I love listening to musical soundtracks, and one of my favorite musicals—if not my top favorite—is 1776. In kind of the same vein as Hamilton (though not truly), it’s all about the creation of the Declaration of Independence: John Adams yelling in the streets, old men in silly wigs being dramatic, intense debates about pins, all that good stuff. It’s never been a stressful experience before.
But now I’m listening to it anew, and everything is different. In the musical, John Dickinson is sort of the villain, though never a really scary one. He sings a pompous song about how nice it is to be rich and conservative. And it never bothered me before, but listening to it now, with all the context of current America, this song freaks me out in whole new ways. I’d love to think these ideas died in 1776, but....here we are.
Hancock: Fortunately, there are not enough men of property in America to dictate policy.
Dickinson: Perhaps not, but don’t forget that most men with nothing would rather face the possibility of being rich than face the reality of being poor. And that is why they will follow us—to the right!
Holy shit???? Holy shit????????????? Why is a man from the 1700s summing up all those Trump supporters who voted for the idiot because they thought he would use his money to personally save their tiny towns?
The bit where all the “cool, cool, considerate men” start shouting because they’re all so far up their own asses hit home, too.