By now, everyone has heard that the Trump administration’s homophobe-in-chief, VP-elect Mike Pence, attended a performance of the hit musical ‘Hamilton’ last night. Post performance, the entire cast took the extraordinary step of addressing the newly minted VP-elect, who, we doubt it necessary to point out, is soon to be a national political official. The Hamilton cast thanked Pence for attending, and made “a statement emphasizing the need for the new administration … to work on behalf of all Americans.” Truly incendiary stuff, we know.
The Laughing Chimps’ point here is not to make fun of the fact that Mike Pence, christofascist and unreconstructed anti-gay bigot, spent an evening at a play that celebrates diversity and is headlined by a gay, HIV-positive actor. No, what caught the Chimps’ eye was the all-too-predictable reaction to the evening’s events from Dear Leader, Kim Jung Don. Free of adult supervision, the President-elect was able to sneak off to a corner with his tweeting machine, and the results were, sadly, predictable. He accused the cast of being “very rude” and having “harassed” Pence. “This should not happen,” Dear Leader proclaimed, and he demanded that the cast “[a]pologize!”
Needless to say, no apology is owed and none should be forthcoming. Nothing about the cast’s action was rude or disruptive, unlike some other First Amendment outbursts that come to mind. But we digress. The point that seems to have escaped Dear Leader, or more accurately, the point that he no doubt couldn’t care less about, is that the Hamilton cast’s statement was a classic example of speech protected by the First Amendment. It was political speech and it touched upon concepts like fairness and equal treatment for all – clearly matters of legitimate social concern.
At some point before Trump swears to uphold the Constitution he neither understands nor has any intent to follow, someone really should explain to him that elected public officials have no roving license to censor expression they find objectionable. We get that for someone like Donald Trump, removing the ability to threaten and intimidate his enemies takes away much of the fun of being the world’s most powerful playground bully. But treating others fairly, and observing unpleasantries like equal protection of the law, do kind of go with the territory.
For so miserably flunking even the basics of First Amendment for Dummies, the Laughing Chimps hereby award Dear Leader Kim Jung Don one Laughing Chimps Salute. Meantime, Don, next time you’re inclined to another bout of twitterrhea, get in touch with one of the Hamilton cast members. They undoubtedly know more about the Constitution than you do.