In some of the most subdued news to come out of Trump’s camp, the Inaugural Committee has finally announced who they have chosen to perform at our future president’s inauguration ceremony. After weeks of speculation and some absolutely ridiculous suggestions, it’s official: 16-year-old singer Jackie Evancho will be performing the national anthem. It’s a very smart move, because who the hell is going to trash talk a kid?
Jackie Evancho is a crazy talented vocalist with six albums out. She finished second in the fifth season of America’s Got Talent. She’s the youngest solo artist to debut in the top 10 of Billboard’s Top 200. She’s accomplished more than most folks three times her age. She’s sung the national anthem at plenty of other occasions, so I’m sure the inauguration, while special, is just another gig for someone of her caliber.
Choosing Evancho was probably the smartest thing Trump’s committee could have done. It’s certainly an attempt to depoliticize the event, seeing as the young woman could not even participate in the election and does not appear to have any political leanings, although her family appears to be progressive to some degree seeing as they were very supportive of Jackie’s trans sister Juliet’s transition. (A little awkward, seeing as Trump has aligned himself with some of the most viciously anti-LGBTQ politicians around.)
So: good job trying to take the spectacle out of this inauguration, Trump team. But you could get Mrs. Carter’s kindergarten class up there to sing, and it would still not change the fact that a man who found success through ablism, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of divisiveness conned his way to the top. You cannot depoliticize that.