It's fashionable for virtue-signaling celebrities to prove they're down with #TheResistance by publicly repudiating Donald Trump. That's the reason why it drives the media nuts when people like Taylor Swift refuse to comment on the passing political scene. To Swift, it's a simple business decision: Why would I want to alienate half of my audience by taking a side? To the media, however, it's crucial for everyone who's anyone to fall in line--kind of like in high school, where if the popular kids all hate something then you're obligated to hate it too.
Enter Lindsey Vonn, championship skier and a member of the U.S. Olympic Team, who took home the gold in 2010 for the downhill event. Vonn caused quite the sensation with her looks and her talent, not to mention taking up with Tiger Woods after his wife chased him out of their house and their marriage with a golf club, and has been a highly-visible presence in the popular culture ever since. So it was only natural that the same media that took Taylor to task for staying mum on the Trumpster would jump all over Vonn's remarks when she said the following about competing at the Winter Olympics in South Korea next February:
Well, I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president.
At first I thought this was yet another example of something I detest about celebrities, who are only proud to be Americans when the president happens to be someone they like--as if the presidency and the country were the same thing. As much as I disagreed with Barack Obama's policies--and the way he treated the IRS, DOJ and FBI as his own personal mafia enforcers--he never once made me feel ashamed to be an American. Delving into Vonn's comments, I fully expected to roll my eyes and think, There they go again. But then she mentions something else that rings totally true:
I take the Olympics very seriously and what they mean and what they represent, what walking under our flag means in the opening ceremony. I want to represent our country well. I don't think that there are a lot of people currently in our government that do that.
Well, well, well--so it's not just Donald Trump? Maybe it's also guys like John Conyers, and Al Franken, and Trent Franks? For Vonn to say that the United States is being rather ill-served by those entrusted with power doesn't strike me as particularly partisan. It just seems like good sense.
Her choice of words also indicates that she understands there is a difference, though, between America and the people who happen to hold elective office. Vonn says it's the flag that matters--and on that point I can hardly disagree.
She does go on to say that if invited to the White House, she won't go--which can certainly be construed as a dig against the Trump, and is the angle that the media have naturally chosen to highlight. In the full context of her remarks, though, Vonn is hardly being obnoxious about it as so many other celebrities are. She actually comes off as fairly thoughtful--and in this age of famous halfwits spouting off on subjects for which they know nothing, it's quite refreshing.
Ski on, Lindsey, and best of luck next February!