On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, President Obama delivered a
commemoration video that was shown in NFL stadiums. There was nothing
in his message that was political, and it was entirely appropriate.
And he was booed. Loudly. More boos than cheers, even.
“For people to boo this man while he’s commemorating 9/11 is just plain disrespectful,” said Natalie Dailey at the website liberalamerica.org.
She’s right. I imagine many on the left felt the same way. I’m on the
right, and I certainly thought it was embarrassing behavior.
Of course, this doesn’t mean people don’t have the right to boo the president. We all have free speech in this country.
But is it appropriate? Is it behavior that should be encouraged?
Remember when Michelle Obama was booed at a NASCAR event? That wasn’t
okay either. It’s behavior that should be condemned.
Or is it simply okay when your side does it?
Imagine if in addition to booing the Obamas, individual NFL players or
NASCAR drivers walked out in front of their audiences to tell President
Obama or his wife—however politely—that they should not only represent Democrats and progressives, but also culturally conservative Americans
who cling to their “guns or religion.”
That Barack Obama must be a president for “all of us.”
When Vice President-elect Mike Pence attempted to enjoy the hit
Broadway musical “Hamilton” Friday night, he was not only booed by the audience but received a special message from the cast during the
curtain call. “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
“We truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values
and work on behalf of all of us.”
“All of us,” Dixon repeated a second time.
The left has cheered this while the right has denounced it. Many
supporters of the “Hamilton” cast’s actions said progressives should
use any platform available to speak out against Donald Trump and Mike
Pence because they are so awful that they deserve it.
You can make the argument that Trump and Pence represent a unique
threat worthy of heightened attention and scorn—but there are millions
of Americans who have believed the same thing about Barack Obama. You
might disagree with them, but you can’t discount the fact that they are
as repelled by the left as progressives are by Trump and Pence.
I thought what the Hamilton cast did was condescending precisely
because they would never have given Democrats the same kind of
treatment. I wrote:
What do you think the millions of Americans who voted for
Trump perceive 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 who fancy themselves as guardians of acceptable
thought and speech, and so many Americans are just plain tired
This condescending attitude of the cultural elite is also part
of why Trump won in the first place.
What the “Hamilton” cast did to Pence is not about whether they are
right or wrong to be worried about the next administration—I sympathize
with many of their concerns—but about what is appropriate behavior.
People booing is beyond anyone’s control—at football games or Broadway musicals—but responsible people still don’t have to condone it, much
less encourage it. I don’t approve of Barack or Michelle Obama or Mike
Pence being booed in any of the contexts I have described here. I
question the judgment and perhaps character of those who do.
Imagine President Obama attending a country music concert where, in
front of the entire crowd, the artist used part of the show to share
his or her personal concerns about his administration.
The left would cry foul—and they would be right.
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