PRESIDENT CARTER has asked all companies which were going to supply equipment, food and drink to the Moscow Olympics, to refrain from doing so. Millions of dollars will go down the drain if everyone complies.
I'll go along with the president's boycott, with one exception, to leave the detente door just slightly open, I think the president should permit the people who ran the bus system from the parking lots to the stadiums at Lake Placid, to provide the transportation for the Moscow games.
I can't think of any gesture that would be more meaningful. If the system works as well as it did at Lake Placid, no one will be able to get to the events, and the people who came from all over the world will be furious at the Soviets for ruining their fun. If the Lake Placid transportation plans for busing are used in Moscow, there will be thousands of empty seats at every event, and television audiences all over the world will believe President Carter's boycott was a smashing success.
We could even go so far as to tell the Russians that they could keep the buses after the games are over.
As for the other items for the Olympics, it seems unfair for the manufacturers, who have been working on them all winter, to take a financial bath. What do you do with the souvenirs, and other products with the Moscow Olympic logo on them?
Not too many people know about it, but there is a place in the United States called Moscow, Idaho. What would be wrong if we had a summer Olympics in Moscow, Idaho, not so much to let our athletes compete, as to give American entrepreneurs an opportunity to unload all their stock?
It could also give NBC an opportunity to get off the hook. They could televise the games, starting each program with the announcer saying, "And now -- live from Moscow -- the Summer Olympics." No mention would be made of Idaho.
I'm suggesting outright duplicity, but there is no reason why American athletes could not wear East German, Russian and Hungarian track suits, as well as U.S. ones, so the viewing audience would have a rooting interest in the results.
If the idea doesn't appeal to NBC, they could use a split screen and at the same moment they're running a relay race in Moscow, USSR, our men and women would be running it in Moscow, Idaho. If we beat their time, we would declare our team the winners.
The only things Americans had to look forward to this summer were the political conventions and the Moscow Olympics.
As time goes on, more and more people say the president made a mistake. He should had urged a boycott of the political conventions, and allowed Americans to participate in the games.
I am not criticizing Mr. Carter for his decision not to have the U.S. team go to Moscow. I'm just trying to find a solution that will satisfy his foreign policy and alo give us something to watch on TV.
If we knew the Lake Placid bus system was being used in Russia, and we could still watch an Olympics from Moscow, Idaho, our summer would be made.