The world near me is literally on fire. Florida beat LSU. I’m in the mood to ruin some people’s evenings. If you’re interested in a thought experiment, keep reading. If you’re the type that doesn’t like to think, and would rather have a nice evening, move on. Nothing to see here.
Still with me? Good, because you’re one of the smart ones. I like having you here. Allow me to present a theory. What if I told you last night started a chain of events where Donald Trump got a second term, and Kanye West held a high level position in his administration? Does that sound like a crazy prediction? It’s nothing different than what we’re seeing right now, is it?
Recently our Vice President Elect, Mike Pence, took a trip to Broadway. The crowd booed his entrance. After the show concluded, Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor who plays Aaron Burr, singled out Pence and read a speech to him prepared once the show’s cast, crew and producer knew Pence would show up. You’ve probably seen clips of it by now. Here’s a sample of the text.
“Thank you for joining us at Hamilton: An American Musical. 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. We hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and work on behalf of ALL of us. Thank you.”
“I hope he thinks of us every time he has to deal with an issue or talk about a bill or present anything.”
People saw both performances. Let’s discuss the demographic. One, the Hamilton audience is a strong indicator of what the “elite,” “upper class” voters think. Prices on StubHub range in the triple digits for a performance of Hamilton, with tickets in NYC going for over a thousand bucks. Kanye West tickets are significantly cheaper. That means the folks working a nine to five are more likely to have seen a Kanye show than “Hamilton.” Those just might include the same demographic that threw the lever in a voting booth for a Trump/Pence ticket.
Let’s remember the people who decided this election. It wasn’t the “alarmed” or the wine sipping elites who came to vote. It was the guy down the road at Denso who’s losing his house while working over eighty hours a week. It was the woman who, despite being white, working class, and educated, didn’t like being told what to do and threw a “fuck you” vote to Trump and Pence because they didn’t want their kids worrying about a bathroom incident. Tremendous influencers, like Milo Yiannopolous, who managed to make being conservative and supporting Trump this generation’s version of wearing flannel and blasting “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at every opportunity the epitome of “cool,” brought in the millennial vote.
Now take a look at the world from the eyes of those people, the disaffected, those who voted in Donald Trump, and see what Brandon Dixon’s speech did compared to Kanye’s tirade.
Those outside the media, outside the elites, those who saw the footage on Buzzfeed and HuffPo didn’t see a thespian making a political statement. They saw a dude on a Broadway stage disrespecting and lecturing the next Vice President of the United States. They saw a crowd of those who they despise most playing the #NotMyPresident shtick to the fullest.
Meanwhile, the people at the Kanye show are closer to the working class that elected Trump. They know Kanye is a guy prone to hyperbole, and that Kanye is a guy who understands in our current world facts mean less than your ability to persuade. If you disagree with that statement, please go read the work of Scott Adams, then come back, apologize, then sit in a corner with your dunce cap.
Guess who remembers the statements from the media “big shots” the most?
If your answer to question 1 was “the people who voted Trump,” you’ve been paying attention.
If you didn’t get either question right, then congratulations: you might be one of the reasons we have President Elect Trump as President Trump in 2020.
Thank you. Consider your night ruined, or enlightened.