As I think anyone who knows me knows, I am an unabashed lover of both musical theater and politics. And, I believe that American politics are often at their best, or worst, when those politics are engaged in theatrically. It’s political theater for a reason, and I think we’ve lost a great deal in the discourse due to the current societal devaluation of both rhetoric and performance.
Which is why this Les Miserables moment from the Wisconsin protests has me in tears, especially as word is coming out that among other petty actions by the Wisconsin governor in this struggle, he has just ordered that the windows of the capital building be welded shut in order to prevent food deliveries to the occupying protesters.
Read the stuff. Watch the video. Pay particular attention to the protesters in the background of the footage uninvolved with the planning of the intentional performance. People singing along, and one man, right at the beginning, who smiles and seems to take his hat off in respect.