Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In Praise of Tim Thomas

Two days ago I had never heard of Tim Thomas. It turns out he is a professional hockey player, a member of the reigning Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

When the Bruins were invited to the white house for the standard champion’s photo opportunity with the president, Thomas demurred. He made this statement explaining his decision.

“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.”

Thomas has won few fans outside of his obviously tea partyish world. He has been called selfish, bush league, un-American, spoiled, petty, unpatriotic and a bad example of esprit de corps. My first observation was that Obama lovers had gotten themselves into yet another collective snit because someone doesn’t love their idol. I responded with a shrug of the shoulders and a determination not to be upset about the decision of a NHL goalie who I didn’t know existed until the story broke. I even called him a “loser” on my twitter page.

I now think that Thomas deserves some credit for his decision. Most people may rage against a particular president, threaten to leave the country because of his election and never pass up an opportunity to point out that person’s deficiencies. But if presented with an opportunity to visit the white house, how many would actually turn it down?

My issues with Obama are nothing like Thomas’s, but I would turn down a chance to visit the white house too, unless I had an assurance that I could dispense a piece of my mind. Despite what critics have said, no one has to “respect the president.” I don’t respect anyone who makes it to the oval office for the simple reason that having done so is proof of some serious evil doing.

Thomas made a principled decision based on his political beliefs. He and I probably don’t agree on anything and if I had to go out on a limb, I would say that he probably wouldn’t like me for the simple reason that I’m not white.

Even so, he doesn’t have to like Obama. It is fine if he doesn’t want to meet him. When Obama attacks Iran, no one of conscience should want to meet him either, but somehow I doubt that he will miss any dinner guests. Liberals will still flock to rub elbows with him, despite his war criminal status.

Unless Tim Thomas has sent drones to kill people, invaded countries and bailed out banksters, by comparison he isn’t such a bad guy anyway.