I’m going to try to write my way through this and for some reason you’ve decided to be along for the ride. You can stop anytime.
A friend posted on Wednesday morning that this is worse than cancer, this being the outcome of the cluster-candidacy we endured for a year and a half. And being in remission, this person would know. That heartbreaking declaration was the truest post I read that day.
Other posts were more like, get over it, it’s time to unite, let’s move on, and there were all kinds of incredibly sympathetic reposts for those suffering an intact glass ceiling and the potential revocation of marriage equality and environmental consideration, and those crushing disclosures on Pantsuit Nation with amazing empathy, and then the collections of live tweets of the moments where racists, rapists and bullies had expressed their newly emboldened intents, no longer needing the shadows since the commander-in-chief-elect has given them a pass. Mixed emotions never had such incredible contrast.
Hillary conceded Wednesday morning with a tone that surprised people. Imagine what you’d sound like if you weren’t constantly defending yourself. And later President Obama stood in the Rose Garden with Joe and talked about a peaceful transition, all the time Vice-President Biden being the canvas of the President’s misgivings.
But the thing that made me throw up the most in the back of my mouth through all this was what I read to my Social Media class Wednesday afternoon, Hamilton’s Federalist essay, No. 68. And it wasn’t because we’ve most certainly elected a candidate with “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity.” It was because of the betrayal of Hamilton’s optimism in his nascent country.
“It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue,” he states later. Let me unpack that.
He’s pretty careful in suggesting that the United States of America would (probably) progress the character of the one who fills the Executive Office. (Now, if you’re thinking, “Well, Hillary blah, blah, blah…” you’re not getting the point and at the risk of being incapable of Hamilton’s optimism, I’ll say that you’re not capable of getting it.)
“Seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent (sic) for ability and virtue,” is the stinger for me. What he’s saying is that were he a betting man he’d put his money on the leadership of the United States getting better with each term both in competency and in character. The hypocritical and wholesale rejection of the 44th President, Barack Hussein Obama, perpetuated by the vitriol and malice of the angry white men arrested that probability and burned a path for a liar to undermine the very indicator of this nation’s integrity, it’s highest office.
Alexander Hamilton, it turns out that your declaration was too strong to say after all, and this breach of truth, and soon liberty, is indeed worse than cancer.