When the cast of the highly-acclaimed but historically selective production “Hamilton” presumed to lecture VP-elect Mike Pence and his family, they achieved something they never intended: a perfect demonstration of the woeful ignorance, intellectual laziness, and miseducaton of a generation of Americans.
Not only did the writers and cast regurgitate tiresome, unexamined, and wildly inaccurate claims about the incoming Trump administration, they obviously don’t know much about Alexander Hamilton, who was actually for much of what they’re against.
On free speech: Hamilton helped advance the Alien & Sedition acts prohibiting free speech if it was against anyone in government, which is arguably the reason the American War of Independence was fought. Benjamin Franklin’s grandson — a newspaper editor — was arrested under this anti-free speech law.
On immigration: Hamilton was in favor of total “expulsion.” In a letter to Senate president Thomas Pickering, Hamilton wrote, “My opinion is that the mass [of aliens] ought to be obliged to leave the country,” referring to a provision in the Alien & Sedition acts permitting deportation of immigrants without trial by jury.
Hamilton also vocally opposed the Bill of Rights.
Young Americans’ ignorance of history is on stark display all over the country. Unfortunately, the repercussions of this ignorance have moved beyond the trivial.
Since the new alt-left is fond of invoking history (especially history that never happened) to protect its increasingly violent and hateful narrative, let’s take a look at another of the founding fathers most demonized in recent months in the name of fighting Trump: Thomas Jefferson.
The University of Virginia (UVA) recently decided to censor Thomas Jefferson, who founded the school, because a growing number of students learned that Jefferson had slaves; congratulations to students who paid attention in third grade.
Considering the UVA push to censor mentions of Jefferson, it is pertinent to remind the agitators that Jefferson was an abolitionist.
- Jefferson tried to emancipate his slaves through Last Will & Testament, but a Virginia loophole was closed prohibiting slave-freeing by abolitionists. George Washington before him had freed his slaves this way.
- Jefferson wrote the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, which included a thundering condemnation of slavery — advocating outright abolition.
- Jefferson authored a measure in Congress seeking to outlaw slavery in new states which fell one vote short. “God’s justice cannot sleep forever,” Jefferson wrote after the vote.)
- Jefferson also compensated his slaves and gave them first-rate living quarters when Virginia law was changed to prevent emancipation during the life of an owner.
In addition to the stunning historical ignorance employed to caricature the incoming administration as simplistic cartoons of the founding fathers, many of whom owned slaves, a more disturbing trend can be observed among the youth of today. The rest of the country can now see, without disguise or camouflage, the shameless face of actual fascism and intolerance — coming from the loud and hate-filled protesters who incorrectly conflate these outrageous ideologies with Trump.
Not only are young Americans falling for intellectually lazy comparisons of Trump to Hitler, they are coming to embody the mob-think and mindless violence they claim Trump intends for them.
A generation of Americans now treat slogans as suitable replacements for facts, fists in the air as acceptable responses to polite and intelligent arguments they cannot refute (often because they haven’t bothered to learn the facts), and organized violence against those with whom they disagree as their only justifiable recourse.
The same group feigns love of the democratic process, except when it fails to elevate their narrow perspective. Diversity and the rights of minorities take a back seat to the necessity of doctrinaire conformity of viewpoints.
The same group shouts down the likes of gay journalist Milo Yiannopoulos at a university event he paid for, even threatening to hurt him, amidst shouts that Milo is a “fascist.” The irony is lost on the very mob silencing free speech.
We have failed as a society to educate young citizens (our replacements) about the actual history of America, including the principles of free speech and diversity of opinion, and we’re reaping the consequences. We have allowed politicization of what should not be political. Where once schools prized civic education, they now engage in subjective indoctrination.
Maybe the cast of Hamilton and students at UVA and the like should spend less time getting offended by every screed and revisionist meme perpetrated by selective historians, and start reading more.