Letter: Sharing stage with Pence not endorsing his policies

From: Nick Hogan


Normally, I try to stay silent in these types of situations. At present, however, I feel that something needs to be said. In reading about the singer who has withdrawn from the Salute concert over her conflicting views with Gov. Mike Pence, I could only think of one thing to say: Are you kidding me? Have you ever watched a performer on stage, next to another, and thought to yourself, “They must have the exact same beliefs about everything?” No? Me either.

In no way does performing at Salute mean that someone would be “acquiescing to the governor’s policies.” As a performer myself, I have shared the stage with many people of differing social, political and religious viewpoints, and that is something that should be celebrated, not diminished. If two people with differing political policies and opinions cannot come together to celebrate the service of our veterans, military personnel and those we have lost in combat, then what could possibly bring them together? It’s this type of behavior that has created the all-too-common, divisive mentality that dominates the political spectrum today.

Politically, I will only say that I’m in full support of being able to do business with anyone you choose, for any reason. Dropping out of the Salute concert does more harm than good, as it fails to bring honor to those who died fighting for the right to do (or not do, in this case) that business.

Personally, I would use my gifts (though they may not be up to snuff for our wonderful philharmonic) on any stage, with any political figure, regardless of their policies, if it meant bringing honor to those who have fought and died for our country.

In summary, I believe wholeheartedly in the freedom to perform for, do business with or believe whatever you like. However, I disagree with the notion that sharing a stage with Pence is an endorsement of his policies. Civil disagreements are an essential part of what makes the United States great.