Jesus Christ: “For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
I’m a big fan of two things that occasionally conflict.
I like being polite to people. I think politeness is an extension of human dignity, when you are polite to people, you are by the nature of the act expressing the value of a human person. I think that a person who can be polite in the face of incivility shows a strength
I like free speech, it is vital for a free society, for science and for culture to advance, if you can’t speak freely you can’t sort, truth from falsehood, nor can you test theories and ideas that may or may not work.
Sometimes in life it is necessary to violate politeness for the sake of free speech, that is usually in a situation where one’s ability to speak and get one’s opinion out, is restricted.
The Cast of the broadway play Hamilton deciding to publicly lecture the vice president elect as he attended their show was not one of them:
The statement that Mr. Dixon read was written by the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, its director, Thomas Kail, and the lead producer, Jeffrey Seller, with input from cast members, Mr. Seller said.
“We had to ask ourselves, how do we cope with this?” Mr. Seller said. “Our cast could barely go on stage the day after the election. The election was painful and crushing to all of us here. We all struggled with what was the appropriate and respectful and proper response. We are honored that Mr. Pence attended the show, and we had to use this opportunity to express our feelings.”
Mr. Seller said that there was some discussion about whether it was appropriate to inject a political statement into the night, and that those involved decided to wait until the end of the performance.
There’s plenty to be offended by here but on the scale of left-wing obnoxiousness I’d say this scores about a 6 (out of 10). On one hand the message presumes that the incoming administration is a threat to pretty much everyone and everything, which is just obnoxious. And the bit about hoping Pence was inspired by the show presumes that, without that inspiration, he’s hopeless. Also, making this statement public— rather than, say, sending Pence a note from the cast privately— seems more about posturing for the cameras than communication. There’s no dialog possible here. It’s not as if Pence could respond or do anything but politely hear them out. This is the kind of national discussion the left loves: the kind where they talk and you listen.
The show Hamilton is one of the most popular ones on Broadway, the cast has a very platform and easy access to media, particularly in NYC who would like nothing more than to hear them publicly hit the incoming administration. The cast of Hamilton could have achieved the same effect by having making their statement in an open letter that I’m sure the NYT would have gladly published and the MSM endlessly repeated. Given that fact the necessity to violate the bounds of propriety by challenge a paying customer would seem rather pointless.
The media was delighted by this expression of free speech by the cast, however they weren’t all that delighted with the response of the president elect who stood by his vice president’s presumed right to enjoy a show with his wife without being directly lectured by the cast
Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.This should not happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2016
Imagine that, answering speech one finds offensive with, wait for it…MORE speech.
The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2016
The left was not amused at the president elect asserting the same 1st amendment rights that non members of the GOP have, particularly when he can reach 15 million plus people on twitter. Robert Reich’s reaction was typical
@realDonaldTrump, president-elect of the U.S. must stop using tweets to criticize speech he disagrees with. Could chill 1st amendment right.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) November 19, 2016
And those champions of free speech at the ACLU didn’t care for Donald Trump exercising his
Americans don't need to apologize-not even to presidents or vice presidents-for the lawful & proper exercise of their constitutional rights. https://t.co/daN147yjkM
— ACLU National (@ACLU) November 19, 2016
Given that fact I’m sure the ACLU, Professor Reich and the entire cast of Hamilton were delighted by these citizens lawfully executing their constitutional rights
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) November 19, 2016
What our friends on the left might have forgotten is while they are the vast majority of the eight million plus people in the city, even if only one in ten supported Trump and only one in 100 of that one in ten are up to flash mobbing Broadway that makes a potential 8000 people available for flash mobs available to make the experience of those considering attending a broadway show a bit more interesting. As reporter Kerry Picket put it:
Fine then. But when people start to interrupt their performances with their opinions, you'll be okay with that–right? https://t.co/rFXtH8tuzz
— Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) November 20, 2016
I’m sure our friends on the left will be absolutely delighted with this new standard of behavior which if applied nationwide to performances by liberal actors, musicians and comedians is sure to make the decision process for those considering attendance a more interesting one.
May they be happy with the incentive structure they have created.
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