Sometimes you have to take one for the team.
Toby Keith is getting a new one ripped for having the audacity to accept an invitation to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration when he's sworn in as President of the United States. The country crooner defended his decision to play for a man -- who Rep. John Lewis (per the Inquisitr) says is "not a legitimate president," -- by saying it's less about the person than it is about the country and soldiers who stand ready to die to defend our right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness.
My take: I salute Toby Keith's decision because, whether you like Trump or not, performing at the inaugural is the right thing for the country -- period.
Taking a quote from People, Keith issued a statement after critics lambasted him for, lack of a better phrase -- going on the dark side.
"I don't apologize for performing for our country or military. I performed at events for previous presidents [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO."In case you're not up to snuff on party affiliation, Bush 43 is a red-state-or-die Republican and Obama is down with the Dems and blue states. But you knew that, right?
Toby Keith Telling The Critics To Back Off https://t.co/B1vBHttEAp via @TMZThat being said, Keith's decision to perform for these two commanders in chief says quite a bit about his heart: he is not a partisan person when it comes to uplifting democracy and realizes there is no party requirement needed to pay homage to our troops.
— Jen Lane (@JenLane98868046) January 15, 2017
Of course, there will be some who still insist on injecting politics and personal feelings into the equation. And that's perfectly fine. After all, that's what fuels and gives credence to our inherent freedoms and makes for good and healthy debate.
Keith joins a legion of celebrities who are down with OPP, ahem, Trump and are getting flack behind their decisions to perform. Nicole Kidman learned a hard lesson this week: social media trolls stand at the ready to pounce anyone who has the nerve to openly support the President-elect.
The Oscar winner (Hours, 2002) sat for a recent interview and was pressed on her views about the controversial incoming president. She suggested that the country get behind its leader. Her comments sparked uproar.
Per Fox News, Kidman clarified her earlier comments after the backlash and said her statements were not an endorsement, but for the greater good of democracy.
Fair enough and well said.
It's no secret that Trump's campaign is marred by controversy in a similar fashion to Hillary Clinton's pitfalls. Trump has been at the center of misogynist, racist, and xenophobic rhetoric; he uses Twitter as a bully pulpit after being baited by a tweet; he deflects his shortcomings onto opponents or simply says others are taking his remarks out of context and picks a fight with a civil rights icon.
We Salute @TobyKeithMusic for his upcoming Performance at the @TrumpInaugural!#RETWEET & Follow Him!No, he won't win a Mr. Congeniality contest, but is that the real issue here? [Bracing for incoming].
— Bikers 4 Liberty (@Bikers4Liberty) January 14, 2017
The fact is this country is built on free speech and expression. Somehow, we've barred presidents from this right if they are not -- wait for it -- acting "presidential."
I may not be TEAM Trump, but last I checked, I don't have to like the person who's in office. However, I think we all have the mandate to get behind our leader for the greater good of the Union.
Democrats and opponents may have not "liked" President Bush, but when those planes hit those buildings, suddenly we looked to our president to even the score, to settle our fears and make things right again. Hopefully, we don't have to wait for another dreadful event to compel us to get behind our leader who has to answer to his own shortcomings at night before he retires and faces himself in the mirror the next morning.
In short, you don't have to like the leader, but you darn well better show your love for country if you're a true patriot.
I have a strange feeling Toby Keith is thinking along these lines. For that, I say, more power to you, man.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for dcp]