Earlier today, the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins visited the White House. But playoff MVP goaltender Tim Thomas chose not to attend. He issued a very libertarian-seeming statement explaining his reasons:
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. TT
For reasons I described here, I don’t think we should attach much weight to the political views of sports and entertainment celebrities. That holds true even in the rare cases like this one where a celebrity makes a political statement I agree with. Still, I thought Thomas’ decision was interesting, if only because there are so few libertarian celebrities out there. I don’t know if I would have rejected the invitation to the White House were I in Thomas’ position. But I certainly sympathize with his reasons for doing so, including the point about both parties bearing responsibility for today’s overgrown federal government.
UPDATE: Various media reports indicate that Thomas is a fan of Glenn Beck, who is far from uniformly libertarian, and occasionally endorses ridiculous conservative conspiracy theories. So Thomas may well be more of a conservative himself. That said, the reasons he gave in his statement are ones that most libertarians would agree with.
It’s arguable that Thomas should have gone to the White House anyway, on the grounds that events like this are really about paying tribute to the office of the presidency rather than the policies of the present occupant of it. On the other hand, presidents of both parties do these sorts of events in part because they see a political advantage in it. On balance, if I were Thomas, I would probably have gone to the event anyway, since it doesn’t imply endorsement of the president’s agenda or of the general course of federal policy over the last few years. But I can certainly understand Thomas’ reasons for making the opposite decision.