Vice President-elect Mike Pence met some fans at the theater last night -- fans of Hillary Clinton, that is.
Pence showed up at the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York and was met with a chorus of boos, as Variety reports:
Upon arrival at the Richard Rodgers Theater, he was loudly booed — although some audience members also cheered him on. As journalist Mark Harris pointed out on Twitter, playgoers are typically largely tourists from other areas.
That quote, of course, does the lion's share of explaining why Pence and his running mate Donald Trump won the election as it overtly sets out the "us vs them" tone with a snarky nod to the "tourists from other areas." People, and you should understand this by now cosmopolitans, do not like condescension.
And it was bad form for theater people, and a bit disappointing behavior from people who generally try to forgive a bad performance in hopes that the players will have improved by next curtain call. If anyone understands how hard it is to win over a hostile audience, it's stage people. Perhaps you could apply some of that forgiveness to your political leaders?
Pence and Trump (who apparently took to Twitter last night to complain), for their part, would do well to offer the same kind of latitude as they go forward with their agenda because it would be lying to suggest that people do not feel exactly the way the cast -- in a bit of remarkable courage, agree with the sentiment or not -- feels, as they made plain directly to their new Vice President (and he is YOUR new Vice President, players) as he exited the show.
— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) November 19, 2016
Because, like it or not New Yorkers and all other residents of the "acceptable" places to live, these two men are, after all, the leaders of the nation you belong to. And, like it or not Trump/Pence, you are leaders of an entire nation of people, many of whom would have preferred your opponents and find the top of your ticket coarse and rude and not like them. At all. They have that sentiment in common, only in reverse, with the rust-belt voters who gave Trump his new job.
Pence, for his part, offered his olive branch by showing up at an event he likely knew would be hostile; and the players offered theirs, in the way theater people know how to express themselves, passionately and dramatically from the stage. It was a nice attempt at reconciliation and both sides behaved appropriately.
A final thought for the players, however, from an excellent look at Hamilton the man (whom the cast has an obvious respect and admiration for), written by Ben Domenech a year ago when talk of removing him from U.S. currency was gaining traction:
Alexander Hamilton was a bastard. Indeed, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson never tired of calling him that – the ‘Bastard Brat of a Scots Pedlar’ who infuriated them time and again. They called him this for one reason above all: that when it came to forming the American nation, Alexander Hamilton ate their lunch.
Sometimes those bastards turn out to do great things. It's just something to think about next time you see a political opponent who hails from "other areas," both literally and figuratively.