Donald Trump
Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

The guy would be named Boris.

Donald Trump’s inaugural committee is having no problems finding celebrities to attend his inauguration because that’s not who the committee is looking for, Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn said Tuesday.

“Not at all,” Epshteyn, the inaugural committee communications director, told CNN. “You know, this is not Woodstock. It’s not Summer Jam. It’s not a concert. It’s not about celebrities. As Donald Trump tweeted himself, it’s about the people. That’s what we’re concentrated on.”

I suggest that we adopt “This Is Not Woodstock” as the unofficial name of Trump’s inauguration and associated balls. It works on every level that we need it to work on, and you can probably make a killing if you print up a bunch of hats, pins, and t-shirts and sell them in D.C. during the festivities.

The mouth-breathers will embrace it for its explicit rejection of patchouli and Birkenstocks and all the values associated with modernism. The rest of us will get the joke that this will be the unhippest, uncoolest, least worthy celebratory gathering in national history.

The joke will still be on us, unfortunately, but at least we’ll get a laugh out of it.

It no more matters that celebrities aren’t lining up to win the Charles Lindbergh prize than it did that virtually no newspapers were willing to endorse Trump for the presidency.

Analytical reasoning and artistry are signifiers of talent, and talent is suspect in Trumpland. Talent rises to the top. It moves up and out of town, rarely to return. This is an anti-elitist movement, and that goes for meritocratic elites as much as those born into wealth and comfort.

Our truly meritocratic systems, sports, entertainment, academic excellence, are also where pluralism and tolerance and anti-racism excel. It’s our elites who enjoy their positions through circumstance rather than merit who lead the nationalistic and racist and anti-pluralistic movements. They are guarding their privileges.

What’s the opposite of the Trump inauguration?


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Unfortunately, the bums seem to have lost.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at