During Tuesday’s performance at a side event of the Republican National Convention, lead singer Stephan Jenkins of the rock band Third Eye Blind alienated some of the few fans he has left by mocking Republicans for their conservative views.
“Who here believes in science?” Jenkins sarcastically asked the crowd, according to Twitter users. Between songs, he lobbed equally snarky comments on other controversial issues. For example, referring to gay marriage, he grandly informed attendees, “We believe in tolerance, acceptance,” according to another Twitter user who was present at the concert.
Third Eye Blind tonite at #RNCinCLE event: We believe in tolerance, acceptance 🙌🙌 (Followed by boos) pic.twitter.com/WPRIEMZmEp
— Tina (@tinpant) July 20, 2016
Never mind that Jenkins was playing for a charity event meant to help bring music to sick hospital patients, or that he performed of his own free will. Jenkins, in the name of promoting tolerance, took it upon himself to offend the very audience he was honored to entertain. When audience members started booing at some of his attacks, Jenkins was quick to respond. “You can boo all you want, but I’m the mother—ing artist up here,” he screamed.
.@ThirdEyeBlind trolls #RNCinCLE pic.twitter.com/zXIKWdO5Hj
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) July 20, 2016
It’s ironic, isn’t it? To see a liberal on stage promoting tolerance and acceptance while simultaneously denigrating and alienating others the room? (Such an eloquent artist, I might add.)
Jenkins’ stunt was ripped straight out of the Left’s playbook, “How to Be a Liberal 101.” Don’t talk with people you disagree with—talk at them. Don’t listen to their arguments and issue a thoughtful response—delegitimize their arguments by mocking and making fun.
Taunting Republicans while strutting the stage at a charity event is a pathetic way to promote tolerance. Indeed, it has the effect of doing the exact opposite. Small surprise that the artist, Jenkins, is “blind” to that.
‘If You Do Not Want to See Me Again, I Would Understand’
Of course, liberals were quick to jump on board with the singer’s outlandish attacks.
Let 2016 be known as the year Third Eye Blind became left-wing folk heroes https://t.co/fkv01jJfmo
— Salon.com (@Salon) July 21, 2016
“Third Eye Blind Hilariously Trolls GOP During Concert for Convention Attendees,” headlined the Huffington Post.
Here’s a question for all the media influentials out there: Do we really want to live in a world where we applaud one other for “trolling”? True tolerance requires talking, not trolling. But perhaps engaging in a real conversation wasn’t Jenkins’ goal at all.
A more plausible theory is that Jenkins was looking to resurrect a brief moment of fame while also making a quick buck. It’s fair to assume that if the “Jumper” singer had better gigs in his back pocket, he would have turned down Tuesday night’s event.
In fact, four years ago he did just that. In 2012, Jenkins penned an article for The Huffington Post. In “Why We Aren’t Playing at the RNC,” he praised himself for “declining an offer to play at a private party at the Republican National Convention.” He went on to explain:
Even the private party my band was asked to play at the RNC is not some innocuous event. Though I am happy to play for Republican fans, like my life-long Republican mom, playing the RNC convention is a tacit endorsement of the Republican presidential candidate and his party platform, and this is not my mom’s Republican Party anymore.
So what were they? “They are in fact, a party dedicated to exclusion,” he explained. Four years older—though no wiser—Jenkins went back on his word and performed at an event tied to the RNC. Trying to explain the about-face, Jenkins issued a statement on Facebook:
There’s no disputing what Tuesday’s event really was. Online, the organization behind the concert promoted it as “Third Eye Blind to Headline Charity Event for Musicians on Call During Republican National Convention.” Sure, as Jenkins “suspected,” a few Republicans showed up.
To be clear, Republicans are not blind to the hypocrisy of the rock star’s decision to participate in an RNC-associated event. A message to Jenkins: Lashing out at those you oppose does nothing to reconcile your decision to attend.
More importantly, if you truly care about making the world a more “tolerant” and “accepting” place, you might try stepping off the stage, putting down your mic, and sitting down with people you oppose. Resorting to one-sided name calling is nothing but immature.