Trump is a polarizing leader by design. His base is composed of people that live in parts of the country that, for the most part, aren’t among the highest priority vacation destinations. There are exceptions, of course, but there’s no escaping the fact that there’s no Broadway in Kansas, nor a Malibu Beach in Oklahoma. Basically, there’s nothing there, except for Americans, and that ought to be enough.
These are Trump’s crowd, the slice of the country who believe their man’s, probably, Russian assisted win, will make their lives better. That’s what Trump campaigned on and what his fans expect of him. This doesn’t, however, entitle them to A-list entertainment at Trump’s investiture as the 45th President of America.
The short list of celebrities who’ve agreed to help commemorate Trump’s elevation wouldn’t budge ratings in any sweeps week period. If they headlined in Vegas it’d be at an off the main drag room with a strip club nearby. In the world of entertainment little Scottie Baio draws more flies, to the carcass of his dead career, than fans. It’d be best if he stayed away from the January 20th celebrations on grounds of public health.
Jackie Evancho, who has agreed to perform, has one of the best voices in the classical-crossover business. She is, however, still, only sixteen. You could expect her, despite good sales, to be as at home in the church choir as on the biggest political stage in the world. If she wasn’t so young her management might not have let her sing for fear it would damage future prospects.
The dearth of talent willing to stand up for Trump on his big day is a result of his messaging. You can’t expect what is, essentially, a liberal constituency to make the inauguration great for a guy who has threatened to lock up his opponent and rid us, once and for all, of the scourge of Mexicans and Muslims. It’s like asking the Von Trappe family to sing at their town’s musical festival back in the day.
Bill O’Reilly says entertainers who don’t agree to participate in the inauguration are unpatriotic. He thinks they’re jerks for not celebrating the “peaceful transfer of power.” He’s ignoring, however, that the first amendment protects the right not to speak as much as the right to say what you want. When Trump urged his followers to beat up people at rallies who disagreed with his message he was exercising a right, however questionable, to campaign as he wished. To refuse to sing and dance for him, many performers think, would endorse his free expression.
There are some other showbiz types who are going to appear on Trump’s playbill. Not all on them are doing so voluntarily, it seems. There is a kerfuffle about the Rockettes, some of who don’t want to get scanty in his presence and a dissident singer has thrust the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s appearance in a dubious light, too. There will not be a poet at the event, most think.
Kellyanne Conway, who spins best of all the Trump team, has put the showbiz boycott in proper perspective when she said that this is an inauguration for the people, not entertainers. She’s right. It would be hypocritical to judge the success of the event by the sideshow acts.
Trump is the star of his show and doesn’t need celebrities to make himself look bigger and better. He won the election. That’s all that counts. After he puts his hand on a Bible held by a family member and says a few words it’s a done deal. Streisand or Katie Perry can’t make it more done than it will be at that moment.
One of the most puzzling aspects of Trump’s election is that his people are still in the attack mode they were before the votes were cast. The paranoid streak that many Trump supporters are showing, for example, by fretting over who’s going to get on stage with the new President is illogical.
There is always going to be an opposition to the winner of any election in a democratic society. It’s the most fundamental of all checks and balances. The losers are expected to make their feelings known because that prevents totalitarian governments.
When Vladimir Putin’s government put Pussy Riot in jail for singing protest punk music in Moscow’s Cathedral they deserved it, if for no other reason than creating a public nuisance to people trying to pray. They were not labeled traitors for refusing to appear at his swearing in ceremonies. Trump’s supporters ought to re-think their position about what’s important and what isn’t. Whether the “A” list shows on January 20th, when all is said and done, is as meaningless as Chris Christie is now. Get over it and start to govern, not whine.