Donald Trump totally bungled his response to ‘Hamilton’ cast’s message for Mike Pence

hamiltonbroadway.com

The hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” is no stranger to politics or politicians — both on and off the stage.

Since the show premiered in 2015, big-name political figures from Dick Cheney to Barack Obama and everyone in between have made regular appearances in the audience. That trend continued Friday night, when Vice President-elect Mike Pence was in attendance for the perennially sold out musical.

Not surprisingly, Pence’s arrival was met with a mix of loud cheers and boos from the crowd. But Pence’s visit to the Richard Rogers Theater took a turn when Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor who plays Aaron Burr, delivered a direct message to the vice president-elect after the show:

“We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” Dixon said after thanking Pence for attending. “But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us. Again, we truly thank you truly for (sharing) this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations.”

According to the New York Times, Pence was on his way out when Dixon began reading the prepared statement but heard the full remarks. The vice president-elect made no comment and was seen smiling as he left the theater.

On Saturday morning, President-elect Donald J. Trump took to Twitter to voice his displeasure at the Hamilton cast’s message for his soon-to-be vice president:

Dixon’s remarks — and Trump’s response — quickly went viral on social media, with the hashtag #BoycottHamilton trending on Twitter Saturday afternoon. But by criticizing Dixon’s statement and demanding an apology from the “Hamilton” cast, Trump passed up a golden opportunity to demonstrate that he will, in fact, be a president for all Americans.

The country remains fiercely divided after Trump’s surprise win over Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election. And with protests continuing in cities and on college campuses, everything Trump says or does could go a long way in bringing the nation together or driving us further apart.

That includes how he responds to criticism and acknowledges the needs and concerns of the 319 million people he will soon represent in the Oval Office. Friday night, Dixon voiced concerns that are legitimate in the eyes of millions of Americans who disagree with Trump’s policies and are worried about his presidency.

Trump could have easily taken a different tone with his response and avoided the problem all together. He could’ve tweeted, for example, “We’d like to thank the ‘Hamilton’ cast for voicing their concerns. Rest assured, I will be a president for all Americans.”

While any response from Trump would likely have drawn criticism from his opponents, it’s hard to imagine that reassuring concerned Americans would’ve been anything but beneficial for him.

The president-elect should be doing everything he can to bring the country together as we transition into a new administration. With his response to the “Hamilton” cast’s message, Trump missed a chance to do just that.