Hamilton Cast Exhort VPE Pence to American Ideals; Trump Trashes Free Speech

Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence went to Broadway last night to see Hamilton. The cast ended the show with a message for him and for all of our Trumpist leaders:

Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical. We really do…. We, sir, we 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, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us. Thank you [Brandon Dixon, statement from the stage, quoted in Sophie Tatum and Karl de Vries, “‘Hamilton’ Cast Urges Pence to ‘Uphold Our American Values’,” CNN.com, 2016.11.19].

I love theater. I recognize theater’s important role, like all literature, in provoking us to think about and live up to our ideals. Pence’s boss does not:

On Saturday, President-elect Donald Trump accused theatre-goers of having “harassed” Pence, writing on Twitter: “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!”

He also demanded an apology: “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!” [Joanna Walters, “Trump Demands Apology from Hamilton Cast After Mike Pence Booed,” The Guardian, 2016.11.19]

Citizens publicly criticizing their elected leaders, urging them to govern for all Americans, and documenting the event—yes, Donald, how rude. How harassing. How unsafe. Curse that First Amendment and the Founding Fathers who gave it to us to give you heartburn.

63 Responses to Hamilton Cast Exhort VPE Pence to American Ideals; Trump Trashes Free Speech

  1. Darin Larson

    This is Trump’s constant narrative: respectful advice and criticism against him and his administration is treated like it is a personal attack and beyond the pale rudeness while Trump does next to nothing about his inspiration for and enabling of an atmosphere where hate speech toward minorities is commonplace.


  2. Troy Jones

    Trump shouldn’t have responded and neither should this blog defend this when he was in personal time with his family. This might rev up a base of jackrears but everyone else is not impressed.

    When some Jackrear said something similar to the President in Hawaii on vacation in front of his kids, I said Jackrears have constitutional rights to speak but they are still Jack-rears. So it is with this guy.

    Everyone deserves the courtesy of moments of personal time.

  3. Darin Larson

    Troy, did you even read what was said by the cast? It was respectful and courtesy and the definition of freedom of speech. Trump’s overreaction was telling and you say nothing about that.

  4. Porter Lansing

    What’s a jackrear? Not in Oxford or Urban Dictionary.

  5. Darin Larson

    My mistake you did say Trump shouldn’t have said it, but the cast was respectful and courteous. There is a difference in the quality of speech.

  6. Porter Lansing

    Don Trump calls her nasty, bigoted, shameful, pandering, crooked, race-baiting Hillary, then accused a Broadway cast of being rude? Let’s all do everything we can to help President Trump.

  7. To understand the genius of “Hamilton” (and otherwise b e g i n to understand our American culture watch the PBS documentary (82 min) (PBS registration required – damn you PBS!):
    Then listen to the soundtrack.

    Our grandkids generation will perform Hamilton in our schools for decades.

    One commentor, after watching the documentary: “Thank you for the insight on this amazing creation. I watched about half last night and will see the entire documentary with my granddaughter this evening.. I saw the musical with her and was astonished when she sang every song, some through tears, as we watched. A fifteen year old crying over the triumphs and tragedies of our founding fathers!”

  8. Roger Cornelius

    As has been proven in the last eight years of the Obama Presidency, there is no private time for the president or vice president.
    Trump and Pence just as well get used to it, they can expect more to come.
    Trump and Pence have earned the right to be harassed at every turn during the next four years.
    Respect and courtesy always work both ways.

  9. Richard Schriever

    Trump, the serial harasser, projects all responsibility to others.

  10. No more of those silly press conferences when you have a Twitter account. The new way of governing in 140 characters or less. Trump has reminded folks that read history or of immigrant families that came here from Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal what a dictatorship really entails.

  11. Trump brings out the jackrear side of people by constantly displaying his own jackrear personality and jackrear bigotry. The folks who bood Pence are merely using the WWE-style jackrear discourse championed and encouraged by Trump. The cast, on the other hand, delivered a thoughtful entreaty to VP-Elect Pence, who by all accounts received the message in the spirit with which it was delivered. While Pence may have been made to feel uncomfortable, that would seem to go along with the job and the high profile he sought. Remember the jackrear Republican congressman from South Carolina who yelled “you lie!” during President Obama’s State of the Union Address? At least nobody in the Hamilton audience lost their cool at Pence to that extent.

  12. mike from iowa

    Our last election was stolen by wingnuts aided and abetted by the FBI and Russia. THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN! APOLOGIZE then resign.

  13. No Mike, the election was not stolen. Trump gets the prize based on the rules the founding fathers set out, but he doesn’t have the mandate of popular opinion behind him. I have to laugh at the numerous news stories written by Republicans that say Trump won because his message resonated, when his message actually resonated with at least 1.6 million less voters than Clinton’s message resonated with. The fact he got 80,000 more votes in 2 states that put him over the top electorally while falling short 1.6+ million in popular support nationwide does not a mandate make. If there is any mandate it is for Trump to pursue Clinton’s agenda as President.

  14. No, as a fictional character Rorschach, you of all should know how fiction works when you are hacking. You are simply wrong, here is what mfi is speaking of https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/10/07/joint-statement-department-homeland-security-and-office-director-national

    It does not get much clearer than that. This was a government takeover by a foreign power.

  15. I’m like the Velveteen Rabbit, jerry. I’m real.

  16. Troy, was Pence’s family there? Does the VP-Elect get personal time in a public place, especially when he sits in the center orchestra section?

    Pence has less claim to a shield against booing or an intelligent, straightforward critique from the stage than President Obama did during the State of the Union speech in which he was heckled as a liar, as Ror reminds us. Go sit in the middle of a public audience and expect no one to notice you or say anything about your policies? Not gonna happen, at least not until Il Duce starts deploying the SS and hauling away dissidents who refuse to “apologize”.

  17. If Pence or Trump come to Aberdeen for some “personal time” and I see them coming into the Capitol Theater, Red Rooster, or some other such public establishment, I will make my opinion of their regime known.

  18. Your name threw me sir, I beg your indulgence on my indiscretion. But the facts are stubborn and they all show that there was clear Russian involvement. BTW, the director of National Security, Clapper, has resigned.

  19. So, when conservatives return the favor in 4 or 8 or 12 or 16 years, will the newly elected Democrat be forced to reside within the blue specks of liberal land? Will that Democrat’s family and friends be fair game for every conceivable insult? I would hope not, but I am all for returning the favor if it continues. Yes, the Hillary campaign and Obama toyed with the GOP primaries to get Trump. Congratulations.

  20. Darin Larson

    Spencer says “Will that Democrat’s family and friends be fair game for every conceivable insult?”

    You are kidding right!? What was the insult to Pence? It was a respectful dialogue that thanked Pence for being there and described their concerns.

  21. This presidency will be a terrifying roller coaster ride for the First Ammendment. On one hand we have a president has already proven he intends to rewrite the book on controlling the narrative with his choosing of Steve Bannon as his Senior Counselor. On the other you will see a continued all out assault on the free speech of anyone who crosses him. I don’t take it lightly referencing Hitler, because I feel it’s more often than not a disgrace to those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, but this is extremely scary. This is exactly what brought Hitler to power.

  22. Chip, this will only be a terrifying roller coaster ride if you are not strapped in. Just remember, his position not only has an effect on you, but also on everyone else, regardless of party and regardless of race. Here in South Dakota, the powers to be deny Medicaid Expansion for a mostly white working class worker. Oligarchy does not know skin tone nor does it know gender, it only knows money and how to take it. When everyone tires of the theft, which should not take too long, you can unstrap yourself and do something. Hitler could only do so much within his grasp and then he had to go to other countries to get more. Here, there is no Sudetenland, the low countries or states will soon be under water, nothing to take there but saltwater and sand, there is nothing to make a war machine work as we do not manufacture here anymore, well, there ya go.

  23. Jason Sebern

    I am very proud of the cast of Hamilton for sending a strong message to the new administration. I think it is a sign that young people of this country will not acquiesce to the hate-filled rhetoric of Donald Trump. They will use social media and take to the street to challenge him every step of the way. A movement is building and demographics will determine the final outcome. Trump and his gang will be on the wrong side of history in more ways than one …

  24. Porter Lansing

    Excellent prediction, Mr. Sebern. This election was an outlier and will be barely remembered in history as anything other than an awakening of the young Dems.

  25. mike from iowa

    Spencer is a typical rwnj. Past history starts in the present because they don’t want to remember the scorn and derision heaped on out first Black and last legally elected(twice) Potus and his wife and family by racist whites.

  26. Darin Larson

    The new CIA director to be in the Trump administration, Mike Pompeo, may have taught Trump how to tweet. In 2010, Pompeo’s campaign tweeted a link to a blog that called his Indian-American opponent a “Turban-Topper” and referred to President Obama as an “Evil Muslim Communist Usurper.” Pompeo had to apologize for that one, but Trump could have taken his inspiration right out of Pompeo’s playbook. Steve Bannon, I’m sure, was proud.

    Spencer and Troy, I don’t think that the message from the cast of Hamilton is in the same league as what some in the Trump administration have doled out in terms of advice to and criticism of Obama. The hate group going main stream continues.

  27. “Remember the jackrear Republican congressman from South Carolina who yelled “you lie!” during President Obama’s State of the Union Address?” yup, it started this last round of 8 years of diatribe.

    spenser-u ever hear rush Limbaugh dish on Obama and his family, Biden and his family, Clintons and their family? we’ve been taking his tripe for 29 years. trump has already topped Limbaugh and does nearly every thing rush tells him todo, 5 days a week.

    “No Mike, the election was not stolen.” for starters, read these articles. go back to Bloomberg 2015. we’ve been played, yet again.

    yes it was. http://www.npr.org/2016/11/17/502413784/journalist-says-steve-bannon-had-a-years-long-plan-to-take-down-hillary-clinton



  28. I don’t disagree people have a right to say as they please and it comes with the territory. I just think proper decorum is when a public official is obviously on personal time to allow them to enjoy the moment with their time. I never applauded the jack rear’s who did it when Obama or Biden were on obviously personal time and I don’t applaud this. People are going to do what they choose (and probably makes them feel better) but it didn’t change Obama’s mind, it won’t change Pence’s mind, and it doesn’t positively impact anyone (regardless of whether they like Pence, don’t like Pence or in the middle) who also thinks they should have some family time.

    But, it obviously makes the base feel good. More power to you.

  29. David Newquist

    During the American Revolution, American theater became an important and highly influential vector for political and cultural satire and for portraying the heroic virtues that shaped the American character. It developed the character of “Jonathan Yankee” as a definition of the way American character departed from the Old World. That tradition is reflected in Saturday Night Live.

    However, what rankles Trump and his vassals is probably not the statement delivered to Pence by the the creators and cast of “Hamilton,” but the booing of the audience as he entered the theater. Trump has changed politics in America and divided it in a way that may well be irrevocable. After spending a year and a half campaigning in a manner that showed how despicable it is possible for a human being to be, he makes the idea of national unity an act of atrocity. Respecting Trump is like respecting Teufel’s Dreck (devil’s dung).

    The argument is that when people such as Pence are off looking for entertainment on their own time, shouldn’t they be spared confrontation? However, those theater goers were on their own time and were looking for some respite of Trump has wrought. Weekend tickets are extremely expensive are sold out well into 2017. So as people prepare for an entertaining evening about the American Revolution, here comes a representative of Teufel’s Dreck who is a reversal of the quest for freedom, equality, and justice that the Revolution launched.

    Trump is the one who destroyed any semblance of decorum. As long as there are people who value the traditions of decency, Trump and his kind will face expressions of contempt and opposition every place they go.

  30. mike from iowa

    Drumpf made another tweet about the incident but soon deleted it.


    Dr Newquist is right as rain as to who is responsible for dragging the narrative beneath the gutter. His cabinet choices would make the Confederate States white proud.

  31. mike from iowa

    What Troy and others from the right fail to understand is Obama takes criticism to heart and does not do or suggest anyone else do anything to prevent opposition from exercising their 1st amendment rights.

    Wingnuts don’t share that view. They aren’t in the least bit opposed to physical confrontations and violence on behalf of their supporters and have even encouraged violent acts. And Drumpf has also plainly stated in public he would pay thug’s fines The elegant and stately Obama has never said anything that crass.

  32. I wound agree Troy that the booing was a bit questionable, but his comments were made with the utmost of respect. Would you be as concerned if they had taken a moment to congratulate him on his win on “his time”. I would say that Pence also showed a bit of hypocrisy in showing his face there. It would be like a very vocal atheist going to church and not expecting a bit of pushback.

  33. *would agree

  34. Also Troy, while Pence was arguably not at work, they were, and Pence was in their house.

  35. Historical context speaks of this time only later. https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-reality-tv-politics-by-nina-l–khrushcheva-2016-11?utm_source=Project+Syndicate+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1cc802d5de-rodrik_straight_talk_on_trade_20_11_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_73bad5b7d8-1cc802d5de-104755217

    Dr, Newquist is on target, there must be expressions of contempt. Theater must be the proud venue as the airways will soon be neutered with net neutrality. What a word for censorship.

  36. David Newquist

    The American principle is at work in the disrespect shown Trump and the GOP. They got it the old-fashioned way. They worked hard for it and earned it.

  37. Richard Schriever

    mfi – Directly opposite Lincoln’s Republican party, who fought to hold the union together against the traitorous anti-constitutionalist South, Trump’s Republicans have surrendered to Southern sensibilities. Today’s Republican party can no longer claim to be the party of Lincoln.

  38. Richard Schriever

    jerry – you misunderstand the term “net neutrality”.

  39. Mr. Schriever, what I understand is “gatekeepers” As an example, if the gatekeeper decides that the content of a blog site or news site is deemed unnecessary, the site can be replaced by something the gatekeepers deem as necessary. Of course, the idea is for advertising but it could just as well be used to stifle information. This is Obama’s support for net neutrality
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/net-neutrality So that makes it a target just for his support.

    How do you understand it?

  40. Troy Jones


    Good point. I think President Obama was uncomfortable a few times when he got praise as well when he was desiring a moment to be a regular person enjoying a night with his wife. I think but could be wrong when he and Michelle had gone to the Kennedy Center, slipped into a box and were recognized. I remember his expression looked sheepish.

    And there is the famous night (was it their anniversary?) the Obama’s flew to NY for dinner and the press was there when they left and shouted questions where Michelle rightly snapped back. I had a sense if he had indulged the press even a bit he would have slept on the couch that night.

  41. Roger Cornelius

    One more time, the president and vice president when out in public have no private time.
    Trump and Pence may as well get used to the public showing their contempt for them.

  42. Roger,

    I am sure you defended the jack rear’s who showed their contempt for President Obama when he was riding a bike with his children in Hawaii or when he was having dinner with his wife. When we don’t recognize a person’s humanity (even the President) trying to be a regular person, we aren’t showing our better side.

  43. Roger Cornelius

    Trump’s humanity?
    Could of fooled me.
    President Obama, Michelle and their daughters did nothing to earn the contempt of their haters other than being black.
    Trump in the past year and a half has a long list of hate and contempt for nearly every racial minority, women, the disabled, etc.
    As David Newquist stated, Trump and Pence have earned the right to be booed at every public appearance they make.
    How many hateful and deceitful cartoons and jokes will we see directed at Trump in the next four years.

  44. bearcreekbat

    “When we don’t recognize a person’s humanity (even the President) trying to be a regular person, we aren’t showing our better side.”

    I wonder what side folks thought they were showing with their labels and name calling when discussing Hillary Clinton? It certainly was not recognizing her humanity.

  45. Pence gives his answer….

    Pence: ‘I wasn’t offended’ by message of ‘Hamilton’ cast

    …..but the devil is in the details:

    “I do want to say that the basic element, the center of that message is one I want to address and that is I know this is a very disappointing time for people that did not see their candidate win in this national election,” Pence said.

    So these people are just pissy that Hillary didn’t win? Is that really your answer? Do you think they would have said the same to Jeb? Kasich? Rubio? What an arrogant/ignorant prick.

  46. Thx Troy, but I’d really like to see these things for myself.

  47. Saturday Night Live got under Trump’s skin as well. We are being governed by a middle school operation.

    Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
    I watched parts of @nbcsnl Saturday Night Live last night. It is a totally one-sided, biased show – nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?
    6:26 AM – 20 Nov 2016
    9,159 9,159 Retweets 35,595 35,595 likes

    Republicans now have equal time with the always intellectual, Tucker Carlson. Comedic gold mine indeed.

  48. mike from iowa

    The difference that wingnuts won’t admit is Obama has never sicced followers or Secret Service detail to cause any kind of physical confrontation/violence against critics.

    Obama and his family have been nothing but classy and the perfect role model of using diplomacy to defuse potential threats. Drumpf has been the exact opposite and is tearing the fabric of our nation apart in spades.

  49. It doesn’t bother me what the fine young Broadway actor said. Nothing wrong with a positive message, and what do you expect, everyone knows that Theater and Arts professionals lean progressive.

  50. Roger Cornelius

    If Trump doesn’t think Saturday Night Live isn’t funny, it has got to be hilarious.

  51. mike from iowa

    Can anyone remind me of the last time any of the Obama’s threatened to sue over a perceived slight from the media or anyone else?

    Melanoma Drumpf has threatened to sue over her alleged immigrant status and Drumpf has threatened to sue pretty much everybody else. Classy folks, ain’t they?

  52. Porter Lansing

    Garrison Keillor wrote that one big reason Don Trump ran for President was because the cool people in NYC would have nothing to do with him. Wouldn’t include him socially and would ridicule him behind his back for his boorish behavior. Keillor said that Trump really believes that as President the New York elite will have to respect him. The jokes on SNL must be an ego deflator, for sure. I watch it every week and believe me, it’s hilarious and won’t end.

  53. Trump needs to realize it’s an honor to be portrayed comedically and with such artistry on SNL. The actors on SNL are some of the best.

  54. This continual demeaning of the Hamilton cast is all the more reason to believe that Trump is suffering from some sort of undiagnosed mental illness. If he can’t take a positive message from a group of professional Broadway actors that wasn’t even directed at him, it is going to be a very long four years.
    It looks like to me with the symptoms he has of obsessing, that he could possibly be suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. He has also admitted that he has narcissistic personality disorder. Many people with mental illness have more than one diagnosis.

  55. Porter Lansing

    The insider joke is that President Trump had to build golf ⛳️ courses because no club would agree to make him a member. (He’d fit right in at Westward Ho, huh Troy?)

  56. Look for more scripted moments produced and directed to scare the hell out of people while they fleece us. Nothing new here, but now you have Bannon making the script. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHDDQVZ-A98

  57. mike from iowa

    At least once during the campaign, Drumpf took his SS contingent overseas to open a golf course (at taxpayers expense). He had no political business to attend to and no pretense of anything but a personal business jaunt. Drumpf also stashes the agents in his hotels and gets to bill the gubmint for likely bigly inflated rates.

  58. It appears you took Trump’s bait and are playing Trump’s script – making the the non-event at Hamilton the news, instead of focusing on the fraud and alleged crimes at Trump U.
    Feast on these:

  59. mike from iowa

    Could be, John, however the title of this post was not about Drumpf lying about how he would have won the lawsuit if being Potus didn’t take up so much of his time.

    Drumpf doesn’t bait anyone. I’d go with Russia or the FBI on Drumpf’s behalf.

  60. mike from iowa

    Trump supporter interrupts “HAMILTON” in Chicago with shouts of “We won! You Lost! Get over it! F*ck you!” Such reasonable people

    Totally unhinged. totally bereft of reality.

  61. Boy, a lot of people are trying to change my topics lately.

    John, I don’t see it as a non-event. I see Trump living up to our fears that he will play petty Emperor, thinking he can dictate silence, ignore First Amendment rights and decency, and get drawn into distraction by minor fracases. If, John, as you say, the Hamilton cast’s statement to VPE Pence was a non-event, then it behooves the President-Elect far more than any of us not to pay attention to it.