Imagine a president of the United States who rounded up and deported more immigrants than any other in history; put an entire generation of black men
in jail with their draconian anti-drug policies; ran a horrid racist
against America’s first black president; attacked victims of sexual
or had policies that were responsible for the deaths of countless innocent civilians?
Would the cast of “Hamilton” give a special wag-of-the-finger message to
leaders during their performance?
Of course they wouldn’t—they absolutely love and adore Barack Obama and
and Hillary Clinton.
When Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a “Hamilton” performance
night, the cast made a spectacle of his presence. “We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold
our inalienable rights,” said actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron
Burr in the hit Broadway musical.
“We truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us.”
I don’t disagree at all with this sentiment. I have had similar concerns
it comes to Donald Trump’s administration and have been an outspoken
the bigotry, racism, misogyny and other troubling aspects of what his
But what do you think the millions of Americans who voted for Trump
when they see cast members of the most popular musical ever appearing to lecture the next vice president—who was merely attending a Broadway show?
It’s patronizing. It’s insulting.
It’s yet another example of the pomposity of entertainers and celebrities
fancy themselves as guardians of acceptable thought and speech, and so many Americans are just plain tired of it.
This condescending attitude of the cultural elite is also part of why Trump
won in the first place.
The “Hamilton” cast’s behavior is a prime example of the “smug style in American liberalism” described at length by Vox’s Emmett Rensin:
There is a smug style in American liberalism. It has been growing
these past decades. It is a way of conducting politics, predicated
on the belief that American life is not divided by moral difference
or policy divergence — not really —but by the failure of half the
country to know what’s good for them.
In 2016, the smug style has found expression in media and in
in the attitudes of liberals both visible and private, providing a
foundational set of assumptions above which a great number of
liberals comport their understanding of the world.
British actor and comedian Tom Walker—a progressive vehemently opposed to Trump—made a similar point about the left’s attitude toward those outside
their political and cultural bubble in an angry but poignant video rant
“Not everyone that voted for Trump is a sexist or a racist,’ Walker yells.
The left is responsible for this result because the left have now
decided that any other opinion, any other way of looking at the
world is unacceptable. We don’t debate anymore because the left won
the cultural wars. So if you’re on the right, you’re a freak.
evil. You’re racist. You’re stupid. You are a basket of
How do you think people are going to vote if you talk to them like
The cast of “Hamilton” was not explicitly rude to Pence, though some in the audience were:
Mike Pence booed at Hamilton is exactly the type of content I
come to Twitter for.
Yet, singling Pence out in a way the cast never would have with virtually
Democrat, sends a message that what the Vice President-elect represents is uniquely deserving of contempt. It broadcasts the notion that anyone who
voted for this man deserves scorn, disdain, and yes, lecturing.
People are tired of it, and this weariness goes beyond mere Republican and Democrat, left and right, and even basic right and wrong.
Rensin wrote his Vox essay about liberals’ smug style in April. He
at the time, citing Trump’s support, “It is this attitude that has driven
dispossessed into the arms of a candidate who shares their fury.” He
continued, “It is this attitude that may deliver him the White House, a ‘serious’ threat, a threat to be mocked and called out and hated, but not
be taken seriously.”
“The wages of smug is Trump,” Rensin concluded.
Benny Arthur Johnson
Imagine, for a moment, that Hillary Clinton was elected President.
The announcement of her victory incites violent, damaging protests
in dozens of cities, where Trump supporters are getting paid to
terrorize the population. The chant "She is not my President" rings
through classrooms & public buildings, as students are encouraged
their teachers to walk out in tearful protest. Prominent designers
sanctimoniously refuse her & her husband service and celebrities
declare they will "fight her." Alec Baldwin holds back tears as he
sings 'Hallelujah' playing Trump in the SNL Cold Open & promises "I
won't give up on America, neither should you." GOP operatives
solicit donations to "kick her ass." Tim Kaine attends a Broadway
play & is treated like an animal by the audience & snobbishly
lectured to by the cast from the stage.
I would be disgusted if this was the way we treated our first woman
President. Come to think of it, we should all be disgusted if we
treat *any* President-elect this way.
As usual, the "intolerant right" tolerates the "tolerant left's" usual intolerance.