A few days ago, a video surfaced on the far shores of the Internet that made one group of people — one very particular group of people — very happy. It was an impossibly nerdy rap video about The West Wing: a collaboration between Lin-Manuel Miranda, the certified genius behind the hit musical Hamilton, and Hrishikesh Hirway and Joshua Malina, the less-certified geniuses behind the semi-hit podcast The West Wing Weekly.
We’ve written about all those people before. And in an ordinary week, under ordinary circumstances, this video might not be worth posting about at all — an impressive specimen of crossover superfandom, and not much else. But this is not an ordinary week.
As I write this, Donald Trump is somewhere in the exceedingly long line of the double-Presidential motorcade, making his way down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to his swearing-in. The Obamas and the Trumps, side-by-side. You can hear protestors in the background of the online live stream. Everyone is dressed for rain.
As you read this, Donald Trump will be President.
No one knows what that means, exactly. Not yet. The United States — and, by proxy, the entire world — is waiting nervously to find out. And as we do, it’s worth investing a minute-and-a-half to turn back to a moment in popular culture that celebrated broader ideals of leadership, liberal politics and the triumph of all that is good and smart and decent. And in doing so, we can all ask the very real and very important question, which also happens to be the title of the video: “What’s Next?”