Mike Pence at Hamilton


The cast of ‘Hamilton’ pleaded with Vice President elect to govern on behalf of all Americans.

Natalia Torres, Staff Writer

On Nov. 18, the cast of “Hamilton,” led by Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, delivered a message to Vice President-elect Mike Pence.  In the message, composed by the cast, crew and founder, Lin Manuel Miranda, they politely yet passionately urged Pence to govern in a way that will work on behalf of all Americans and uphold inalienable rights for the entirety America.  This bold display of freedom of speech was, as with all aspects of politics, met with a wide range of responses. Mike Pence was respectful in his statement, while our nation’s next president took to Twitter to denounce and criticize “Hamilton” as well as demand an apology from the cast.

The most concerning aspect of this debacle was not the responses the message provoked, rather the lack of unity that was displayed in Pence’s and Trump’s opinions, and the extensive focus placed on Mr. Trump’s tweets.  Throughout the campaign, the running mates disagreed on several issues including: tax returns, accepting the election results, and Russia.  Now, having conquered the election, it seems that the there will be a clear division in the way that the President and Vice President will respond to criticism.  Mr. Trump has called for a boycott of the Broadway musical, stating that it is “highly overrated” and that the cast “harassed” his VP.  Mr. Pence on the other hand, applauded the cast not only for their performance, but for their display of their First Amendment rights. He went on to assure everyone that the president-elect “is going to be president for all the people.” If this incident is to be extrapolated, it would appear that in future responses to criticism Pence will be conciliatory, while Trump, unsurprisingly, will opt for the defense and respond in a critical manner. This division could be detrimental to American politics, specifically in hurting foreign relations and influencing public opinion of the Trump administration.

Unfortunately unbeknownst to most, a more important event concerning Trump took place on Friday.  He forked over $25 million after having settled the lawsuit against Trump University, which, despite its title, held no correlation to an educational institution, and was, in actuality, an opulent real estate seminar program.  Fortunately for Trump, news coverage succeeded in diverting the public’s attention away from his controversial actions, in placing their focus on his tweets concerning the ‘Hamilton’ incident.  Rather than informing the public on how the president-elect spent a quarter of a million dollars settling a lawsuit against his fraudulent program, news outlets spent more time dissecting his tweets and expressing their outrage. Prior to tweeting about Pence being “harassed,” Mr. Trump informed the American people via Twitter about his settlement, stating that he settled “for a small fraction of the potential because as President I have chosen to focus on our country”.  The president-elect revealed the news of the settlement, but the media chose to emphasize a rather frivolous incident in comparison to the other news concerning him that same day.