They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Is "Hamilton," the new smash Broadway and pop culture phenomenon, worth a revolution?
Across time, art has been used to provoke thought and feeling into people’s lives, ranging from Mozart to Lin-Manuel Miranda, from Picasso to Lady Gaga. Luckily, we live in a time and a place where art is free from oppression. Art can and has been used throughout history to send messages that otherwise may have been lost or ignored.
"Hamilton" is the inspiring story of our nation's founding through the life and efforts of Alexander Hamilton. This can be compared to Mozart’s "The Marriage of Figaro," a story of a servant outwitting his master, proving to be a very touchy subject for the place and time it was written. At the time, the royal government didn't like the idea of this message being presented to the public. They believed it could cause an uprising of the lower class and make the upper class out to be fools. The opera was even banned in some areas. Could Hamilton potentially have the same effect in America today?
Revolution is a term that hasn't been used since the 1700s, and is now being re-popularized by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He talks of a political revolution, much like that of Alexander Hamilton’s. However, instead of using war, Sanders wishes to use the system as a means to elect honest officials and change our government from within. But could the timing of "Hamilton: An American Musical" and Sanders’ bid for the presidency be enough to spark something much more in the people?
In the wake of a disastrous election cycle, arguably the worst in American history, could the fusion of arts and politics set the clock back 200 years, sparking a true revolution? With millennials being glued to the ideals of Senator Sanders and in love with the emotion and sounds of "Hamilton," I think this makes for a dangerously effective combination. It seems as if there may be one last straw that may or may not break the backbone of America. You have thousands of young people getting revved up by all this talk of revolution, and sooner or later, it will catch up with the rest of the country.
I would bet that the 2016 general election results might be enough to set the country on edge, turning a peaceful revolution into a dangerous one. With the combination of politics and pop culture, this may prove to be another historic mark in American history. Much of history happens by chance: Everything comes together at the right place and the right time. Bernie Sanders and Lin-Manuel Miranda may have just accidentally collided to create the foundation of the second coming of the American Revolution. Stranger things have happened, and looking back on our history as Americans is solid proof of just that.
Hamilton didn't throw away his shot to change history. Should we?