Lilla is tired of losing elections, and tired of watching his own side sabotage itself. In an e-mail exchange, Lilla answered a few questions I put to him about the book: The contention is that the binding you seek to restore was only achieved by suppressing difference in unjust and intolerable ways. How do you respond?
But if you want to understand the politics of authoritarianism in America, the place to start is not with Trump, but with the cool-kid Founding Father of the Obama era, Alexander Hamilton.
The show is a Tony Award—winning smash hit, propelling its writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, to dizzying heights of fame and influence. However, it should be granted one unqualified plaudit at the outset: And its construction and success tell us a lot about our current political moment.
Before it was even written, the play was nurtured at the highest levels of the political establishment.
While working through its material, Miranda road-tested song lyrics at the White House with President Obama. When it was performed, Obama, naturally, loved it.
And in Washington, D.
Admiration for the play crossed the political spectrum. So did Dick Cheney, prompting Obama to note that the wonder of the play was perhaps the only thing the two men agreed on.
Trevor Noah asked if Bernie Sanders, who had just seen the play, ran for president just so he would be able to get tickets. Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago and former White House chief of staff, raised eyebrows by jetting off to New York City to see a performance of Hamilton the night after Chicago teachers went on strike.
And after Trump won, Hamilton became a refuge. Given how Democrats, in particular, embraced the show and Hamilton himself as a paragon of social justice, you would think that he had fought to enlarge the democratic rights of all Americans. He was an authoritarian, and proud of it.
To assert Hamilton disliked democracy is not controversial. Better to steer safely clear of the freight train of publicity and money behind the modern Hamilton myth.
One exception is amateur historian William Hogeland, who noted in a recent Boston Review essay that Hamilton had strong authoritarian tendencies.
His central role in founding both the financial infrastructure of Wall Street and a nascent military establishment which supplanted the colonial system of locally controlled democratic militias was rooted in his self-appointed crusade to undermine the ability of ordinary Americans to govern themselves.
We should be grateful not that Hamilton structured the essential institutions of America to fit his vision, but that he failed to do so. Had he succeeded, we would probably be living in a military dictatorship.
Father of Finance Viewers of the play Hamilton have a difficult time grasping this point. It just seems outlandish that an important American political official would argue that democracy was an actively bad system.
But the idea of openly opposing the hallowed ideal of popular self-government is simply inconsistent with the past two hundred years of American political culture. Indeed, the shifting popular image of Hamilton is itself a gauge of the relative strength of democratic institutions at any given moment.
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Donald Trump’s victory last November was a shattering event for American liberalism. Surveying the destruction, the liberal Columbia University humanities professor Mark Lilla wrote that “one.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican urbanagricultureinitiative.comg its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.
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