On Saturday, President Trump announced that he won't attend December's Kennedy Center awards ceremony. According to the White House, Trump fears his attendance would be a "political distraction."
Trump's decision follows statements by at least three of five awardees that they would boycott the event if he attended.
In that regard, Trump deserves credit for his decision. He has put the awardees before his own ego and in doing so, taken the high road.
The artsy-left, however, has most certainly taken the low road. This was best evidenced last week, when actor, Kal Penn, posted a letter announcing the mass resignation of the presidential committee on the arts and the humanities. In that letter, the committee claimed their resignation was due to Trump's comments on the Charlottesville white supremacist rally.
The claim was just a pretense.
Instead, with the first letter of each paragraph helping form the word "Resist", it's evident that this was just an opportune liberal tirade. Further, the committee members explained, "Your administration pulled us out of the Paris agreement, filed an amicus brief undermining the Civil Rights Act, and attacked our brave trans service members. You have subverted equal protections, and are committed to banning Muslims and refugee women and children from our great country." The committee letter ended with a definitive, "Your values are not American values."
One imagines that the letter and boycott threats were regarded in Hollywood as pinnacles of moral courage. But that's a shame, because they serve only to divide the nation.
After all, many Trump voters chose the president partly due to the antipathy with which leftist celebrities like Penn view him. These Americans are fed up with being lectured to by artists, rather than being respected or engaged with. And that speaks to the broader hypocrisy with the artisan-left's approach here. They claim Trump hurts American unity, but by their actions, they are attacking the Americans who voted for Trump.
Sadly if predictably, most of the media seem utterly incapable of looking past their own biases. Vox.com praised the boycott, gleefully welcoming "yet another sign of Trump's isolation." Newsweek celebrated Trump's realization that he's the "kid," "that nobody liked." Slate hit Trump, saying he had "decided to break another Washington tradition." MSNBC's Joy Reid explained, "When I attended the Kennedy Center Honors last year, people I talked to were dreading the Trumps showing up this year." Reid added, "I presume there's great relief amongst those who go each year (and the honorees) that the Trumps are staying away."
The arrogance didn't end there. reveling in his heroism, Kal Penn informed Vanity Fair, "These committees exist to advise the White House on cultural issues, and it is the role of artists to spark conversation."
Quitting a national committee, boycotting an event, and pressuring a democratically elected leader not to share in a cultural experience. Is that the way to spark a conversation, or a way to boost one's own relevance?