Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What I Worry About

I don't care much about politics anymore. Well, actually, it's not that I don't care but that I've bowed out of being personally involved. Can't see that my little efforts were of much value so why bother? I'll let the younger generations have the responsibility of paying attention. So, I transferred my intense interest in politics to NASCAR and guess what? With my luck, politics has now reared its ugly head in my sport.

NASCAR is almost totally dependent on a) business sponsors and b) the automakers. Business and car manufacturers are almost totally dependent on the economy. Of course, the economy (most especially, the American auto industry) is in freefall so.....what does that do to NASCAR?

First, American businesses are trying to survive so perhaps spending the big bucks required to sponsor race cars might be jettisoned for the duration. GM, Ford and Chrysler may end up going bankrupt or out of business altogether. That would, naturally, end their commitment to NASCAR teams. But its probably more likely that political considerations would intervene. After all the hoopla about auto CEOs coming to Washington in corporate jets, I could imagine liberal politicians (assuming few of them are fans of stock car racing), such as the ones in power in 2009, holding the decision to invest in this rough and rowdy sport in utter contempt. I could see them waxing indignant about the automakers spending our bailout money by sponsoring cars going around in a circle! (As opposed to, say, advertising on the side of Starbucks cups).

So it may very well come down to a a cultural and political call. Businesses that are dependent on Washington want to please their political masters so they will take what the powers-that-be consider socially responsible courses of action. They won't want to be frowned upon by Nancy Pelosi so they may switch their advertising dollars to, I don't know, supporting ballet companies, even though market research has proven there are no more fanatical supporters and consumers than NASCAR fans. Myself, for instance. I would never consider going to any home improvement store but Lowe's because, of course, they sponsor Jimmie Johnson's 48 Chevrolet. I've switched to as my search engine because they are the "official search engine of NASCAR". I buy my office supplies from Office Depot because their name is on the side of Tony Stewart's car.

Still, my dab of money, probably can't compete with John Kerry's opinion about motorsports. He can sign the big checks while I only sign small ones. He can influence make-or-break legislation. I can only pass on positive recommendations about my Chevy Cobalt and encourage friends and co-workers to buy one.

In the past, I've voted for lots of local Republican candidates as well as Democratic ones but on a national level, I have an almost 100 percent Democrat voting record. I didn't think there was anything that could convince me to come over to the Republicans since I disagree with them on almost every issue, plus I think they are the mean party - but, I promise you, if the Democrats take down NASCAR, I'm gone.

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