Donald and Melania Trump are going to stand alone.
They will become the first-ever consecutive-year no-shows at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony that recognizes the cultural contributions of noted artists.
The first couple stayed away a year ago after it was revealed that some of the 2017 honorees wouldn’t attend if the Trumps were present. They oppose the president’s policies deeply.
This year? It appears to be the same issue that has arisen. One of the honorees, Cher, is a vocal critic of the president.
This kerfuffle is yet another example of the intensity of the polarization that the president brings even to ceremonial events that usually involve the leader of the nation. The Trumps now become the first ever two-years-in-a-row absentees in the 41-year history of the event.
The Trumps issued a statement that said they would stay away to “allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.” That’s a euphemism for the blunt truth, which is that the level of criticism of Trump by many in the entertainment industry would drown out any celebration offered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
This is a rather troubling development, if you want my view on it. I wish it were different. I wish the president and first lady could feel comfortable attending this event. It’s not to be.
What’s more, my sense is that the Trumps won’t attend any of them for as long as they live in the White House.