Mike Pence wants to cure me of being gay, but I’m uncivil

Donald Trump is now tweeting about Hamilton, again.

The Republican president-elect has been on a tear about the blockbuster Broadway show ever since the show’s cast, made up mostly of gays and people of color, had the temerity to speak to incoming vice president Mike Pence about the meaning of democracy after a show on Friday night.

The cast’s statement to Pence was polite and reverential. They even admonished the audience for booing Pence. But that didn’t stop Trump from utterly freaking out.

For the past twenty-four hours, Trump has repeatedly Tweeted about the incident. Trump has claimed falsely that Pence was “harassed.” Trump has made the bizarre claim that theater is supposed to be a “safe space” for politicians. Trump has demanded repeatedly that the cast apologize to Pence. And this morning, sensing that his calls for Hamilton to apologize are getting no traction, Trump claimed in yet another tweet that the show is “overrated.

Trump tweets

There’s also this Trump tweet from last night, that Trump deleted less than an hour later.

Trump tweets Hamilton

Ivanka — and the entire world — disagrees:


Some think Trump is using the Hamilton faux-controversy to deflect attention from the $25m Trump University  fraud settlement. I don’t think that’s true. This is Trump at his core. The man is supremely insecure — thus the gold-leaf Liberace-inspired Saudi-palace that Trump calls home — and simply can’t handle criticism or dissent. Hamilton isn’t a glitch, it’s an authoritarian feature.

So, no, I don’t think we should ignore “Hamilton,” nor ignore the irony of Trump calling for the suppression of free speech in art, nor Trump’s fundamental misunderstanding of the origins, and lessons, of the American revolution.

Having said that, it’s worth discussing Trump’s abysmal record when it comes to civility. Trump wants the cast of Hamilton to apologize for politely asking the incoming VP to honor the Constitution, while Trump himself led a movement questioning the patriotism of America’s first black president simply because the man was black. And Trump has never apologized for that indignity.

Nor has Trump apologized for attacking the war record of John McCain.

Or for attacking the patriotism of the Khan family.

Or for mocking the disability of a New York Times reporter.

Or for questioning the integrity of Judge Curiel simply because he’s of Mexican origin.

Or for calling Mexican immigrants “rapists.” (While “some” are nice people.)

Or for siccing the crowds at his speeches on protesters.

Or for suggesting that Ted Cruz’s dad was involved in the Kennedy assassination.

Or for suggesting that Ted Cruz’s wife was ugly.

Or for talking about Megyn Kelly’s period.

Or for talking about the size of his manhood.

Donald Trump wants to talk about civility. Donald Trump is one the most boorish, uncivil men in America. The notion of him schooling anyone outside of the WWE on civility is laughable.

And a word about Mike Pence. Mike Pence got booed by a crowd at a show. Mike Pence once wanted to cut AIDS funding and spend the money instead on curing gay people of being gay. Mike Pence deserves a I more than a simple boo. (Cabbage comes to mind).

Donald Trump harnessed the power of racism and xenophobia, and sugar-coated it with a patina of credibility, in order to propel himself to the White House. He’s the last person to be lecturing anyone about civility. And while I suspect Trump is tweeting about Hamilton because Trump simply can’t help himself — he’s a teenage bully who never grew up; forever angry, forever insecure — it’s a fair concern to worry about the Hamilton story distracting us from the ‘real’ problem with Donald Trump.

One lesson I learned long ago is that you can’t always pick and choose which argument is going to work. You may not “like” the Hamilton story. You may think it motivates Trump’s base and therefore is counterproductive. Or you may believe that other stories have more merit and more gravitas. The thing is, that may or may not be true. No one knows which story is going to stick, which story is going to cause maximum damage. And I’ve found that the story that works isn’t usually the one you would have chosen.

As James Carville is reputed to have said long ago, you throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. It’s not a problem that everyone is throwing everything at Trump. It’s only a problem when they stop.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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17 Responses to “Mike Pence wants to cure me of being gay, but I’m uncivil”

  1. Houndentenor says:

    Do I? I believe that you are tired of it. But the election results (not just the presidency) tell a very different story.

  2. Pamela Sue says:

    And you have more support than you know. Americans are exhausted by the divisiveness & the assaults on our rights.

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  4. Colin says:

    I love how repubes are always shouting ” Freedom , freedom !!!!” They forget to say that its just not for you.

  5. Badgerite says:


  6. bmp010 says:

    Mike “Zap the Gays with Gamma Rays” Pence

  7. Badgerite says:

    Mike Pence. Booooo. Booooooo. Booooooo.

  8. HandsomeMrToad says:

    Here’s a simple way to resolve this issue:

    Mike Pence, and the actor who lectured/insulted him, should fight a duel!

  9. Houndentenor says:

    It’s not so much that he wants to cure you as that he would send you to an unproven “therapy” with a history of depression and suicide after they blame you for not being able to change.

    And like you, John, I’m fighting this right and left. “Why are you being so mean to Pence and Trump? Why aren’t you giving them a chance?” Because they said what they would do and I have no reason to believe they were lying, that’s why. We wonder how things happened in history and this is it. The bast middle was busy chastising the people being targeted for standing up for themselves until it was too late.

  10. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Good moderator.

  11. Moderator4 says:

    Lily Lee, you might want to learn to use other punctuation marks besides exclamation points.
    In any case, we will help you out. You are banned. Good-bye.

  12. fry1laurie says:

    I’m sure Pence’s advocacy of conversion therapy is just a phase, and he’ll eventually grow out of it. (wink).

  13. emjayay says:

    The truth hurts, apparently. Lily is all butthurt by facts.

  14. Awelden says:

    Not a doctor but I suspect Trump has some form of dementia. He has poor impulse control, gets overly angry about trivial things, and probably can’t retain new information which would explain why his kids are present for all his meetings.

  15. Lily Lee says:

    Yellow journalism! Ragsheet blogger!….all ovestatements here!

  16. emjayay says:

    Trump is an idiot child bully.

    He has to call the New York Times “failing” in every mention. He has to throw in “which I hear is overrated” about Hamilton. He has to add “Couldn’t even memorize lines!” – referring to a speech that had just been written which was not lines. His 60 Minutes interview showed him to be completely empty headed, just hoping that acting like his idea of a serious person would put over the empty phrases – old campaign slogans actually – that he was repeating. Wonder when he will dare his first press conference, if he ever does one. Obama did one a few days after being elected.

    And of course the right wing has accused Obama of not being able to put three words together without reading from a teleprompter, despite about a thousand hours of video of him going on at great length and detail about various topics and policies. Wingnuts still think Obama teleprompter jokes are hilarious. Trump trashed politicians for using teleprompters. Then he used them many times.

    These same wingnuts failed to notice the simple minded inarticulateness of Bush II. Or any of the above. Some people are intellectually curious and open to other ideas. Trump voters/wingnuts hear what they want to hear. Allowing in any information that might mean having to change anything about their fragile ego structure and concept of family and government has to be resisted like white blood cells on an invading bacteria.

    What was more telling and not something Pence could ignore is that according to reports the actors had to continually pause because of audience (who all knew Pence was there) reaction to some line, and that the show was completely stopped at one point by a standing ovation provoked by a line about immigration. Trump should be demanding that the audience apologize for being an audience.

  17. quax says:

    In Trump’s America actors bow to the audience. End of story.

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