The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (MTC) is one of the few acts that has agreed to perform at the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Probably seems like a relatively safe bet for all concerned, too; after all, unlike so many of today’s popular music acts, which have large and youthful followings that are frequently energized on the same social media platforms used to take mass, frantic issue with politicians of more traditional stripes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would itself surely be seen as “traditional,” and thus a group with whom no one would much object if they decided to do something like sing at Trump’s inauguration.
Still, while it appears the MTC will be sticking with its plan to sing at the January 20 event, all is not well in the ranks; according to a number of news outlets, including CNN, one member has publicly said that she is quitting the group over its decision to perform at the inauguration.
Jan Chamberlin sent off a letter of resignation to the choir president earlier this week, and also announced her decision in a post on her Facebook page that read, in part, “I've tried to tell myself that it will be all right and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man. I only know I could never 'throw roses to Hitler.' And I certainly could never sing for him.”
“Looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man,” she wrote.
As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t want to sing at Trump’s inauguration, fine, have at it (or, rather, don’t have at it). However, the moment you travel down the road of ultra-hyperbolic comparisons to Hitler, and suggestions that Trump represents tyranny and fascism, then whatever grains of sympathy or appreciation I – and so many others - might have for you are immediately washed away.
In point of fact, these now-incessant “worst of the worst” false equivalencies used to denigrate politicians are simply conversation-enders for so many of us. While they make for good theater “in the moment,” the over-the-top references stop rational political discourse in its tracks, and serve only to widen the distance that already separates those who support a change from the last eight years from those who do not.
One thing’s for sure: If Chamberlin sees Trump as representative of “tyranny” and “fascism,” then it is clear she has had no real exposure to either.
Look, by all means, don’t vote for the guy, don’t sing for him…but, also, don’t contribute to the reduction of the political narrative in this country by defending either of those aforementioned actions on the basis that Trump is tantamount to one of history’s all-time worst people.
No one is served by that silliness…least of all, the electorate.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large