Last week we saw a small dust-up over the appearance of our Vice President Elect Mr Pence at Hamilton. First he was booed by the audience, then the cast addressed him with a message.
“We hope you will hear us out. …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,” Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor who played Aaron Burr, read to audience cheers. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf all of us.”
This message was neither threatening nor offensive. It did not nor did anyone or anything else impact the show, detract from the performance, or impede the audience experience in any way. This ladies and gentlemen is what we Americans call Freedom of Speech. It is dear to our democratic government and protected by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But immediately afterward we saw a Tweet from our President elect:
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
So Trump demands an apology. For what? Exercising their First Amendment Right of Free Speech. Imagine if the theater had erupted in cheers instead of Boos. We wouldn’t be having this conversation at all. The effect here is that the President elect (not technically elect until the Electoral College votes) is demanding only positive media and social information. Freedom of speech is protected by our first amendment yet right now we’re seeing it squeezed and deliberately marginalized, more on that later.
For now just think about the impact of a President attempting to squash one of your rights. The right of an investigative reporter to research and report . Our right to be informed, and our right to share our conclusions with each other, our legislators, and our President. We lose that, and we have lost our democracy. We all need to be on watch.
So where have I been? I just completed a term on the Board of Directors for a non-profit organization. I became concerned about both my time and the potential for conflict of interest. If anyone actually missed this blog, sorry. But today is new and there is much to talk about. I will do my best to keep the keyboard rolling and to solicit works and inputs from others. Meanwhile as for media censorship, even if it IS the President elect, sorry bud, as the NRA faction likes to make point on a similar constitutional right, you’ll have to pry my free speech from my cold dead lips.