Don't hate Jackie Evancho for plans to sing at Trump inauguration

People, can we just stop hating on Jackie Evancho?

The classical crossover singer has been getting trolled on the internet ever since she announced she would be performing at the inauguration of Donald Trump on Jan. 20.

Evancho will sing the National Anthem — the original "Make America Great Again" theme song, not some newly christened Trump version — yet she's been under constant attack. Apparently, many people believe that performing for Trump amounts to some kind of capitulation to the gutter, anti-American ideals of the Trump campaign and transition (reminder: hating Muslims, hating Mexicans, hating women, hating victims of police brutality, hating the media, hating elites and then hiring them to run the country).

So let's stop the hate right here: If Jackie Evancho wants to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" at the inauguration, it's fine with me. This is the presidential swearing-in, not the Nuremberg rallies! America did elect someone on Nov. 8 — and he (not she, alas) needs to be inaugurated.

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I understand that my fellow liberals think it is in their interest to make sure that Trump's inauguration is as uninspired as our orange overlord's ego is hyperinflated. And I do appreciate fact-checking His Idiocy when he says that his swearing-in is going to be so yuge that there are no dresses available in Washington, D.C. (as I did this week).

But artists are already making sure that Jan. 20 goes down in history as one of the least-exciting inaugurals since the days when a presidential swearing-in featured a military band, a very special performance by "Up with People," and maybe a song by an old Beach Boy or two. But lest we forget, that's the way inaugurals were until John F. Kennedy decided he could use them to get laid and Barack Obama made being president cool. Those two guys were the outliers. Obama, after all, had Aretha Franklin and Yo Yo Ma the first time and James Taylor the second time.

By comparison, Donald Trump's inauguration will be like his towers: stolid, boring, uninspired and overhyped. Besides Evancho, the only confirmed performers are the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Radio City Rockettes, who basically had an internal civil war because most of them don't want to be caught dead high-stepping for a potential goose-stepper.

And that's their right as artists — or, as Meryl Streep so eloquently pointed out, it's their job to point out potential injustice and never compromise their values. If you see something, say something — in this case, that Donald Trump is a hate-mongering wannabe dictator who admires murderous Vladimir Putin even more than he admires George Washington.

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No one has to perform for that man. But if a singer wants to unify people behind a stirring rendition of our national anthem, who am I to judge, as Pope Francis might say.

"I just kind of thought that this is for my country," Evancho told the Times when forced to defend her decision to perform on Jan. 20. "So if people are going to hate on me it's for the wrong reason."

I agree. If you want to hate on Jackie Evancho, hate on her for that horrific rendition of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," a song that should never be sung by anyone anywhere in the world at any time for any reason other than complete mockery.

But don't hate her for singing the national anthem at an event that happens every four years whether we like the president or not. There will be plenty of time to criticize Trump's enablers and apologists on the merits, not on the music.

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