“The world turned upside down.”
I have had this song lyric in my head (from the award-winning musical Hamilton) since the presidential election results were announced early Wednesday, November 9.
This country has been through a difficult campaign season that ended shockingly for many and appropriately for others.
Coincidentally, I have been reading the biography Hamilton by Ron Chernow that was the inspiration for Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the musical of the same name. Believe it or not, difficult political campaigns and controversial presidencies have been around since the British Colonies first became the United States of America.
George Washington’s two terms as president were the only ones that were not party affiliated. But his successor, John Adams, was a Federalist who was in fierce opposition to people such as Thomas Jefferson who was a Democratic-Republican and Alexander Hamilton whom Adams despised.
Newspaper attacks, rallies, name-calling, and mud-slinging were prevalent during this time among most of the political people forming our new government as they found themselves in heated disagreements over policies and laws.
President John Adams was considered by some to be “insane,” “outrageous,” “unbecoming,” and “unstable,” to quote Mr. Chernow’s biography.
President Adams considered Alexander Hamilton (who never became president but was a significant figure in the early years of the United States) to be “devoid of every moral principle.”
Well, the country survived and continued through many difficult times, difficult administrations, and powerful differences of opinion.
Free speech, states’ rights, and the importance of each citizen ensure that the United States will continue to survive and, hopefully, thrive.
We must be vigilant in keeping our eyes on the workings of our state and federal governments, but we must also be vigilant in tending to our own lives each and every day by always doing what we consider to be right, working hard, caring for family and friends, and enjoying beauty and laughter all the time.
As Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, stated: “The simplest and most practical lesson I know… is to resolve to be good today, but better tomorrow. Let us take one day only in hands, at a time, merely making a resolve for tomorrow, thus we may hope to get on taking short, careful steps, not great strides.”
Until next time…