We as a country need to rise up

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*Authors note: I did not use quotes around the lines specifically pulled from Hamilton the musical for reading clarity but all quotes are italicized. Any lines/lyrics within this post that resemble lines from Hamilton the musical are from the musical and not my own.

Like the many hundreds of thousands of you, I am continually obsessed with the musical Hamilton written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. I am far from the first person to be in awe of the genius that are the lyrics and music of this show — it won 11 Tony awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2016. I listen to it walking to and from work; I listen to it at work; I listen to it in the car, and in the shower, and on the treadmill. The more I listen to it, memorize it, and learn from it, the more parallels I feel between Hamilton’s time and our current political climate. I feel, as young Hamilton felt, that I am destined to do more, that if only I had an opportunity, I could rise up with the hope of contributing to the creation of a better nation. The song, My Shot, has been my anthem over these first 6-months of the resistance. I play it on my way to protests and rallies to keep me motivated and centered - in the current state of our union, the words and lyrics of Hamilton are more than just music, they are a battle cry.

Not unlike Hamilton himself, writing like he was running out of time, I felt compelled to put a pencil to my temple, connecting it to my brain — so please allow me a moment to drop knowledge on you as our country is at a crossroads. As you read these lines, intertwined with the lyrics from Hamilton, I urge you to remember that this is not a moment it’s a movement*. Think about what your role will be in this new revolution, when our time is up did you do enough?

The hope in the beginning of this experiment, when we declared our independence from another oppressor, was that if a strong enough foundation was laid, it would create a great nation. And though it has sustained us for over 240 years, we have yet to be that great nation to the many diverse populous who live here. Since the beginning it was the immigrants who were, and still are, the backbone of this country, they get the job done.

The only common thread over the centuries of this great experiment has been the disrespect of people of color, women, people with disabilities, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT), the poor, the sick, and our children. We have been slow to anger, and we have toed the line but now is the chance to make it right, to bleed and fight for the nation we can become. We have been kept from the room where it happens for the last time; we must summon all the courage required and begin to rise up.

At present, there are a plethora of issues at stake from racial and religious tolerance, to equal rights, science research, education, the fragile environment of our planet, and of course healthcare. But as a country, we will never be truly free until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me. Those opposed to just and equitable health care for all would be wise to remember that death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints…it takes and it takes and it takes.

We the people see the injustice in this country and we the people are the only ones who can correct them. It is up to us to make this country safe and sound for all future generations so they can come of age with what will be a great nation.

Every American experiment sets a precedent and we are so lucky to be alive right now to set a new precedent, to keep the American promise. If that promise is not going to be kept by those in office then it is up to us. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — we need to fight for these ideals and we shouldn’t settle for less. We need to take a stand with pride — we can’t stand to the side as we watch the tension of our nation grow.

We need to be careful though, Trump will do what it takes to survive and he really is out of his goddamn mind. We as a country have beliefs, Trump has none. As we have all witnessed, winning was easier (unfortunately)…governing is harder! We need to use the press but the problem is no one else is in the room where it happens. His aids clearly are not telling him to talk less, and smile more - I mean really, have you ever seen somebody ruin their own life (and the lives of millions of others)? It’s him or us, the country will never be the same.

Yes the state of our great nation seems to have turned upside down at present but greatness lies within. The Women’s March, the March for Science, the Climate March, Day Without Immigrants, Black Lives Matter, the Tax March, the March for Truth and most recently the Impeachment March…every action has an equal opposite reaction, for as the hate and discrimination and incompetence grow, so does the movement. We won’t be invisible, we won’t be denied. We can not be shy, we need to be in the public’s eye, trying to do our best for our republic.

Everyone should pick up a pen and start writing. Send letters to your elected officials. The issues of equality, healthcare, our environment are not just for republicans or democrats, not just for the rich or the poor, black or white — these issues are for our entire country. We need every citizen to play in the game because when you got skin in the game, you stay in the game and you don’t get a win unless you play in the game.

America is still a great unfinished symphony but like my country I am young, scrappy, and hungry and I will not throw away my shot. I will rise up and fight for this land. I don’t want to fight, but I wont apologize for doing whats right, and neither should you!

Trump and his administration are too young and blind to see that this country is wide enough for all of us. History has it’s eyes on us, and we need to be like our forefathers and mothers before us but bolder. We need to uphold the truths that were self-evident, that ALL men — and women — are created equal! If we as a country stand for nothing, what will we fall for?