Those who stand for nothing fall for anything — and if Alexander Hamilton were alive today, he would stand politically near the center as a right-leaning Democrat, historians say.
“He would be a Ted Kennedy-type of Democrat, not a crazy Bernie Sanders-like socialist,” Thomas DiLorenzo, author of the book “Hamilton’s Curse,” told The Post after the debut of the insanely popular “Hamilton” musical on Disney+.
America’s “$10 Founding Father without a father” — who founded the first political party in the US, the Federalist Party — supported a strong central government, which aligns closer to the ideals of the Democratic Party today, experts say.
“He wanted the government to be bigger than what the Constitution called for, so in that way, he would be more like a Democrat,” DiLorenzo said. “He was clever with words and used interpretation to achieve his goal of unlimited government.”
In the Broadway sensation, Lin-Manuel Miranda depicts Hamilton as a staunch abolitionist, but in reality, Hamilton wasn’t as radical — with historians noting he married into a slave-owning family and may have once owned slaves himself. Instead of hardline opposition, he pushed for gradual emancipation as a founding member of the New York Manumission Society.
However, Seth Cotlar, a professor of history at Willamette University, says that Hamilton’s antislavery views were still progressive at the time, which would likely make him a Democrat if he was alive today.
“In New York, he was part of an organization that fought to protect free black people from being kidnapped into slavery,” Cotlar told The Post. “In that way, his position on slavery was more akin to contemporary liberal politics.”
But unlike left-wing factions of the Democrat party, you wouldn’t see Hamilton taking to the streets to actively and loudly protest racial injustice or any other issue, Cotlar said.
“He didn’t believe in activism out on the streets,” he said in a reference to protests over the Jay Treaty with Great Britain designed by Hamilton in 1795, which some Americans believed conceded too much to the British monarchy.
“In 1795, there were a lot of working-class people protesting it in the streets. Hamilton got up on boulder to explain why they were wrong and someone chucked a rock at him and he ducked out.”
In addition, Hamilton’s support of capitalism indicates America’s first Secretary of the Treasury would have some right-leaning tendencies, too, by today’s standards.
“In terms of economic ideas, he was a proponent of industrial capitalism and incentivizing people with capital,” Cotlar said. “In that way, he was more conservative.”
Meanwhile, other historians said the founding father doesn’t fit squarely into either political category.
“Political parties are never that constant over the course of history. You could pull out one thread and say he would be a Democrat or a Republican — but I’d say he’d be neither,” said Joanne Freeman, a professor of history and American studies at Yale University.
“Hamilton” the musical was first performed on Broadway in 2015 and has since won 11 Tony Awards. It premiered on Disney+ July 3.
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