Dear Mr. Hamilton, your fellow federalists would like to know how you’ll be voting? Jefferson or Burr? We know it’s lose/lose. Jefferson or Burr. But if you had to choose? ~The Election of 1800 by Lin-Manuel Miranda
As I sat in the Richard Rogers Theater last month watching Hamilton: An American Musical (yes, I’ve been obsessed with it for over a year), the song, “The Election of 1800,” really jumped out at me. The lyrics (above) struck me as quite ironic at a time when many people feel this current election is lose/lose.
We tend to have short memories so it’s nice to have someone (thank you Lin-Manuel Miranda) remind us of our history. Our country has faced polarizing elections before. And we are still around to sing about it, two-hundred plus years later.
I’ve avoided posting anything political on social media because I just don’t have the
desire energy to fight with anyone, nor do I think it’s effective. But what I did want to encourage everyone with is that we live in a great country where we get to vote. I know it’s cliché but it’s true. Not everyone has the ability to choose their leaders, but we have a say, even in a tough election like this one.
I can’t remember an election in my lifetime where it seemed so many people were voting against someone rather than for someone. There are exceptions in every case, but for the most part, my friends who are voting for Hillary don’t really seem to actually like her. I think most of them just can’t even imagine voting for Trump. So they are “with her” simply because they can’t stomach him.
And in the same way, most of my friends who are voting for Trump don’t really like him. They are often embarrassed by what he says or how he acts. But they are voting based on Supreme Court issues so they are not so much voting for Trump as they are voting against Hillary having the opportunity to put anywhere from one to four judges on the bench.
I have pretty strong views on the whole thing but I’m not going to discuss my personal feelings. Instead, I just want to encourage everyone to find someone to vote for. Exercise your rights and find a positive reason to vote for your choice rather than simply voting against someone else. Because I do believe each vote is important, if for no other reason than it gets us all involved. If each of us takes the time to vote, then no one can say they were disenfranchised. Everyone will play a role and the results will be honest.
and memorizing all the words and constantly rapping the lyrics to Hamilton has given me a fresh appreciation for the risks that were taken and the lives that were forfeited to give us the ability to do what we will do tomorrow; freely elect our country’s leader.
I am confident that no matter who wins, the American spirit will continue. No man or woman is the savior of our country. We, the people, will have some healing and growing to do but I hope that the polarizing effect of this election will fade and we will all remember that we don’t have to agree with each other to love each other and work together (how boring would life be if we all felt exactly the same way about everything?)
Our country was founded by people who sharply disagreed on many fronts, but they all believed in and purchased our freedom. I’m thankful for that and regardless of who wins tomorrow, I will continue to be a proud American.
I’ll leave you with these words from one of our Founding Fathers and first President:
“We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth New Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times.” ~General George Washington (in a 1777 letter to General Philip Schuyler regarding the loss of Ft. Ticonderoga)