This was a big year for Alexander Hamilton. The musical bearing his name took the country by storm in the first half of 2016, pulling in record sales and 11 Tonys on its way to becoming the kind of pop culture phenomenon Broadway hasn’t seen since… I honestly don’t know. And the popularity of it all led to more than just awards and public adoration and instant worldwide fame for its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. It also led to a full-on re-examination of Hamilton’s legacy and his place in history among our more famous Founding Fathers. Hamilton had a moment.
It was also a big year for politics. Specifically, it was a big year for politics going insane. The 2016 election was nuts, going all the way back to the primaries and continuing up to this very moment. We have a reality show billionaire who puts his name on everything in giant gold letters up against a former First Lady. We’ve had FBI investigations and scandals involving Access Hollywood. Poor Nate Silver has been trapped in a room surrounded by calculators and printouts of line graphs since June, just losing every piece of his mind. Someone should really check on him.
Anyway, the dominance of these two things over the year, and the fact that there’s an obvious relationship between the two, leads us to a pretty interesting question: “What would Alexander Hamilton think of this election, if we could bring him back with some sort of machine to ask him?”
There’s no way to know for certain, but if I had to guess, I think he would say something like “AAAAHHHHHHH I am in such terrible pain! Oh my God! It hurts everywhere! The machine you used — whatever it is — must have malfunctioned! Oh God! Why did you do this? WHY?! I saw you tinkering with your machine while I was up in the afterlife! Washington and I even joked about it! ‘Oh, I wonder what that idiot is going to do with that thing,’ I said to him. Next thing I know, here I am and all my insides are burning! OH MY GOD, THE PAIN. You can’t even imagine! And I know from pain. I was shot once! Remember? The songs? The ones you’ve been playing all year? Well this is worse pain than that! The agony!
“I… I smell smoke. Oh no. Did you break this Godforsaken machine bringing me here? Is that what’s happening? No, NO, don’t look at the ground. Look at ME. Are you telling me that I’m stuck here in this horrible, searing pain until you can fix it?! If you can fix it! Did you even test it before you ripped me from the afterlife?! Did you have a plan?! Why didn’t you test it on, like, a rat first?! What kind of scientist are you?! Why did you do this? WHY? ANSWER ME.
“What?! Are you serious?! You rigged up this glorified toaster to yank me screaming to the present with my internal organs probably mangled just to ask me what I think of your election?! Oh God. OH MY GOD. I was supposed to have mojitos with Jane Russell tonight! JANE RUSSELL. Yeah, I’m famous up there now! Or rather, I was famous up there, until you foisted the living hell upon me! THERE’S ITCHING, TOO. Everywhere! Itching and pain!
“You want to know what I think of this election? I’ll tell you: I don’t care! You can’t imagine how much I don’t care about your election, especially now, as the spots I’m seeing from all this pain are taking over my field of vision! AHHHH. AAAAHHH. You’ve ruined everything! I’ll kill you! I’LL KILL YOU. And once I kill you, if there is still any life left in my broken, crumbling body, I’ll find and kill Miranda, too. This is his fault!”
Really makes you think.