There’s so much to say about “Hamilton,” and I’ve struggled to tackle a particular angle because it doesn’t ever seem like I’m saying enough, like I’m highlighting every single thing that makes it a musical so filled with heart. Still, after seeing it for a second time yesterday afternoon, as part of a Hillary Clinton fundraiser, I think I’ve got a good approach.
What’s so great about “Hamilton” is that you can draw parallels between it and almost anything from current events. When Ron Chernow spoke before the musical, the author of the biography upon which the musical is based, he made a great, highly politicized, point: “Hillary has devoted her life to public service and Donald Trump to private gratification.” This struggle is so palpable in “Hamilton,” and we see the titular Founding Father coping with it on a regular basis. Hamilton’s fixation on preserving a personal legacy occasionally conflicts with what’s considered best for the American public.
This push and pull in politics has only gotten more virulent, and it’s so particularly evident on this Summer’s campaign trail. The rhetoric is super toxic, and I feel, as an American citizen of voting age, super edgy about what the next years hold. If a presumptive
nominee can preach so much hateful speech, what does that say about where our country is headed? (Clearly, there is a large enough voter base of people supporting these ideals…)
Still, I was really encouraged by Secretary Clinton’s speech after the show, in which she remarked, “America’s best years are ahead.” Striving to attain a more perfect union, “That has to be our mission. We cannot be detoured by those who would play to the worst of our feelings, who would divide us, who would scapegoat us. We have to keep that vision in front of us.”