I rarely discuss current events here as one, not really what my blog is about and two, successful discourse these days seems to be all but impossible. Having had several discussions with friends and even a few blog readers asking my thoughts on it, I thought I’d weigh in.
First, there is no clean answer. It is a sticky convoluted problem. Every answer put forward so far hurts someone. So if you look at the least amount of harm caused vs potential success then you can sort of see a way forward.
The boycott of companies. I don’t support a boycott. Primarily, because it won’t do any good. Put – head doesn’t care about the fallout or damage he causes, he only cares about furthering an agenda. He doesn’t care if we boycott one company or all of them, he will continue his agenda unabated. This is Russia we’re talking about. It’s history speaks for itself. Frankly, I don’t see that we do all that much business with Russian companies to begin with. I’m sure we have some but as a consumer I just don’t see it. I also don’t believe that they have any influence at all over their government. They don’t have the lobbyists like we do here. They don’t have the buying power like greedy corps here. The vodka company has been a decent supporter of gay rights before and after this incident. Why is it fair to punish them when they have zero influence over their government? Plus, boycotts are becoming so common as to be pointless and ineffective IMO. Even if they make further strides to support us, I still don’t support our methodology. The end does not justify the means if we give up the ethical/moral high ground. I don’t see the extra media attention as justification either. Said attention could have been garnered in other ways.
Boycotting the Olympics. Why, so the Russian athletes can take home all the medals? No thanks. Many of these athletes work their whole lives for this. To deny them that would be just a wrong as what is being done to us. How does wronging others do us any benefit? If anything, I think it would create more animosity towards the LGBT community.
Moving the Olympics. I would support a measure if there were time. From a very pragmatic approach, there isn’t and they wouldn’t even consider it. It takes years to plan and prepare for said event. As much as I’d love it if they were willing to move it, it’s not gonna happen. Too many ripple effects for a cause that is not near and dear to their hearts. If it were an option, this would be the one to go with. It would embarrass Russia and Put – head in a major way. Sadly, I just don’t see it as a real option.
Banning Russia from the Olympics. While still causing harm to their athletes, it would send a very powerful message to the government. While I still don’t like the idea of denying athletes, many of whom are probably gay, it is the least damaging of the previous options. Sadly, I’m not even sure that would work. Put – head has some pretty hard line policies and I can’t honestly believe he’d change his mind.
Pressuring sponsors. This is probably the least likely to cause harm but also least effective. I’d support the effort but I’m having a hard time finding a positive net result.
I would push other countries into a united front against Russia. Then if they didn’t budge the IOC could resort to banning Russia from attending. To me this seems to be the most effective way to make a positive change before the Olympics. Granted, any athletes that get arrested for ‘propaganda’ would set off world wide repercussions. While I’d never wish that on anyone, I’d support any athlete who did it! And sadly, I am worried it is the only really effective way to make a difference over there. *sigh*