Lin Manuel-Miranda got the idea for his hit Broadway musical Hamilton when he read an 800-page biography of 18th-century statesman Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America and co-author of The Federalist Papers, as Playbill recounted.
Now, the author of that sprawling, 2004 biography behind the Hamilton phenomenon, Ron Chernow, has revealed what the real Hamilton — who died in 1804 at the age of 57 in a pistol duel with Aaron Burr, who was then the U.S. Vice President — would have thought of the current impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. Hamilton authored two landmark Federalist Papers essays devoted to the subject of impeachment, stating perhaps the clearest explanations of the Founding Fathers’ intent when they included the impeachment process in the Constitution.
Though Trump himself and his supporters have repeatedly condemned the impeachment inquiry currently underway in the House as a “coup” against Trump, as The Inquisitr has reported, Hamilton would look on the current proceedings as entirely legitimate, and even necessary, according to Chernow.
In an essay published Friday in The Washington Post, Chernow said that Trump “embodies Hamilton’s worst fears about the kind of person” who could someday rise to the presidency.
While Hamilton was an advocate of giving the U.S. president strong and expansive powers, he also harbored deep fears that “a brazen demagogue could seize the office,” Chernow wrote. As a result, Hamilton believed that impeachment was a “crucial instrument” to prevent a president from abusing the wide-ranging powers that Hamilton believed the office should hold, the author explained.
“Hamilton would have been aghast at Trump’s behavior and appalled by his invitation to foreign actors to meddle in our elections” Chernow wrote in his Post essay, concluding that were Hamilton around today, he would “most certainly” support the impeachment proceedings against Trump.
In fact, Hamilton was so worried that American voters might be swayed by an unqualified candidate who somehow succeeds in appealing to their baser instincts that, as The Inquisitr explained, he was also the main architect of another Constitutional system intended to prevent such a person from attaining the nation’s highest office — the Electoral College.
But Hamilton was confident that the Electoral College would block “any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications,” from becoming president, he wrote in The Federalist Papers.
Hamilton in The Federalist Papers — which may be read online via Yale University Law School — believed that impeachment was such an important process for preventing presidential abuses that it did not even require the president to commit “high crimes and misdemeanors,” as the Constitution says.
Instead, all that was required for impeachment in Hamilton’s opinion was “misconduct of public men,” or “violation of some public trust.”
“In short, the president didn’t need to commit a crime per se,” to be impeached, Chernow wrote, citing Hamilton’s views.