Category Archives: Les Misérables

The Bookworm Beat 9/18/16 — the “people are singing” edition and open thread

The strong symbolism behind Trump’s Les Deplorables appearance. Back in the mid- to late-ish 1980s, I saw the San Francisco premiere of Les Misérables. I am sorry to report that it was entirely wasted on me. I’d never read Hugo’s book (still haven’t) and I’d actually never even heard of the musical. I went only because a friend invited me and I was then saddened to find myself listening to an opera. A pop opera, admittedly, but still an opera. I am a cultural Luddite, and don’t like operas. Operettas and musicals (i.e., lighthearted fare with songs interspersed with dialogue) delight me, but I’m a total fail at the whole opera thing.

I think, though, that I might have to make an exception to my pop-opera aversion or at least an exception to one song. I am lost in delight for the way in which Trump and his supporters have taken Hillary’s “Basket of Deplorables” insult and turned it into the identifier for a political revolution. By now, you all know that Trump appeared at a maximum capacity rally in Miami with a giant “Les Deplorables” image behind him and with “Do you hear the people sing?” from Les Misérables blaring on the sound system. Genius, sheer genius. This is what political judo is supposed to look like.


Moreover, when I went to investigate the song, I discovered, barring the unnerving reference to some deaths in the second verse, that the song’s lyrics are remarkably apropos for a man intent upon turning upside down the current Leftist, elitist, corrupt, dysfunctional political system. Though there is no guarantee Trump can actually make good on that promise, at least he’s making the promise (Hillary promises more of the same, only worse).

The American people, in increasing numbers, are singing their hope that Trump’s out-of-the-box thinking and practical experience might be all that’s left to bring about systemic change and reinvigorate American individualism and exceptionalism. In that spirit, here’s the song, with lyrics:

Incidentally, this is one of those occasions when one hopes that the same creative energy shown in challenging the media and the Democrat/Progressive party shows itself again if/when Trump is in the White House. America is safest when she’s a strong horse. She is no longer either safe or strong.

Over the past eight years, Obama has wasted our economy, weakened our military, led us from behind into retreat and failure, and has been determined and resolute only about turning America into coyote chum. Change needs to come swiftly or it may be too late. Trump’s creativity, energy, and ability to feed off of hurdles and losses, bodes well for a lugubrious, wounded country that needs to be up and lively very quickly.

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