We rather liked that moment in the Olympics opening extravaganza when the continental United States was outlined on the stadium field. It was the reenactment of capturing the Wild West. The trouble was, the charging horses and covered wagons in the Los Angeles version careered across the map from the west toward the east.
No matter. Such a simple reversion somehow suits Hollywood's role in keeping alive the American myth.
But other countries, too, have their own sense of national destiny to celebrate. The success of the Los Angeles Olympiad suggests the wisdom of continuing to shift the games site around the world in coming years.
Most nations want the games site to rotate.
According to the Gallup Poll, clear majorities in most major nations on all continents oppose a permanent site in Greece and prefer rotation - Brazil, France, Japan, Canada, West Germany, Argentina, Australia, Switzerland, as well as the United States. Of those surveyed, only Britain and Greece favored a permanent site for future Olympics.
In the United States the young are most in favor of a movable Olympics. College graduates are the only major population group in which a majority favors a permanent site, by 52 percent to 43 percent.
Hosting the games should be an honor to be shared - whatever the historical lapses due to patriotic effusiveness.