Opinion: Removing Trump’s Star Makes Us Look Petty and Weak

There are constructive ways to resist, and foolish ones. This is a foolish one.

Fellow snowflakes, please stop it with this nonsense about removing Trump’s star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It makes us look like petty hypocrites.

On August 7, the West Hollywood City Council unanimously passed a measure to have Donald Trump’s star removed from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The council now plans to send a formal letter to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Council, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for consideration. The Chamber of Commerce will make the final decision on removing the star.


Why—with everything horrible that Trump and his klan of corrupt, greedy cronies are doing to civil rights, our environment, our economy, our healthcare, our foreign relations, rights minority rights and protections and to our democracy—do we want to focus our time, energy, and resources fighting an unimportant symbol that means nothing in the real world?

The impulse is understandable. We have all been dragged down by this man’s childish and bullying tactics. He has lowered the level of civility and raised the temperature of hate in a way that we have not seen for generations. He rules like a dictator in training (I like to refer to him as a dick-tator, personally) with reckless abandon for the power that his position holds, while he brazenly flouts decency and the rule of law.

Is his Hollywood Walk of Fame star really the hill we want to die on?

On July 24, a 24-year-old named Austin Mikel Clay used pickaxes to destroy Trump’s star on the Walk of Fame. He was captured on video by TMZ and turned himself in the next day. He is facing one felony count of vandalism.

This act did us no favors, yet I saw so many posting the story and pictures of the demolished star with glee and celebration.

Vandalism is illegal and pointless. Acts like this only throw more fuel on the already-blazing inferno of the Fox News and right-wing victim complex, with their hysterical claims of persecution, and their deliberately dishonest conflation of Democrats with groups like ANTIFA and other violent protesters.

Seeing something associated with Trump being smashed and broken can provide a momentary sense of satisfaction after all that he has destroyed in our country, but in reality, it accomplishes nothing and actually hurts the progressive cause. Removing Trump’s star may feel like a moral victory, but what does it achieve?

Why is the West Hollywood City Council wasting their time on something that they have no jurisdiction over in the first place? It makes them look trivial and frivolous. Wouldn’t that time and those resources be better spent registering people to vote, or phone banking for Democrats across the country who are battling tough races to take back the house (and less-likely), the Senate?

Social media was quick to jump on the story. Comedian and head writer and co-executive producer of Fashion Police, Tony Tripoli, posted a tweet that posed the same question.

The measure, which was brought forth by West Hollywood council members John D’Amico and Lindsey Horvath, cites the president’s treatment of women, his views on climate change, and the cost of repairing the star after vandalism as driving forces behind this decision. There’s just one problem—and I can’t believe that I am about to agree with the right wing media and blogosphere who pounced all over this obvious oversight: If their main stance is about Trump’s treatment of women (he has been accused by approximately 20 women of sexual misconduct), where is the outrage over Kevin Spacey’s star, which is mere feet away from Trump’s, and Bill Cosby’s star which is also still displayed on the streets of Hollywood? Where are the West Hollywood City Council measures to remove those stars, and the stars of the countless other men who have been called out by the #MeToo movement?

We begin to look like hypocrites when we focus solely on Trump’s star and ignore his fellow slime bucket sexual abusers’ celebratory symbols mere feet away.

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

My disdain for everything this man stands for goes deep to the very core of my soul. Since election night I can no longer stomach videos of his incoherent, rambling lies, so I read transcripts and articles instead. The sound of his voice makes me want to slice open an orange and shove each piece down a garbage disposal just to see each slice decimated into mushy pulp. Countless times I’ve raised my middle finger as I pass by buildings bearing his name, and I’ve even shamed tourists taking pictures in from of it for their tacky taste in brands and idols.

But I’ve begun to realize that those momentary releases of frustration, anxiety, and anger are exactly what Trump wants. He thrives on creating chaos and on fever-pitch divisiveness, because it turns us into the angry, intolerant, screaming liberals that his base delights in painting us as. Steve Bannon has talked openly about this tactic. It’s like some Jedi mind trick, and it’s working.

Chris Weeks/Getty Images
Clean-up of Bill Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after it was defaced with the word “rapist” in 2014.

In response, I’ve determined for myself that there are useful things I can do, and useless things. I encourage everyone to resist supporting companies or politicians who prop up Trump. I now carry around a list of brands on my mobile phone, brands I will not buy at the supermarket, stores I will not give my business to, and restaurant chains that I will not dine at. These are civil ways of taking a stand and being the change you want to see.

Kevin Spacey receives a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in 1999

But destroying or removing a star is not going to get him out of power. Only voting will. There are more registered Democrats in this country than there are Republicans. Though this administration has sometimes made us feel like we are the minority, I am here to remind you that we are not. We are the majority, and when we turn up to vote, we win!

We have to stay focused, no matter how hard it is to break through the noise and distraction. This is how we will bring this nightmare to an end. Leave it to the Trump supporters to be violent and foaming-at-the-mouth angry. They are a lost cause, and anyway, we have bigger fish to fry.

Here is how you can really help stop Trump:

Check your voter registration to make sure that you were not purged from the rolls:

– Volunteer with organizations including SwingLeft.org, Flippable.org, and BuildTheWave.org.

– Call friends and family to join you in the steps listed above.

– V O T E !

Scott Nevins is an award-winning TV personality and host, comedian, political/news contributor, LGBTQ and HIV awareness activist, and godfather.