The play Hamilton! finally found its way to the South, and I finally found a way to see it without selling my house for ticket money. And I was transported! — albeit by Uber — to the show. The play itself was surprisingly fair.
I see now why the play captured more Tonys in New York than Rudy Giuliani did when he went after the Mafia in the 1980s.
Aside from cost (I am an accomplished skinflint), I did not see Hamilton! in New York because I presumed it to be another preachy, liberal interpretation of history.
That belief was reinforced not long ago when the cast stopped, lectured and bullied V.P.-elect Mike Pence when he attended. It must have been the worst night in a theater for a Republican since Abraham Lincoln. I remember thinking: “Wow, Mike Pence — it is one thing to get bullied by jocks, but it must feel helpless to have to sit there and be bullied by theater folk.” Just imagine what Trump would face from the cast of Hairspray!
I imagined liberals booing the pivotal Revolutionary War victory scene at Yorktown. I also thought if they had their way, the spinoff of Hamilton! would be Booth! Yet the conservative, minimal government tenets of Alexander Hamilton and our Founders could not be misinterpreted or masked with modern-day liberal spin.
Lost or not on liberal Broadway was that Hamilton espoused limited government and wrote most of the Federalist Papers. The modern-day Federalist Society is a group of libertarian/conservatives who advocate limited government.
Further lost on the left is just how much the lauded Alexander Hamilton was like Donald J. Trump. The play was written and succeeded well before Trump came onto the political stage. In many ways, it predicted his rise.
Hamilton! centers around the brash and impulsive Hamilton and his polar opposite, spineless, cautious and obsequious weasel Aaron Burr (or Jeb!). Hamilton famously says during one of his arguments with Burr, “Burr, I’d rather be divisive than indecisive. Drop the niceties.” Sound familiar?
The advice to Hamilton could also apply to Trump: “Smile more, talk less.”
Most of our Founding Founders were impulsive, bright, ADD womanizing scoundrels to varying degrees, like Trump. Hamilton’s political career was cut short because he was extorted over an affair. He paid the lady off, but she did not stay quiet as agreed when opposing political operatives used her as a political pawn to hurt Hamilton. It’s just like the Stormy Daniels mess and her “15 minutes of fame.” Unfortunately for Trump, when her average “movie” is five minutes long, Stormy doesn’t know her “15 minutes” are up.
In Hamilton’s time, people would spread their scandalous stories in the newspapers. Today, Stormy Daniels just goes on The View, which was a change for her; she is not used to being watched by a million people, all women.
Both Hamilton and Trump were brash, pro-business New Yorkers. While Hamilton wrote the more eloquent Federalist Papers, anonymously advancing his opinions around the normal political process, Trump Tweets. Hamilton was more self-promotional than a Party loyalist, but he was also plagued by resentment and undermined by leaks.
Hamilton, like Trump, had a gift for gab and was witty, theatrical and coveted the stage. Both cut through convention to get the essence of issues; they were not afraid to ruffle feathers to get to the right answer. Clearly both were pro-gun. Hamilton actually died in a duel with his nemesis Burr. Trump said he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters.” Hamilton actually did.
While breaking us away from England, Hamilton cloaked the U.S. presidency in immense power. Our president can veto legislation and pardon (maybe himself); he appoints judicial, regulatory and cabinet members. He is Commander-in-Chief of our military. Great Britain has evolved into a democracy disguised as a monarchy, while America is essentially a monarchy masquerading as a democracy.
America began with what our Founders described as Protestant values. The nation has changed. Recently there was not a single Protestant on the Supreme Court. In fact, we WASPs are such a dying breed, with our country slowly being taken from us, that we will soon be able to apply for casino licenses.
One thing I wish they would bring back from Hamilton’s time: our politicians shooting each other in duels.
That might cull the herd by half.