By now I think it’s safe to say it was naive to assume any of the past two years worth of political mudslinging and extremist division was going to stop just because someone got elected. I know I was hopeful I’d stop seeing “Trump Train,” and “I’m with Her,” posts from family members and people I went to school with, but all the Trumpers have spent the past two weeks gloating and wallowing in their own victorious filth while all the good little Internet Che Guevara Clinton supporters have been tossing up hashtag after hashtag and temporary profile pic after temporary profile pic to make damn sure the whole world knows it wasn’t them that caused this to happen (it was).
The latest line in the web’s sand is the actions of the cast of the play “Hamilton,” who took it upon themselves to give Vice President elect
Mike Pence Cotton Hill?
Some people found it inappropriate that the cast would choose to voice their opinions in such a “private” forum, at their job, to be specific, and I have to say I wholly disagree.
Sure, to all the people in the audience who just came to see a play and leave, I can see how it might have been a little dissatisfying to have to listen to the cast’s hot takes on the American political climate, but was it really that far off the reservation? You’re at a play about one of our most prominent founding figures during the most volatile political climate a lot of us have ever experienced. If this had been a rant about climate change, or Kanye ranting rather than rapping, I’d have a little more sympathy. This is basically the equivalent of going to a play about the Apollo 11 mission and then listening to the cast members talk about the importance of funding for science in schools. What really sucks, and what I’m beyond sick of, is everyone’s hypocrisy about the entire event, and how nobody realizes this is exactly what our founders intended for the dialogue between citizen and government.
For the last eight years those on the left have lamented that if only the GOP controlled House of Representatives hadn’t
obstructed checked his initiatives, we’d all be diving into swimming pools of gold a la Scrooge McDuck. They consistently blamed his administration’s faults on the intentional blocking measures by Republican elected officials, completely missing both the fundamental structure of American federal government and the definition of the word elected. It’s as if they forgot that beyond the Presidency there’s an entire TWO MORE branches of government with just as equal authority as their holy Messiah. They saw the natural processes of government as specific targets against Obama solely because of his race and political ideology, never once stopping to think that perhaps there’s a country of 350 million people that might be unhappy with his decisions and might seek some sort of leverage against his agenda. Now that the tables have turned, they happily assume the role of agitator, looking at the cast of Hamilton as brave revolutionary compatriots taking up arms against a tyrant who has yet to be tyrannical. Oh you think Trump and Pence should temper their rhetoric, that they should seek compromises and that those in objection with their campaign should use all available resources to make their voices of opposition heard? Please, tell me more about how unfair the Republicans treated Obama during his presidency, I’m all ears.
On the flip side, Trump’s supporters are treating Pence’s theatre experience as the worst thing to happen to a politician since the last time a Republican was mistreated at a play. They’ve called for apologies, asked fellow representatives to denounce the performers and the play itself, and generally acted like a bunch of people who didn’t sign up to have their entire existence thrust before the American voting public. These are the same people who called Obama the antichrist, questioned his citizenry, called him a tyrant, un-American, evil, and just about every four letter nomenclature you can think of. They’ve spent the past eight years making a living and a political career off name calling and posturing their objections and now they’ve dared to claim that a bunch of actors telling their vice president that they hope America will remain as free the next four years as it is now is going too far? Keep in mind these are the same people who spent last holiday season harassing their local Starbucks barista by shouting that their name was Merry Christmas, but they think some citizens speaking to an elected official is going too far.
Maybe admitting a healthy amount of hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle is the first step to not being at each other’s throats. They say admittance is the first part of the process, so why don’t we start by admitting that we’ve both been irrational, we’ve both gotten so partisan that we can’t even distinguish when our government functions according to its framework, we’ve both become so wrapped up in winning the race we’ve forgotten there’s an entire country of people we have to work with and live next to. I’m not suggesting we all sit down and start holding hands around a campfire, but a good start might be to take a step back and ask ourselves, have we really been fighting over a play for the last week?