Politics, Politics Everywhere

by Michael Potemra


The conservative Episcopalian gentleman from Cleveland I quoted yesterday notes another disturbing phenomenon, in our favorite city by the lake:

I completely agree with your comment that we ought to be able to attend a church service without political commentary from the pulpit. Maybe I am becoming a bit too sensitive, but it seems that too many times, when I attend some public entertainment event or other, the star has to make a political statement. Examples:  About two years ago, Lilly Tomlin was in town.  I have always thought she was one of the funniest comedians ever. Virtually the first words out of her mouth were:  “I am so glad Barack Obama was elected president.” Went to see David Sedaris, shortly thereafter. One of my favorite authors, and very funny. Virtually the same thing. And at a Cleveland Orchestra concert last summer, at Blossom Music Center, the guest conductor, out of the blue, took a shot a Sarah Palin. Sheesh. I don’t mind this sort of thing if I am going to a Roger Waters concert, because you know where he is coming from and you expect it (“impeach George Bush” was on the flying pig one time when he was in town), but from the Cleveland Orchestra? Give me a break. I am pretty sure that I have never attended a show or other entertainment event where they praised a Republican or conservative, but I don’t want them to do that either. What makes these people assume that the entire audience shares their views, or prejudices? Why do they risk offending people who are there to be entertained?

It’s dismaying, and I agree with this writer: I don’t want to hear about politics at non-political events, even when I happen to agree with the sentiment being expressed. It’s a sign that what Peggy Noonan calls political “teamism” is infecting way too much of our culture.

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