NASCAR & Integrity

The other day, the US House of Representatives denied passage of a bill that would eliminate federal funding for advertising of the US Military on NASCAR cars.

Earlier, the same congress slashed funding for Planned Parenthood and Title X, the LIHEAP, NPR, PBS, and Americorps, cut funding for the EPA to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and rejected numerous defense spending reductions.

I suppose it depends on your politics whether Republican congresspersons are wholly self-interested, NASCAR-loving "rednecks" with absolutely no integrity - or patriots who stick to their core values.

As a result of some conversations this weekend, however, I've learned that, as "enlightened," "open-minded," and "liberal" as I may be I'm super judgmental of folks I perceive to be closed-minded. So it's time for a thought experiment.

What if you believed that a vicious, world-wide conspiracy of armed and dangerous terrorists were mobilizing to destroy your home country, and patriotism is one of your core values? What if you believed that the conspiracy was so vast, and so dangerous, and so illogical and backward that there was literally no chance of any kind of diplomatic solution to the disagreements between these terrorist killers? What if you believed, literally, that they are the embodiment of evil?

Then, wouldn't it make sense to prioritize marketing the US Army (the growth of which is a necessity, remember, considering the scenario above) to NASCAR watchers, who tend to be both lower-income and Southern (two heavy markets for Army recruiting), even when doing so conflicts with one's other values ("fiscal responsibility")?

The thinking could go, "I know that it's important to help poor people heat their homes in the winter, but they won't even have homes if (when) Al-Qaieda takes over our country, installs Sharia law, rapes all of our women and murders all the good Christians. Preventing that from happening is more important as it affects all of us."

I don't buy it, but I could see how some people with values radically different from my own could (though it's hard for me to believe a rational person having those values without simultaneously being burdened by Islamophobia, Xenophobia, Orientalism, etc).

By the way, Obama's budget also cut funding for LIHEAP. Food for thought?