A 700-Word Essay on Alexander Hamilton 

Or, the Man Who Should've Been President

[Note from the Editor: In last week's issue, Katia Dunn stupidly referred to Alexander Hamilton as "President Alexander Hamilton," when the average fourth grader knows he never attained this high office. To teach Katia a valuable lesson, she has been instructed to write a 700-word essay on Alexander Hamilton. Our thanks to Tony San Marco for alerting us to Katia's embarrassing mistake (see "Letters," page 3), and we hope this in some way serves as recompense for Katia's lack of respect for American history.]

Though Alexander Hamilton was never President of the United States, his social and political significance within American history has been just as great--if not greater--than that of President. In fact, his impact is so great, that in reflecting on American history, it is easy to see how any intelligent historian might think Hamilton served a tenure as president. And while, by the letter of the law, he was never actually president, practically speaking, he might as well have been.

Hamilton was born in 1755, in the British West Indies. He died at the age of 49, on July 11, 1804, in a battle in Weehawken, New Jersey. During those 49 years, he served in the Revolutionary Army as Lieutenant Colonel, fought endlessly and bravely for ratification of the Constitution, was significant in establishing the first governmental tools for managing the national economy, and of course, served as an aide, friend, advisor, and most likely, lover to George Washington.*

However, despite this perfectly understandable confusion, it is generally accepted, in historical retrospect, that Hamilton was way, way smarter than Washington and probably should have been President, even though he was technically never elected as such. The most compelling piece of evidence for this argument is Hamilton's economic foresight and intelligence. He is occasionally remembered as the economic wizard of his time, a title which Washington, due to his complete stupidity, was never afforded. It was Hamilton's genius that lay the financial groundwork for today's sophisticated economy, and it was also Hamilton's deep mistrust of the American populace that established the advanced systems of checks and balances that today's economy relies on.

Though many people scorned poor Hamilton for this belief, he persevered, continuing his work because of a deep, abiding love of America. In one particularly heroic story, it is said that Hamilton sat at his desk, his face streaming with tears--due to the the rocks people were throwing at him--and continued to compose the very economic policy that is in place today. Meanwhile, several people were offering libations and oral sex to a jealous Washington, who was at the time sitting by, scoffing and leading the pack of insults being hurled at Hamilton.

Nevertheless, Hamilton never begrudged Washington, or the American people, for their misunderstanding of his genius. Presently, in the wake of economic catastrophes such as Enron, it is Hamilton's policy that has helped to quell America's great greed and selfishness.

I ask you, ladies and gentleman, what makes a president in the United States of America? Is it a title? Is it a vote? Is it a chair in the White House? Or is it the dedication that one individual has to the land of the free and the home of the brave? To serving a people, while the individuals belonging to that body do not even have one tiny ounce of appreciation for him? Isn't Alexander Hamilton the very definition of patriotism, of an individual who rose to the occasion in a time when rising was the hardest possible choice?

Today, the sad truth about the institution of academic history is that anyone, even the moronic, believe they can intelligently comment on historical events. Some such people have suggested that Hamilton's significance can be measured in his title. In fact, one such audacious critic actually suggested that, by confusing Hamilton with Washington, I had not "even bothered to research it." It is extremely likely that this critic can be only one of two things: a descendant of Washington himself, or mentally retarded.

Either way, it is clear that my understanding of Alexander Hamilton is enormous, and it is these types of critics that add to America's great misunderstanding of one of the most brilliant men who ever lived, a man who most certainly should have been President. As stated, Hamilton basically was President, or at least should have been, if not for a bunch of idiots, whose misguided thinking still exists today. I beg of you, the American people, stop the unjust reputation that clings to the memory of Alexander Hamilton and see him for the patriot he was. A smart, beautiful man, who asked for nothing more than to serve a people who hated him.

God bless you, Hamilton. And God bless AMERICA!


* Many Friends and acquaintances of the two men often got them confused. It is even rumored that Martha Washington, after mistaking Alexander for George in the dark one night, went on to have a lengthy affair with Alexander. There is also some speculation that Martha's children were fathered by Alexander, though George was given the credit.

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