The Halftime Show America Needed

Lady Gaga performs during halftime between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Bob Donnan / USA TODAY Sports

Lady Gaga may have found herself a place in the history books for being the Superbowl entertainer who won widespread acclaim for something she didn’t do.

In a performance that was fun and entertaining, exactly the halftime show America needed, Gaga didn’t lecture us about politics. There was no preachy machinations. No self-righteous symbolism. Just a fun show.

I don’t say that because I’m a Gaga fan, though my wife and daughters are (my tastes run more to bluesy rock and twangy country), but because I like millions of other Americans was relieved that a celebrity chose to entertain us rather than set off on some pointless expedition to enlighten we dumb rubes.

Not only did Gaga allow us to simply enjoy her talents, which are myriad, she also demonstrated just how fundamentally unhelpful celebrity political proselytizing is.

As paradoxical as it might seem, by eschewing politics Gaga was still kind of sending a political message. One about unity, but also about how politics work in a democracy.

The left has spent decades convincing themselves that they’re fighting evil. These feelings intensified over the last eight years as former President Barack Obama defined the political divide as between those on the “right side of history” and those who aren’t.

You win by addition, not subtraction.

The left has spent decades convincing themselves that they’re fighting evil. These feelings intensified over the last eight years as former President Barack Obama defined the political divide as between those on the “right side of history” and those who aren’t.

Today that message manifests itself not just in celebrity activism and a steady erosion of Democratic influence over American politics, but also a political movement which sees itself as justified in repeated acts of violence and censorship.

Because when you’re fighting evil, who cares about bloody noses and broken windows?

Trump’s approach to politics isn’t all that much different in substance. He’s just got a cruder way of promoting it.

But that wasn’t Gaga’s message last night.

“I have an opportunity with this performance to show a different part of this country that those who think that they are so different from me and my fans — to see that our hearts are really the same,” she said in a pre-game interview.

I think she pulled it off.

Also, how cool were the drones?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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