton Rouge requesting politicians stay away until the active search and rescue was over, Trump ignored him and brought his campaign entourage and national media posse anyway. It’s what you expect of presidential candidates, to be there for people in bad times.

That’s Trump for you. A master of bad times. If there is misery and misfortune in America to be found, he’ll talk and and tweet about it for days.

Typically, though, presidential candidates will acknowledge good times too. Especially during the Olympic Games every four years.

The flag-waving pageantry, the pure, unbridled patriotism—and, my god, all that the winning. There are no “losers” on the American team.

Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan loves the Olympics for the patriotism and winning it represents.
Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan loved the Olympics.


Except when you check Donald Trump’s very active Twitter account there is nothing about the Olympic Games in Rio — no congratulations to the winners, no happiness with the winning American team — nothing.

Just Crickets.

How can this be possible?

  • America scorched China and Russia in the medal count, now over 120 strong.
  • Simone Manuel, Kathleen Baker, Lilly King and Dana Vollmer swam to Team USA’s 1,000th gold medal at a summer Games.
  • Michael Phelps dominated the world again, winning his 23rd gold medal.
  • Allyson Felix won a women’s track record sixth Olympic gold medal.
  • A new Olympic superstar emerged in Rio in the shape of diminutive dynamo gymnast Simone Biles who won four golds.
  • Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.
  • Matt Centrowitz was the first American since 1908 to win the men’s 1500 meters.
  • Gwen Jorgensen gave the U.S. its first Olympic triathlon gold medal.
  • LaShawn Merritt anchored the U.S. 4×400-meter relay team to win an Olympic gold medal.
  • America’s Ashton Eaton has a monopoly on the title “world’s greatest athlete.”

olympics men swimming

olympics women's

olympics running

olympics water polo

olympics michele carter


olympics matt

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Then there were the great American Olympic stories that show off to the world our diversity:

  • Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim-American Olympian to compete wearing a hijab.
  • 19 year-old Mexican-American boxer Carlos Balderas, the first in his family born in the United States.
  • U.S. Army Sargent Hillary Bor, a Kenyan-born American who ran the steeplechase while his brother is serving our country in Afghanistan.

So many great stories, so much winning.

Alas, Donald Trump doesn’t talk about America’s great champions or all of our Olympic success.

Why? Because it doesn’t work with his campaign theme of gloom and doom. His entire message is that America has grown weak and doesn’t win anymore. His latest book, “Crippled America,” explains how only he can make America great again.

Over the last two weeks Team USA has shattered world records in win after historic win.

Trump may privately consider our American gold athletes as part of a conspiracy against him. Winning is for Trump, and Trump alone. If our multi-ethnic parade of athletes somehow convince voters that America is great already, there is no need for Trump in November.

Thus why he has never mentioned our glorious Olympic success, or acknowledged our winning athletes. And that could be considered a “loser” flaw in any presidential candidate.

About Jim Heath

Jim Heath is the author of the new best seller Front Row Seat at the Circus - One Journalist's Journey through Two Presidential Elections. The book is about Jim's experiences covering the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns - from South Carolina, the first southern primary state, to Ohio, the ultimate battleground state in presidential elections. A recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, Jim is also a two-time Emmy award winner with more than 15 years experience as both a main evening anchor and political reporter. A longtime advocate of social media, GQ Magazine listed Jim on their Top 5 political "Power List" and the Washington Post named him to their "Best Super Tuesday Twitter List." Jim's news career has taken him from Arizona to South Carolina to Ohio.

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One comment

  1. Other than two very atypical Olympics in 1904 and 1984, the 46 gold medal/121 total medal performance is the best ever by a US team. This certainly does not fit the Trump narrative that America is in decline and virtually near collapse unless voters give him the power to fix everything!

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