One can only assume that there is a price to pay for being a diva. Especially a diva to the gays. When the gay boys and the lesbian girls put their money down, we want you to sing for your supper. The golden oldies—the one’s that made us love you in the first place.
Over the years, I’ve managed to see most of them perform—at least the older divas. Call her Miss Ross seemed to glory in walking us down memory lane, even while admonishing us not to reach out and touch her when she drifted through the audience singing “Reach Out and Touch.”
La Streisand has publicly said several times over the years that she wished that she didn’t have to sing her hits, so I had it in the back of my mind when I saw her sing “People” that this might seem like birthday sex for her—not something she particularly wanted to do, but something she had to do just often enough to keep the diva franchise.
The Divine Miss M complained that she was old and tired in the last show of hers I saw, and she seemed happiest when she was able to plop down in Delores DeLago’s wheelchair. Maybe she just wanted a place to sit down.
And Cher, well, she is the most grateful diva. She did “The Farewell Tour” from 2002 to 2005. Then went to Caesars Place (why isn’t there an apostrophe in that?) for three years, did the “Dressed to Kill” tour in 2014, and is currently doing the “Classic Cher” tour. La Streisand could learn a thing or two from Cher.
I can only imagine how good it must feel to walk out on a stage and get that kind of adulation. (And, I have many times. Imagined it, that is.) So I can’t really blame Trump for wanting to replay his greatest hits in front of a live audience.
We watched some of his performance in Nashville this week, and I really felt for him. Well, sort of. He seemed to lack some of his usual verve, and the audience we could see seemed a bit distracted. Trump did the “Repeal and Replace” number, and I thought of Paul Ryan, who might like a little more help pulling that mess out of the fire.
Then Trump did “The Wall”—not the one with the “we don’t need no education” lyric. (Although anyone who would say “we don’t need no education” clearly does.) Rather, he did the Trump Wall bit, saying it was coming a long swimmingly. But still no real audience participation.
Then he started quoting some law from the teleprompter, and even he was beginning to realize he needed to get his swagger back. When he got to a part of the law referencing the power of the President to restrict immigration and came on the word “he”—well, I could practically see the light come up in his eyes.
In a complete pivot from the failed and failing Muslim ban, he moved the subject to the sure fire crowd pleaser. That greatest of all political divas. The one, the only—Hillary Clinton. In a matter of seconds, the crowd was chanting “lock her up,” and everyone was having a good time again. At least in Nashville.
But, real divas don’t need a foil. Cher may have had Sonny, but she only needed herself. Trump needs a foil—he’s like Velma Kelly. He can’t do it alone, and there aren’t many folks big enough to act as foil for the President. It’s hard to pick on somebody your own size when you’re the tallest hog at the trough. And even targeting the second tallest hog is touchy when that little piggy has nuclear weapons, too.
So I suppose Trump will keep doing his golden oldies tour from time to time, instead of staying in Washington and trying to pass the legislation needed to do what he promised to do. Being “presidential” in that context involves getting on the phone or sitting down in person with people who aren’t supporting what you want and working to move them to your side on the given issue. Dealing with recalcitrant Republicans probably busts the ego, while rocking out to “Lock Her Up” feeds the beast.
And I get that. I wouldn’t really want to be President, but I wouldn’t mind playing one on television. Maybe I’m not the only one who feels that way.