It’s not every day that politics and NASCAR collide to grab the attention of the nation. Obama invited eleven NASCAR drivers to the White House and was declined by five of the eleven. Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle decided their previous engagements are more important than meeting with Obama.
The reaction to the decision of the drivers has drawn both praise and criticism. I heard some say that they are proud that the drivers rejected the invite while others think the decision was disrespectful. Some accept the “schedule conflicts” as truth while others speculate that the drivers don’t like Obama’s politics and don’t want the photo op to be used to in any way further Obama’s agenda.
The statement that I heard that just about floored me was when a gentleman that claimed to be a “conservative Republican” said that because Obama is the president then the drivers should have automatically accepted the invitation. I for one would like to remind that gentleman that Obama was elected as president, not king. As citizens these drivers have the freedom to decide if they want to be in the presence of someone or not. A king or dictator can demand that his subjects appear before him and the subject is required to attend. For right now the United States of America is still a free nation and every citizen has the right to accept or decline the invitation of anyone they choose, no matter the office that person may hold.
I hope that Obama will realize that these drivers have black flagged him, to speak the language these men know. For those of you that are not familiar with what the black flag means in racing, it is sometimes referred to as the “consultation flag”. When a black flag is given, the affected driver must pit. In most situations, a black flag means the driver has violated at least one rule. Obama has violated numerous rules and has not received a black flag.
Right now, Obama deserves not only a black flag, he also needs a red flag signaling that his race is halted and his crew must cease their work. That, my friends, is exactly what is going to happen November 2012.
No matter the reason for their decision- whether it is conflicts in their schedule or conflicts in their morals that made them decide not to meet with Obama, I commend these drivers for showing that the American citizen still has their right to decide for themselves.