Jeffrey Earnhardt, a young prince of one of NASCAR’s royal families, and the Oath Keepers, a conspiracy-spinning “Constitutionalist” group, are joining forces for an upcoming race that “could help make Oath Keepers a household name.”
At least that’s the pitch – and the hope – of the Oath Keepers founder, Stewart Rhodes, as he tries to raise $30,000 in time to get a car on the track for a June 1 NASCAR-sanctioned second-tier race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del.
“This is the first of what we hope will be many races run with an Oath Keepers car,” Rhodes writes in an on-line money pitch. “The potential exposure is in the tens of millions.”
On its website, the far-right group says donations “will speak loudly to all the foes of our Republic, both foreign and domestic, so please be as generous as you can to help preserve the liberty we cherish.”
Rhodes, a Yale-educated lawyer and Army veteran, founded the rapidly growing organization in 2009. It is comprised mostly of active-duty police and military, as well as veterans, who worry about issues such as gun control and the much-feared “New World Order.”
Members swear (a second time) to uphold their oath to the Constitution and not to obey orders they think conflict with that. Among those orders (10 “Orders We Will Not Obey” are listed on the Oath Keepers website): Imposing martial law or a state of emergency on a state, and forcing those who resist into detention camps.
Rhodes insists his group is not antigovernment, but he and other Oath Keepers do describe the government as tyrannical and repressive.
The group hopes to raise enough money to plaster the racecar with its logo and name and the words “Defend The Constitution.”
To drive their speeding billboard around and around, the Oath Keepers have enlisted the heir to one of auto racings most accomplished families. Jeffrey Earnhardt is the 23-year-old grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion. His uncle is Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“Oath Keepers are those who stepped forward, raised their hand and are willing to die to protect and defend our Constitution,” the group quotes young Earnhardt as saying. “That means everything to me and I’m honored to be a part of this.”
The group says sponsoring Earnhardt’s number 79 car is part of a “public awareness campaign” to get the message out that “our Constitution is at risk.” Oath Keepers say the television audience for the race is usually 1.5 million but should be higher with the move from being broadcast on ESPN2 to ESPN this year.
In his appeal for donations, Rhodes said he expects the Oath Keepers car will “help to spread the message about the oath to millions of Americans who may not yet be fully awake to the ongoing assault on our Bill of Rights, and the rapidly increasing destruction of our Republic.”
“You know how late the hour is,” he added. “Help us awaken the ‘Sleeping Giant.’”