"The press is vital to the success of the nation."
— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson
Trump’s rhetoric is extreme, and perhaps irresponsible, but it is hardly unique. The Judicial Branch of the American government has annoyed or outraged American presidents from the beginning.
A KKK hood over Jefferson’s head at one of the premier academic institutions of the United States? Columbia, I thought you taught your students to think, to discuss, to reflect, to ponder, to debate, to imagine, to explore rather than merely to posture in righteousness. Really, the students of Columbia are now joining the new American Culture of Outrage? I thought Columbia was above cliché.
Come along as Clay leads us on a tour of the beginnings of his 2017 garden: "It starts weed-free and in perfect rows; by the first of July it's absolute pandemonium and chaos."
Jefferson’s early biographer James Parton famously said the third president could “Calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play the violin.” When I actually paused to read Parton’s statement carefully the other day, I realized, all over again, what a remarkable man Jefferson was.
The most amazing thing about Thomas Jefferson is that he embodies both the soaring aspirations of the American Dream and the incomprehensible paradoxes of our identity. Nobody ever pitched our national experiment so high.
We return to our “Jefferson 101” series with a continued discussion about Jefferson’s period of retirement after his term as Secretary of State ended in 1793 and he returned to Monticello. Subjects include Jefferson’s reasons for leaving Washington, the Jay treaty, slavery and a revealing letter Jefferson wrote to his daughter Maria.