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Hamilton: Cool Rap Musical, Bro
Hip Hop Master, Alexander Hamilton was born on this day, January 11, 1755. I break it down why I think he is wicky, wicky, whack.
Today we recognize one of the most misunderstood and weirdly praised Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, who was born on this date in 1755 in a galaxy far, far away.
If you know me, and by now, you are probably rolling your eyes because you know what's coming - I don't get the Alexander Hamilton worship. I have made many dinner conversations awkward due to unwelcome rants when friendly people say they look forward to seeing Hamilton: The COOL RAP MUSICAL.
Here's how a scene usually plays out:
Friendly people: We have tickets to see Hamilton!
Me: WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU CAUSE ME PAIN LIKE THIS?!
I then try and keep my old-fashioned inside the glass while I whip up into a frenzy about how I'm not too fond of Hamilton. I follow up with the audacity of wondering why everyone doesn't think like me.
It's a good time.
Alex is Whack
Hamilton, in my humble opinion, was terrible. Hamilton founded the Federalist Party, and if you like political parties, then Hamilton is your man for creating the first. In short – he was an authoritarian. He would love the former president, a rich white dude, trying to throw out election results. In contrast, wealth was centralized to plutocrats who ran Wall Street and kept power in an obscure manner where votes for the chief executive counted more than others due to imaginary lines and how many people lived inside them.
Full disclosure: I have never seen the musical and have no genuine desire to. My campaign is to educate people to at least pump the brakes about a guy who, Andrew Mellon, when he was Secretary of the Treasury during the Great Depression (one that didn’t financially ruin him), put Alex on the $10 bill as an homage to his favorite financer.
Hamilton married into a slave-owning family and used his relationship with George Washington to secure the backing of people like Robert Morris, one of the wealthiest guys to have ever lived in America. Hamilton and Morris once plotted to pass taxes on whiskey, a popular commodity in western Pennsylvania. Hamilton financed an army to collect the debt when farmers couldn't pay in gold. He did this to eliminate the Revolutionary War debt because debt is bad, except only when it lines the pockets of politicians.
Funny how that position seems to be timeless. Washington had to spend much time, energy, and pardons to clean up Hamilton's mess.
What the Heck Just Happened
Yet the musical has been wildly successful. Debuted in 2015 and has won 8 gazillion awards, including a Pulitzer Prize and a personal kick in the gut, a Kennedy Center Honor. It's based on the biography written by a Wall Street finance journalist, who neglects to mention the things in the earlier paragraphs.
Here's another funny joke; a finance writer who loves wealthy financiers writes the bio of a favorite financer. Then, magically, everyone who loves Wall Street loves this thing. Then I ended up writing a mediocre lesson on what the heck just happened.
We feel Hamilton's legacy today, not just when we turn on Disney+. The Federalist Society, founded in Hamilton's belief that a strong executive branch should be uninterrupted, solidifies its influence by sending every former member into the Supreme Court, ruling for the plutes through Citizens United while conning people into thinking it is cultural issues.
Because history tends to repeat itself, I will leave you with this.
The election of 1800 (Tommy J) was the first transition of power between different political parties. Hamilton disliked both candidates but backed Jefferson because he was "by far not so a dangerous man." The election was close, with Hamilton scheming in the background to try and get his puppet elected.
There were disputed votes in Georgia (how bout that), and Federalists pushed to have the Senate throw out certain electors. The entire thing almost sparked another Revolution, and in fact, Jefferson branded the election as such.
Jefferson and Arron Burr carried equal votes and had a runoff. Hamilton backed Jefferson, and he won. Hamilton lost short-term but won the long game; America is ruled by big finance.
Presidents Adams and FDR, federal government advocates, both disliked Hamilton. If you think I'm too rough on Alex, FDR built and dedicated the Jefferson Memorial, where Jefferson stares off towards the Department of Treasury to keep an eye on Hamilton.
Despite sweet beats and bi-partisan praise, we need a reevaluation of our love for Hamilton.
I understand there is a song called The Adams Administration, where playwright and Hamilton's alter ego, Lin-Manual Miranda, riffs like Eminem about the Second president's relationship with his wife, along with comments on his weight.
Yeah, Cool Rap Musical, Bro. Happy birthday, I guess.
Do you like the musical? Do you agree with my position that you shouldn't like the musical? Share it below!