Friday , 19 January 2018

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The World Turned Upside Down (Again)

hamilton-trump-clinton-burrMillions of people from all across the world have got Hamilton fever. Hamilton is an American Musical written by Lin Manuel Miranda that follows the life and political disputes of Alexander Hamilton and his adversary Aaron Burr. The blockbuster musical has sparked interest in American history, particularly in the lives of the founding fathers. Interestingly, those founding father’s actions mirror those of our current politicians. Only today, we have exchanged small conventions for televised debates and duels for Twitter fights.

For example, in the presidential election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson was running against Aaron Burr. When asked who he supported, Hamilton sided with Jefferson, despite his lack of similarities in policy. In our current election, numerous leaders of the Republican Party have openly opposed Donald Trump’s nomination for president, regardless of his relatively conservative views.

Another parallel is while press during the founding of our nation was wildly different than what we have now, that didn’t stop politicians from smearing each other in the media. Hamilton himself was a frequent anonymous writer for the press, and would often be extremely vocal about his disagreements with fellow cabinet members. Today, our politicians are constantly bashing one another, especially the two presidential nominees. With much more accessible media, it is easier than ever before for candidates to spread their message. With millions of Twitter followers, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump can remind their supporters just how inferior the other is within seconds.

Social Media has provided candidates with an incredible new platform to access their voters, and it can either be their greatest asset or quickest route to demise. In Hamilton, Washington reminds Alexander that, “history has it’s eyes on you.” This is an important message to the presidential nominees that their actions could potentially alter the course of history. Candidate’s actions in a campaign may be a signal to how they would run the country as president, and this should be a sign to voters.

As a country, the United States is at a political crossroads where we must choose which voice will define us– one of anger or one of unity. While the founding fathers may not have been the most upstanding examples of how to run a country with their numerous affairs and backdoor deals, we must look to the past to make ethical decisions. If the country does not unite behind a message of acceptance, the United States may fall back into past errors that could be disastrous to repeat. So, when you go to the polls this November, keep in mind Lin Manuel Miranda’s wise words, “history has it’s eyes on you.”

Disclaimer: All views/opinions stated in this article are of the respective writer and not of The Youth Observer.

About Fiona Ross

Fiona attends St. Francis High School in California. She has followed the 2016 presidential election for Envision Experience and is a member of Sacramento Theatre Company’s Young Professionals Conservatory. She is also a Girl Scout and belongs to the National Society of High School Scholars.

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