By Hannah Reich Berman
In the past few weeks, it has been all over the news that several entertainers have refused to perform at the Trump inauguration. The inauguration has always been a beautiful ceremony, one that inspires patriotism from most Americans. But now that the liberal Democrats are no longer in power, suddenly things are different.
Before the election, several high-profile members of the Hollywood elite threatened that if Donald Trump won (something they never believed would happen) they would leave the country. Exiting the country was not enough for Cher; she said she would leave the planet. Thus far there have been no reports of a spaceship taking off from California, and we have not heard that any of the others have fulfilled their promises to head to Canada, Europe, or anywhere else outside the United States. Even people who were not born here, but hail from other countries and cultures, are making statements about not attending the inauguration and not performing. It is evident that patriotism is MIA.
Andrea Bocelli, the blind tenor, is worried about major fallout if he performs. His concern is that it will do serious damage to his career if he sings. But, being a gentleman, he told Trump that if it would be helpful, he would consider performing. Trump warmly thanked Bocelli but turned him down, letting him know that he is considered a true friend, one who will always be welcome at the White House.
Celine Dion will be another no-show. When asked to perform, she gave a resounding “non” in spite of being encouraged to do so by the owner of the Las Vegas hotel where she is currently performing. Ice-T also has declined an invitation. But it is Eric McCormack, the star of TV sitcom Will & Grace, who took ridiculous rhetoric to an entirely new level. He said that only if he had a lobotomy would he perform. So maybe he will appear after all, because, based on that tasteless comment, it is possible that he has already had that lobotomy. The Dixie Chicks will not perform, but that could have less to do with their personal convictions and more to do with the fact that their manager let them know that if they made an appearance at the event, they would never get another paycheck. Elton John will not be tickling the ivories on stage, as he, too, has turned down an invitation from the Trump team.
There is little point in continuing to mention names, because the list of those who refuse to show up or to perform is indeed long. And there is no mystery about why all this is happening—the ever-arrogant Obamas have come through again.
This time it was Michelle Obama who took the lead. In a recent television interview with Oprah she made the following statement: “We are feeling what not having hope feels like.” Way to go, Michelle! This is the same Michelle who, after her husband was elected, had the chutzpah to say that she was finally proud of this country. What was she prior to that election? Was she ashamed of America? Probably so, since she and Barack sat for twenty years in the church of Reverend Wright, a sermonizer who made it clear that he hates Jews, hates whites, and hates this country. What a stand-up guy!
According to Barack Obama, when asked, he said that Wright’s rhetoric was irrelevant since he never listened to the Sunday sermons. Maybe he slept while Wright was talking. Some shul-goers have been known to do that. Or possibly he suffered a temporary loss of hearing. It had to be one or the other, because Wright is by no means soft-spoken. He does a lot of yelling. When further questioned about his attendance at that church, Obama unabashedly acknowledged that he and Wright were very good friends. And this is the man who was elected to the presidency? And one who was kept there for eight years? Oy vey.
What would be laughable, were it not so sad, is that these are the same people—the Obamas and their supporters—who are openly and loudly critical of Trump’s proclivities. How is it that they accuse him of racism? It is a head-scratcher alright, a troubling situation that says a lot about some people. And what it says is nothing good.
Would that I had some talent! It would be my pleasure to let the Trump team know that I would happily perform at the inauguration. Unfortunately, dancing is not my thing, I do not play any instrument and I cannot sing a note. I cannot even whistle! Even if I did have some talent, as a total unknown, any performance I might give would be of no help whatsoever. The Trump team does need not me at the inauguration.
But there is a light in this darkness. Despite what Michelle Obama said, there is hope on the horizon. It is because there are some normal people left in this country, even in the entertainment industry. One notable personality is Garth Brooks, who said that he has not been asked, but that if he were to be invited he would be happy to perform. The Rockettes are slated to be there doing their thing, but, so far, sixteen-year-old Jackie Evancho, a contestant on America’s Got Talent, is the only confirmed performer. The youngster outshined the naysayers—people who are two, three, and even four times her age—by making the following statement: “I feel really honored to be able to sing for the office.”
It is a pity that there are so many ignoramuses out there who are incapable of seeing things her way. But that’s the way it is!
Hannah Berman lives in Woodmere and gives private small-group lessons in mah-jongg and canasta. She can be reached at Savtahannah@aol.com or 516-902-3733.