Presidential Campaign

Pence’s shaming ‘in the room where it happens’ is itself a shame

It’s no secret many celebrities strongly oppose President-elect Donald Trump.

They made it clear during the election through tiresome music videos and hyperbolic statements that likely helped Trump win.

Now it’s apparently vice-president-elect Mike Pence’s turn to get shamed.

{mosads}Friday night at a performance of the musical “Hamilton,” Pence got a hefty dose of intolerance when he was booed upon entering the theater. Following the show, Aaron Burr-playing cast member Brandon Dixon thanked Pence for attending and then proceeded to express alarm and concern for how Trump’s administration would treat religious and ethnic minorities.

It was grandstanding worthy of the ages, capping a show where performers sung various tunes about immigrants and what it’s like when people hate their king directly for Pence’s benefit (and to the audience’s glee). For what it’s worth, Pence appeared to be enjoying the show and applauded frequently and politely. By the time of Dixon’s statement, Pence had already left his seat, but reportedly heard Dixon’s remarks from near the orchestra area.

Undoubtedly propelled by Trump’s rhetoric and a reported “wave of hate” following his win, as well as intolerance for Pence’s socially conservative positions, Dixon made no mention of the disruptive anti-Trump protests that have consumed Portland, Chicago and other cities.

There was no mention in Dixon’s appeal to left-leaning voters or Hillary Clinton supporters to condemn the kind of violence that sent a 15-year-old Trump supporter to hospital after being beaten at an anti-Trump student rally in Rockville, MD. A man choked and shoved for wearing a Trump hat in New York City. A teen girl attacked at school for expressing support for Trump on social media. And in Brooklyn, a 74-year-old was beaten by an anti-Trump protester.

Humiliating Pence in front of a sold-out crowd of people who already probably mostly disliked and resented him was a low move. So was fashion designer Sophie Theallet’s recent “open letter” expressing pride at having helped dress First Lady Michelle Obama and a refusal to do the same for incoming FLOTUS Melania Trump.

These kind of maudlin protestations didn’t curb Trump’s appeal in the primaries or general election and they won’t work now. In fact they’ll just rally his base.

As I wrote back in July of this year, Trump’s selection of Pence was a solid move, cementing socially conservative support and serving as a symbol of those tired of being cowed and humiliated by the cultural shift to the left on almost every issue affecting their lives.

Broadway made it clear they were “With Her” during the general election, and now the “Hamilton” cast clearly felt it was time for a brave stand. Like those brave statements they made every time Obama’s drone strikes killed innocent people of color and Muslims overseas. Those brave statements must just not be up on YouTube yet, I guess.

Now these Broadway performers of “Hamilton” will get a collective pat on the back from sympathetic voices in the media for their unctuous overture in publicly shaming Pence. Maybe they’ll go on the news to make ever-so-sincere statements of concern over Trump’s rhetoric, since it’s clear to every reasonable person that the world was just hunky-dory before Trump and Pence came along.

Pence will undoubtedly be asked about his theater experience. But when it comes to figuring out what’s going on and why Trump is soon going to be the next president with a stacked Republican government, one thing is clear: the echo chamber that didn’t see Trump coming isn’t learning anything new, it’s just turning up the volume.  

Paul Brian is a freelance journalist whose interests include politics, religion, and world news. His website is

The views of Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill
Tags 2016 presidential election Broadway Democratic Party Donald Trump Hamilton Hillary Clinton Make America Great Again Michelle Obama Mike Pence Minority issues New York New York City Republican Party United States

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