In a tradition dating back to, well, who knows when really, championship sports teams have paid a visit to the White House so that the President can praise the champions for their athletic excellence, team unity and sportsmanship. This year’s Stanley Cup winners the Boston Bruins made the traditional visit but without their goalie, Tim Thomas, a noted Republican.
Thomas, it would seem, believes that the Federal government is incapable of operating with any degree of team unity, descending instead into political impasse, gamesmanship, power politics and gross deviations from the Constitution.
On Monday, Thomas posted the following message:
I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.
This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.
Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.
This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic.
It’s rather vague language but it has some of the usual symbolic hallmarks of Libertarianism. To his credit, however, he wisely places the blame on both parties. However, snubbing a Democratic President leaves very little room open for interpretation. Thomas could speak publicly about politics and be heard, but avoiding a handshake with a Democrat carries greater symbolic impact.
The problem with Libertarianism in its current form, though, lies in its belief that the free market will solve all economic crises. It has evolved into a religious belief in an economic philosophy, full of zealots who cannot comprehend the fact, or are unwilling to entertain the probability, that the present economic structure of the U.S. and the world involves a collusion between government and the private sector.
Obama surely discovered the true extent of this reality after his election in 2008. And though can be criticized for the rather seamless continuation of the status quo, he does not deserve the lion’s share of blame, and we do not deserve to hear Tim Thomas’ simplistic diagnosis of the American Empire in decline.
Clearly, the rigors of professional sports make it difficult to study the complex issues of government and economy.