Saturday, November 19, 2016

Presidential Theater Etiquette

President-elect attacks "Hamilton" saying Vice- President elect, Mike Pence, was 'harassed' by 'very rude' cast who stopped the show to confront VP sitting in the audience - 'We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children'. Pence has been slammed for seeing the play, while the crowd booed him and his family. The booing was indeed harassment, but was the cast's plea, as well? Perhaps a more polite way to address Mr. Pence with their concerns, would have been to invite him and his family backstage to meet the cast after the show.
It is a point of etiquette, universally observed at the national capital, never to obtrude attentions upon the President when he appears in public. On the street or in any place of amusement in Washington, the President has the undisputed privilege of appearing as any private citizen, he is never stared at unless it is by strangers, and his appearance at a theater is not greeted with any sort of demonstration. 

The President may walk where he pleases in the streets of Washington, meeting with no further notice than the tipping of the hat, unless of his own motion he stops to speak with someone. Office seekers and petitioners never venture to approach him in the street. His surest riddance of the importunities of the throng is to go out among them. 

Sir Julian Pauncefote, speaking of the American customs that had impressed him, remarked that, while a foreigner's first impression might be that the seeming indifference of the public toward the President when be appeared on the street or at the theater was the result of an exaggerated idea of democracy, it must become apparent on closer observation that it was the highest possible tribute of respect and consideration. — San Francisco Argonaut, 1899

Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia