We greet a special visitor, our friend Beau Wright. Beau traveled from Lynchburg, Virginia to join us at the studio for a fruitful and interesting conversation about American ideals.
Beau is a 3rd generation Lynchburg native and an 8th generation Central Virginian, and is currently the Director of Operations at Protect Democracy, along with serving as a council member at-large for the city of Lynchburg. Beau worked at the White House from 2011 to 2017 in numerous positions, including the Senior Deputy Director of Operations and Director for Finance. Beau was responsible for managing the White House's appropriation, and advising senior White House leadership on budget strategy.
What Would Jefferson Do?
The following is a rush transcript:
David Swenson: 00:00 Good day, citizens and welcome to this podcast edition of the Thomas Jefferson Hour.
Clay S. Jenkinson: 00:05 It feels like we're, like, we're some pivotal place now. People keep coming to visit and this time Mr Beau Wright.
DS: 00:14 I don't know how much we really want to encourage that, but uh.
CSJ: 00:19 Well Beau Wright came.
DS: 00:19 Beau can come any time.
CSJ: 00:20 He lives in Lynchburg. He's been an occasional correspondent on the Thomas Jefferson Hour. People that are, are avid listeners will remember him. He's a young idealist who worked in the Obama Administration.
DS: 00:29 Self-described progressive.
CSJ: 00:30 Now he's on the city commission in Lynchburg. We have him on not because he's a progressive, but because he's a fascinating and engaged young man who, who wrote us I think. And that's how the relationship began. He wrote us to say, to ask some question about the difference between the presidency now and the presidency in the time of Jefferson.
DS: 00:48 And that was the beginning of a long and fruitful correspondence and then he just showed up. It was great.
CSJ: 00:55 And I remember when he was first on, we were mostly interested in talking about the size of the White House staff in Jefferson's time. And the size of the White House staff today.
DS: 01:05 But you know, we all have impressions in our head about what it would be like to be there, you know, it goes back to the days of watching the television series, West Wing. And now Madam Secretary, what's it really like in the White House? So here we had a guy who was there and not doing flashy, important, well I'm sure it was important.
CSJ: 01:27 Did lots of the White House budgeting.
DS: 01:28 Towards the end, it all passed through him. But um, but he saw the everyday mundane duties that had to go on at the White House. I guess, can anything be mundane at the White House?
CSJ: 01:41 I don't know, but he said this and I don't think he meant this as a partisan statement, although as you said, he is a young progressive. He's, he's clearly a Democrat and a liberal. But he said that the Obama administration was obsessive about process. That process was everything and that nothing was ever issued to the public without having been vetted many, many times. And that everything was deliberative and that there was a, that Obama was a kind of an administrative genius in that respect and wanted to maintain control of whatever was related to his presidency and to the White House. And then he said, looking from the outside in, that the Trump administration is chaotic by those standards because it doesn't have that kind of clamped down vetting process. And he, I don't know that he was necessarily saying one is great and the other is bad, but he said the contrast could not be more dramatic.
DS: 02:33 It was really fun to see him. Uh, thank him so much for calling and letting us know he was coming in so we could organize time with him.
CSJ: 02:42 Do you ever have, well it's radio, so I'm sure plenty of people listening think, oh, I wonder if I met that person would they look like the person I imagine? So I don't know what you imagined for Beau.
DS: 02:54 I actually, when I, when he first wrote.
CSJ: 02:56 Oh you had looked him up?
DS: 02:57 I did.
CSJ: 02:57 You Googled him?
DS: 02:58 Yeah.
CSJ: 03:00 I didn't know. So he comes in looking like Davy Crockett.
DS: 03:03 Oh, he's a bright young guy.
DS: 03:06 Anyway, let's go to the show and thank you for listening, Clay has one more message.
CSJ: 03:14 Winter tours.
DS: 03:14 I guess I do too.
CSJ: 03:15 Three of them coming, March two through eighth in Monterey. Steinbeck's California.
DS: 03:21 Are you sure they're not full?
CSJ: 03:22 They're not full, I know this.
DS: 03:23 We need to call Nancy.
CSJ: 03:26 And January 13 through 18th, Water and the West. I'm reading, unbelievably fascinating topic. It might sound dull. It's not. It begins with Mark Reisner's great book, Cadillac Desert, and then March 19th through 24th Shakespeare Without Tears, back by popular demand, a second annual seminar. And the number one question people say, is how, is it like really bitterly cold up there? Never. The temperature's like in the thirties and forties.
DS: 03:53 if you go to the website, Jeffersonhour.com, you can find pictures and it's just ideal.
CSJ: 03:57 It's an idyllic winter wonderland. It's not at all.
DS: 04:00 In fact, you can find all the details.
CSJ: 04:01 Anyways. All three of those tours are coming up. There's still a few places in them. I want to fill them right to the, to the max. I get more pleasure out of this than almost anything I do.
DS: 04:12 I know you do. You're really, your excitement is contagious and obvious.
CSJ: 04:16 So do come everyone.
DS: 04:18 And lastly I will just say, I want to thank you so much. Those of you who have decided to support the Thomas Jefferson Hour, also, if you want to join the 1776 Club, you do that and you get access to our vast archives. You could listen for days. Um, and also, uh, Clay's essays, the Jefferson 101 series. So I'll keep it short. Thank you sincerely to those of you who not only listen, but those of you who decide to support the show, we really appreciate it. And with that sir, let's go to the show.
CSJ: 04:49 Thanks Beau.
DS: 04:51 Good day citizens. And welcome to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, your weekly conversation with President Thomas Jefferson and sometimes your weekly conversation with the creator of the Thomas Jefferson Hour, the gentleman seated across from me now, Mr Clay Jenkinson. Good day to you, sir.
CSJ: 05:09 Good day to you. David Swenson, the semi permanent guest host of the Thomas Jefferson Hour. We had a special guest.
DS: 05:15 It's happening with more frequency. I don't know if we should be alarmed or.
CSJ: 05:19 They're coming for us.
DS: 05:21 Listeners are
CSJ: 05:21 Turning up.
DS: 05:23 Yeah.
CSJ: 05:23 North Dakota's the least visited state. So we're,
DS: 05:25 Is it really?
CSJ: 05:26 Yes it is. We're adding a little to the, to the visitation and the Jefferson Hour, you know, people come and say, I'll give you a million dollars to see the barn, but I'm going to publicize it. And we say, no. Just go home. Just go home. That way. You got a blindfold.
DS: 05:40 You know around here nobody,
CSJ: 05:41 No one cares in North Dakota.
DS: 05:44 Right.
CSJ: 05:44 A barn is a barn.
DS: 05:45 But outside of our immediate area that's a.
CSJ: 05:48 Once we hid the antenna in the windmill, people stop kind of wondering what's going on.
DS: 05:55 We should have just got one of those dishes. Everybody would have thought, they're TV.
CSJ: 06:00 Just watching three's company reruns.
DS: 06:01 Back to Beau Wright. We met him two or three years ago.
CSJ: 06:05 He was working in the Obama administration.
DS: 06:07 He wrote us.
CSJ: 06:08 He wrote us, and we called him.
DS: 06:10 And said, you know, it'd be really fun to have a conversation on the air, and it was.
CSJ: 06:14 First of all, he talked about what it was like to work in any presidential administration.
CSJ: 06:18 We contrasted that with Jefferson's where he had one, one man, Meriwether Lewis living in the east room and then when President Obama retired after two terms, Beau helped us think about the transition between the Obama administration and the Trump administration and what he took to be the difference of styles in the way that those White Houses operated, and then from time to time we call them just to kind of get a reality check. He's stationed in Lynchburg, Virginia now.
DS: 06:46 Right, in fact, why don't we, we, we got him to do a, you asked,
CSJ: 06:49 I asked a little background.
DS: 06:50 If you would give us a little biographical background.
CSJ: 06:54 Let's start with that part of our interview with Mr Beau Wright.
CSJ: 06:58 David Swenson, the semi permanent guest host of the Thomas Jefferson Hour is walking to his microphone.
DS: 07:03 Here I am.
CSJ: 07:04 We're in the studio, not the barn, and I point out we have a special guest today.
DS: 07:08 Yes we do.
CSJ: 07:09 And tell us about this because I just walked into the studio. You called me and said, get down here right away.
DS: 07:15 In the past, you know, we've had this great correspondent, our man inside the White House.
CSJ: 07:22 Oh, you're talking about Beau from Virginia.
DS: 07:24 This would be Beau Wright.
CSJ: 07:27 Well welcome to North Dakota sir.
DS: 07:27 Who is, uh, you know, I don't even know the details why you're here.
CSJ: 07:31 Why did you come to North Dakota?
Beau Wright: 07:33 I came to North Dakota because I, initially to visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Um, I was down in South Dakota and then I went up to Devil's Tower and after this stop I'll hit the Badlands National Park.
CSJ: 07:46 What possessed you to leave the comfortable environs of Virginia and come out to the West?
BW: 07:52 Uh, it's uh, well I needed a vacation and this seemed as good a place as any.
CSJ: 07:56 But you don't, you don't come from here.
BW: 07:58 No, no, I'm, I'm from southern Virginia.
CSJ: 08:00 So you chose Devil's Tower, Badlands National Park, the National Badlands in South Dakota,
CSJ: 08:07 plus Theodore Roosevelt National Park here. And what have you done so far?
DS: 08:13 and how did you get here?
BW: 08:15 By car.
CSJ: 08:16 You drove the whole way.
BW: 08:17 No, I'm, forgive me. I flew and then I, I've been driving.
CSJ: 08:20 Flew where?
BW: 08:21 I flew to Rapid City.
CSJ: 08:22 Rented a car.
BW: 08:23 I rented a car.
CSJ: 08:23 And not Mount Rushmore.
BW: 08:25 I've done, I did Mount Rushmore. So first I went to Custer State Park.
CSJ: 08:29 One of the best state parks in the country.
BW: 08:33 Incredible.
CSJ: 08:33 You saw Bison?
BW: 08:34 Lots of Bison.
CSJ: 08:34 First time or not?
BW: 08:36 Not my first time.
CSJ: 08:36 Okay. Good.
BW: 08:37 Prairie dogs. A lot of prairie dogs.
CSJ: 08:41 They're not yet hibernating, but close.
BW: 08:42 Yeah. Antelope. Saw a lot of antelope.
CSJ: 08:43 Pronghorn antelope.
BW: 08:44 And then uh, and then I uh, drove up to Mount Rushmore and I did Devil's Tower, followed by Roosevelt National Park. Or You thought about Devil's Tower before in their life.
CSJ: 08:56 How did it hold up to expectation?
BW: 08:58 It was magnificent. I've never seen anything like it. You know, I don't mean to be a cynic, but I was expecting to be underwhelmed, but I, I was massively overwhelmed.
CSJ: 09:10 You expected it not to live up to your idea of what it would be. Why is that? I mean you are a born cynic or you became one in the Obama White House?
DS: 09:19 Easy now.
BW: 09:20 Politics will do that. No, I think. I think I'd seen so many images of it that I was not expecting it to be as dazzling as it is.
CSJ: 09:27 And it's just unbelievable. Massive and vertical and overwhelming.
BW: 09:31 It's breathtaking.
CSJ: 09:33 It really, you didn't climb it of course.
BW: 09:36 Uh, no I didn't.
CSJ: 09:37 But people do. You probably saw them scaling up the side.
DS: 09:39 You can kind of go and climb up the rocks to the edge and even that's pretty fun.
BW: 09:44 Yeah.
CSJ: 09:45 And have you seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
BW: 09:47 It does mean something.
CSJ: 09:50 There is a landing site on. So you go there and you walked around the perimeter and you read the signage and it must've been a magnificent autumn day.
BW: 09:59 It was a lovely day with clear blue skies, crisp, snow on the ground, actually, it was just lovely.
CSJ: 10:04 I don't know if you know this, but you were within a dozen miles of the source of the Little Missouri River.
BW: 10:11 I did not know that.
CSJ: 10:12 Little Missouri begins between Missouri Buttes, which you could have seen in the distance. They're more rounded with the same formation as Devil's Tower and Devil's Tower, and then it winds up through northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana then through part of South Dakota and into North Dakota.
DS: 10:28 I'd like to get more of your impressions of Theodore Roosevelt, the badlands of western North Dakota, which is a place that is really near and dear to both Clay and I. You hadn't been there before?
BW: 10:41 No, I'd never been before.
DS: 10:43 What were, what were your impressions of it?
BW: 10:47 It's stunning. I mean it does seem inhospitable to be clear, but it's.
CSJ: 10:52 What did you do in the North Dakota Badlands?
BW: 10:54 So I went, I went hiking. I did a really wonderful loop yesterday morning, about a five and a half mile loop across the Little Missouri twice, which is very cold, very cold. My feet are still recovering.
CSJ: 11:07 So you had boots that would. You could walk through the river.
BW: 11:10 No I took off, I took off the boots.
CSJ: 11:12 So you're not a local then, yeah.
BW: 11:15 It was very cold.
CSJ: 11:16 So you crossed twice.
BW: 11:17 I crossed twice.
CSJ: 11:18 How deep was it? Was it shin high or knee high?
BW: 11:21 About knee high.
CSJ: 11:23 You weren't scared?
BW: 11:24 No, no, I wasn't. I wasn't terribly scared.
CSJ: 11:26 Some people think, oh, quicksand or I'll drown there.
BW: 11:29 Oh, well I, you know, I suppose it would have been a nice place to go.
BW: 11:31 It's just so beautiful. And then I hiked up to a top of a mesa and walked between prairie dog villages and uh, and then I went to the, um, petrified forest.
DS: 11:42 Oh, that's a great spot.
CSJ: 11:43 That's one of the greatest places.
BW: 11:45 Unbelievable. Just unbelievable to see 55 million year old trees, you know.
CSJ: 11:53 Ancient cypress trees, petrified. Some of them quite large.
BW: 11:58 Huge.
CSJ: 11:58 Twelve, a 12 foot section.
BW: 12:00 And just sitting there on the space of sediment that has been sitting on for, for millions of years.
CSJ: 12:06 I trust you were essentially alone out there.
BW: 12:07 I walked 10 miles yesterday. I didn't see a soul.
CSJ: 12:10 Right.
DS: 12:11 Really?
BW: 12:12 Yeah, it was incredible.
CSJ: 12:13 So you're about to see the other badlands, the big badlands, the national park of South Dakota. You think this was inhospitable. This looks like a five star hotel compared to the Badlands of South Dakota.
DS: 12:25 They're far, far different.
CSJ: 12:26 They're very rugged, very, very little vegetation.
CSJ: 12:28 Very. That's a moonscape down there. It's magnificent, but it's different.
BW: 12:31 Yeah. I'm looking forward to it.
CSJ: 12:32 So you could have gone to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You could have gone to Yosemite. You could have climbed Mount Whitney and rescued my friend Russ, who I think is up there at this moment while we talk. But you chose this instead.
BW: 12:45 Yeah.
CSJ: 12:46 Why?
BW: 12:46 Well, uh, you know, I've been wanting to, um, to explore the Dakotas. I've been to most states but not the Dakotas. And there is, you know, I think in these especially, and I hate to bring politics into it, but in these partisan times, getting out into nature is one of the most satisfying, I think soul affirming things you can do.
CSJ: 13:07 So give us a potted autobiography. You, you graduated from high school where.
BW: 13:11 Oh, in Lynchburg, Virginia.
CSJ: 13:12 Public School?
BW: 13:14 Public school.
CSJ: 13:15 What university?
BW: 13:18 I went to the College of William and Mary.
CSJ: 13:19 I'm sorry to hear that. You could have gone to so much better of a school. No, I think Jefferson said the Wren building, but for the fact that it had a roof, looks like a brick kiln. So then. And you've worked for the Obama White House and now you're working in this foundation.
BW: 13:38 Correct. Nonprofit.
CSJ: 13:39 Advocacy group.
DS: 13:41 Protect Democracy.
CSJ: 13:41 How much writing do you do?
BW: 13:43 Not, not a lot. I'm the operations director. So my job is to make sure that, uh, that the, uh, the business side of the shop runs well.
CSJ: 13:50 Because that's what you did for Obama too, you were, you were management of the, of the building.
BW: 13:55 I was the finance guy. Yeah.
CSJ: 13:57 Right. So, but I think you should write a book, don't you?
BW: 14:01 Sitting across from probably several published authors. I'm not sure that I.
CSJ: 14:05 You should consider this because you have a point of view, you believe in this country, you're an optimist, but you've seen enough to know that there's no room for fatuous optimism, that there are some real issues that have to get wrestled to the ground here.
BW: 14:18 Huge issues. Yeah. But I'm hopeful. I don't know that the country needs my voice saying, you know, one more voice in the din of all of it. But um, but I am grateful for the Jefferson Hour.
CSJ: 14:32 Now before you go to the Badlands national park, tell us what you think you're going to see and then we'll check it against what you actually see. What's your idea of Badlands National Park?
BW: 14:42 Arid. Lot of buttes. Um, some, you know, interesting hoodoos and other rock formations.
CSJ: 14:50 Good.
BW: 14:52 And uh.
DS: 14:54 That's very accurate. Far less colorful than the North Dakota badlands.
CSJ: 14:57 Gray and slate. Are you camping out or you're staying in motels?
BW: 15:02 I'm staying.
DS: 15:02 It's a little cold.
BW: 15:03 I'm staying at a bed and breakfast.
DS: 15:04 What's your route down there?
BW: 15:05 Uh, I'm not entirely, I think I might be going through, um, through Standing Rock.
DS: 15:14 Yeah, I would definitely, if you, if you're in the area, I would definitely drive through Pine Ridge even though it's a little out of the way. Um, you'll see Wounded Knee if you do that.
BW: 15:26 I do want to see that.
CSJ: 15:26 It's very close, and the stronghold, which is where, where the Lakota were dancing before.
DS: 15:33 Just down the road is Fort Robinson where Crazy Horse.
CSJ: 15:36 This is like a six week vacation now but I think you should go south of Mandan to Fort Yates to Standing Rock through Standing Rock and then you should go through some of the most beautiful country in North America, in northern South Dakota, right on the other, Thunder Butte and the reservation south of the border. And then that will take you to Badlands National Park and then you go from there. I think really, must see for you is Wounded Knee because it's right there and it's one of the most important places in America and it's sort of haunted. It's eerie. It's, it's, it's a really.
DS: 16:13 It's a real bad vibe.
CSJ: 16:14 Yeah, some bad vibes there and then you have to scamper back to Rapid City to fly back to your cushy life.
DS: 16:23 You are listening to the Thomas Jefferson Hour. We're going to take a short break. When we come back, we'll resume our conversation with Mr Beau Wright, and in fact president Jefferson decides to appear.
CSJ: 16:35 I think you asked Jefferson to suit up.
DS: 16:37 I think at the onset Beau was a little overcome by all of that.
CSJ: 16:42 I was too. You know, it's one thing to do this with you, but when you have a distinguished guest and suddenly you make me go into the men's room and get into costume and come, I mean it's like it's a little bit weird because one minute you're talking to me, the next minute you're talking to the third president.
DS: 16:56 But Mr Jefferson actually had quite a few questions for Beau. I don't think he could quite fathom 450 assistants in the White House.
CSJ: 17:05 That was tough for him.
DS: 17:06 Right now we're going to take a short break. When we return, we'll continue our conversation with Mr Beau Wright and President Jefferson, you're listening to the Thomas Jefferson Hour.
CSJ: 17:18 Welcome back to the Thomas Jefferson Hour. This is Clay Jenkinson, out of character this week. We are having this extraordinary visit from our friend Beau Wright from Lynchburg, Virginia. You know, I want to say something about this, David, before we go back to our conversation. He's a young idealist who believes in civic engagement. He's engaged in it himself in Lynchburg, Virginia. He has lots of interesting thoughts about what it is to be a White House insider and how presidential administrations work.
CSJ: 17:50 And we like the then-now approach whenever possible on the Jefferson Hour. But I would just as gladly have someone from the Trump administration who's an insider, be an occasional correspondent for this program so we can hear how another perspective on the same thing works. We're not doing this because we agreed necessarily with Beau's politics. We're doing this because we find him interesting.
DS: 18:11 Although I think he's a very honorable man and I agree with him when he says, uh, that he believes the vast majority of Americans live in the middle. And he counts himself as one of those.
CSJ: 18:22 You know, there's this new study that's been talked about in the last couple of weeks where, um, I think it's from Harvard, there was, what they learned was that like 85 or so percent of the American people are in the middle, and then the two extremes are just as loud and as obnoxious as can be. And they make it seem as if we're in this civil war when we're not really. The great majority of Americans are centrists. We actually get along pretty well. We actually try to solve problems and something like consensus. But the world has been poisoned by MSNBC on the one hand and Fox News on the other making it seem as if this is armageddon.
DS: 18:58 Yeah. You said you, you'd like to have somebody who was a Trump supporter.
CSJ: 19:02 A Trump insider.
DS: 19:04 You know, and I have to say that in this conversation, you filled that pretty well. You were pretty hard on Beau. I know what you were doing. You were trying to get both sides of the story and it was very, very enlightening.
CSJ: 19:14 And plus, David, if you de-Trumped Trump, in other words, if you took all the things that we all talk about every single day of our lives now, the crazy insults and the ego and the narcissism, the cronyism, if you de-Trumped Trump and looked at the policy work of the Trump administration, it's a different story. And so we're getting a distorted picture because we're so fixated on this colossal national narcissist. We forget that, like all administrations, it has an agenda and it has been not altogether unsuccessful and putting that agenda into law. And that's what we mean when we say elections matter. And so I think it's important that we avoid getting stuck in our anxiety about Trump's personality and try to fixate if we can, on the actual policy concerns that are a lively part of the American democratic mix.
DS: 20:14 Well, I can't
DS: 20:16 draw up a Trump supporter that we have on tape on a show, but I have a letter from Douglas Reid.
CSJ: 20:23 let's hear it
DS: 20:24 and I'm going to let you respond to it. He has five points, and his question, was Kavanaugh, was the Kavanaugh nomination and confirmation and example of Trump's genius. His first point is, he kept the campaign promise to nominate from his list.
CSJ: 20:42 Yes, correct.
DS: 20:43 Number two is he nominated a person who had served at a very high level in a regular, Republican administration that got the regular Republican support
CSJ: 20:54 indeed. And came with a distinguished record.
DS: 20:58 Three, he picked someone with more than a few unblemished FBI checks,
CSJ: 21:03 yes. Although never before had they looked into allegations of his high school behavior or his Yale behavior. But yes, he had been examined for a number of federal posts by the FBI.
DS: 21:14 Again, this is from Douglas Reid, and number four, he quoted Ford's testimony at a rally accurately, but in campaign style rhetoric. Although some conservatives were disappointed in Trump's performance, the liberal media was outraged by his quotes and it went all over the news. The people who watched and read this news learn the other side of the story for the first time. That is, that was not just about the 100 percent sure innocent sounding woman or the Democratic senators who said they 100 percent believed her and blatantly ignored the precious legal concept of innocent until proven guilty.
CSJ: 21:49 No, I disagree 100 percent with that. Trump's caricature of her, his disrespect publicly for her, his putting her down and making sarcastic remarks about a traumatic abuse and this woman's testimony, was absolutely without question 100 percent unacceptable, demeaning to women, that it cannot be justified. He could say like many other Americans, I have considerable doubts about this story, but he didn't say that, he played terrible ad hominem, belittling games with a woman who came forward reluctantly to tell her story. And it was one of the most appalling things that I've ever seen in the course of my life.
DS: 22:36 So you agree with three of the first four points. His fifth point is Trump's speech at the White House swearing in is an additional example. He apologized to Kavanaugh, his family, and I felt to all America for the behavior of the Democrats.
CSJ: 22:52 The Democrats have misbehaved in some respects. You could talk about the timing of the letter, the outing of Professor Ford, of the way that certain political hopefuls were using this moment to grandstand, the 100 percent agreement that she must be telling the truth and Kavanaugh must be guilty. The Democrats have a lot to answer for, no question, but the president of the United States, Donald Trump does not know whether those allegations are true or not. Only two or three people know whether those allegations are true. Professor Ford, Justice Kavanaugh, and his friend who apparently was said to be in the room at the time. The President of United States does not know what happened. You and I don't know what happened. We have no way of discrediting her and we have no way of discrediting his basic allegation that he was not engaged in that act of sexual assault. Trump doesn't know, so if he apologizes, he might be apologizing to someone who is guilty. He might be apologizing to someone who's innocent.
DS: 23:57 I think he probably was apologizing for the process itself and having said that, I would go to the other side and say, uh, I mean the, the whole point of those is to get to the bottom of the character and the trustworthiness of the, of the nominee. How can judge Kavanaugh ever decide a case based on Republican, Democrat differences and not recuse himself. He's made it absolutely clear, you know, and some of the Republican senators, that's what goes around, comes around that sort of thing. So I think there's blame enough. It was a mess.
CSJ: 24:35 Well, there was blame for everyone, but let me say this, in conclusion, we all know what we mean by judicial temperament. His behavior in front of the Senate on that day was exceedingly weak on what we all know to be Judicial temperament. Maybe he had reasons he was outraged. His family has been damaged, his reputation was on the line, but that, but he, but he revealed us, an emotive righteousness and a loss of control in public and vindictiveness in his response to the criticism that were not in keeping with my idea at least of what judicial temperament means.
DS: 25:17 People who support him and say, well, he was pushed to that and that may be true.
CSJ: 25:21 It was a nightmare for this country all around. But you know, the person I feel most sorry for is Kavanaugh's family because whatever happened back there in prep school, his wife and children had nothing to do with it.
DS: 25:36 Again, the letter from Douglas Reid closes by saying it could be that the timing and substance of Nikki Haley's resignation is another example of Trump's political genius.
CSJ: 25:45 How so would that be?
DS: 25:46 I'm not sure.
CSJ: 25:47 I don't know what's going on with her, but.
DS: 25:49 I think she's going to run against him.
CSJ: 25:51 Then that wouldn't be genius. You want to keep your enemies close. I don't think she's going to run against him. I don't think he's going to run again, but that hardly matters.
DS: 26:01 Well, meanwhile.
CSJ: 26:02 She's one of the most distinguished members of his administration.
DS: 26:05 Meanwhile we're leaving Beau sitting in the studio waiting for us.
CSJ: 26:09 Indeed. And, and you know, he has insights about these things because unlike the two of us, he's actually felt what it's like to be in that cauldron. The White House.
DS: 26:17 So let's hear from him.
DS: 26:18 For all those who have not met Beau on our previous shows. You spent how many years in the White House?
BW: 26:23 Almost six.
CSJ: 26:24 Working for President Obama.
BW: 26:25 Correct.
DS: 26:27 Interesting discussions with you on the show. It was.
CSJ: 26:30 And now you're at some idealistic think tank.
DS: 26:34 Protect Democracy.
BW: 26:36 Yeah, we're not a think tank. We're an advocacy organization where we, um, investigate, report on, and litigate authoritarian threats. And we are
BW: 26:44 to be clear, we're nonpartisan.
CSJ: 26:45 Authoritarian threats here. Not Saudi Arabia.
BW: 26:48 Correct. Domestic.
CSJ: 26:49 Looking pretty grim. Donald Trump's friendships with these despots.
BW: 26:54 With these autocrats. Absolutely. North Korea.
DS: 26:58 Great website. Protectdemocracy.org. I believe I was just there the other day. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Thanks for doing, for updates.
CSJ: 27:04 So, okay. You're, you're an advocacy group, and so you, might be fair to say you're a watchdog group watching for authoritarian strains in our culture.
BW: 27:13 Yeah, that's right. And then, and then using, using whatever tool we think most appropriate, whether that's public organizing, in the press, you know, using our media relationships or using litigation as a tool to, to roll back those threats.
CSJ: 27:29 To use the term of choice in our time. What are the metrics on this? How do you determine whether you have any success?
BW: 27:34 That's such a good question. I, you know, so we, we have.
BW: 27:38 It's hard to measure impact in the world on these kinds of questions and you know, we think that there are probably a host of ways you can tell and it's not just about counting, say, court victories, right? It's about, um, there, we actually have a tracker on the website, an authoritarian tracker that, that uses.
CSJ: 27:56 You have an authoritarian tracker?
BW: 27:57 Yeah, yeah.
CSJ: 27:59 Download the app now.
BW: 28:00 They take a survey responses from hundreds of political scientists across the country that are pulled every day or so, and by George Washington University political scientists and they gauge where the United States sits in with regards to authoritarianism in comparison to other countries.
CSJ: 28:21 And how are we doing?
BW: 28:23 Not well.
CSJ: 28:24 Really? Explain. Be serious. Give us a little sense of that.
BW: 28:27 Yeah. So we are right now, I think the score is like 30 something which, which means serious democratic erosion.
CSJ: 28:35 Give examples.
BW: 28:37 So we are in the realm of Belarus, India, Poland, these all have have scores in the forties and fifties.
CSJ: 28:46 What kind of authoritarian things where you are you monitoring that we're doing that put us in such bad company?
DS: 28:51 Really, you know, people are going to go, what do you mean everything's working for me. The grocery stores are good. I've got my NFL and how could it be that kind of a score?
BW: 28:59 Well, first, I'll say I'm not a spokesperson for Protect Democracy. So the answer I give is.
DS: 29:04 The best we've got.
BW: 29:05 So for example, uh, attacking the press. De-legitimizing independent institutions, bullying private citizens, quashing descent. There are, there are certain buckets of activities that pretty much every authoritarian leader uses. Now they might do this by accident or they might do this by intention, but you know, you look at Erdogan in Turkey and he is following a very standard playbook of how you slowly over time dismantle a democracy from the inside and turned it into an authoritarian regime. And Donald Trump, you know, I think not probably intentionally, I think he is sort of muddling his way through, is doing many of those same things.
CSJ: 29:42 Why?
BW: 29:42 Because I don't think he respects liberal democracy.
CSJ: 29:44 I mean he seems like, to many, he seems like a kind of a buffoon to figure if you're. If you're talking about despot. There are despots, Saddam Hussein or Stalin. There's a kind of a comic element in Trump that I think disarms us from realizing the seriousness of the things he's trying to dismantle. In other words, we get stuck thinking about how zany crazy it all is, but behind the scenes, the EPA is doing damage to the environment and I see, what was it, 3000 law professors from around the country say, you know, really if you're going to put Kavanaugh at all, there should be a long waiting period here, and then they just simply ignore it and do the simple partisan thing. That feels to me like a deep erosion of the democratic spirit.
BW: 30:35 I agree. I think Donald Trump and his ilk don't respect or embody our sort of basic norms. I think that's one of the scariest things to me about his election and this current political moment is how many of my fellow Americans don't share my expectation of what a political leader should be.
CSJ: 30:55 It was just the opposite. So I'll make the case for the other side. They'll say, look, you've got a fundamentally paralyzed and broken system. You have to crack a few eggs to make this thing work. We're going to have to shake the tree in order to restore American greatness. If that means the ill chosen remarks or some angry tweets or some unilateral actions that shakeup NATO or the European alliance, that's worth doing. If at the other end we get more prosperity, better jobs for Americans, America's not taken advantage of in the world arena any longer.
CSJ: 31:30 That's the argument they make that this is a necessary bloodletting.
BW: 31:33 But I've, I still don't understand the trend line between the breaking of the eggs and the prosperous outcome that they expect.
CSJ: 31:41 Right. You don't see the result coming.
BW: 31:42 I don't understand why they think that, why my fellow Americans think that Donald Trump and his brethren will necessarily lead us to a more prosperous future.
CSJ: 31:54 But they do.
BW: 31:55 I know.
CSJ: 31:55 And they think you're nuts. They do. They think you're like some whiny liberal that doesn't, can't stand a little shakeup. They think that this is the. I mean, I meet these people, we live with these people. I meet these people everyday. Their view is that Trump is the best thing that has happened to this country for a very, very, very long time. And they won't say it, but maybe better than Ronald Reagan because he's not afraid to take on the establishment. The deep state, the pointy headed liberals. The think tanks, the Martha's vineyard crowd, and they think have at it. They want him to crush the establishment.
DS: 32:35 I think that segment of America has existed
DS: 32:40 for a long, long time. I've referenced Jon Meacham's latest book. Our better angels, I think is the title, something. I hope I don't get that wrong, but you look back to the days of McCarthy and it was right around that 35 percent who, they wanted to shake things up and they were going after all the communists and that segment has been around for a long, long time. What worries me more, and I think you kind of alluded to this, is that there's, another book, Michael Lewis, the fifth risk. Are you familiar with that? It details, and you could speak to this, it details the lack of transition between the previous administration and the current administration. How, how that was. Obama left and told all his agencies he wanted a smoother and better transition than George W Bush had given him.
DS: 33:33 And Bush's transition was like stellar, one of the best, and people would wait in their offices at the department of energy for someone from the new administration to meet with them and no one would show, and when they did it was just short meetings and so that, that transition, and a lot of those positions have yet to be filled. And as you well know, the Department of Energy, it's not about gasoline.
CSJ: 34:01 It's not only about gasoline.
DS: 34:02 It's about Nuclear bombs and so that's what scares me is the fact that we, we don't have a professional political team in power right now. That's what people wanted. They wanted somebody to come in and shake it up, but the fact that we don't have a professional political team means things aren't getting done. On a huge scale.
CSJ: 34:22 Is that true, do you think?
BW: 34:24 That this administration doesn't have a professional? Um, yeah, it's true.
CSJ: 34:32 But is it true that things aren't getting done? Because I think they're doing stuff that is not professionally vetted.
BW: 34:38 Oh, absolutely. So I guess there are a couple answers to that, to that statement. Um, and at first thought, I'll just tell a story about my experience during the transition. So I worked in White House operations which manages the, managed, the physical and financial aspect of the White House, right. So we were the politicals in charge of handing out the staff and spending the money, and between November and January when we walked out the door, I didn't meet or talk to a single person from the Trump transition team, and I handle all the money for the White House. That was my job, was to manage our appropriation. I, now, granted, I wrote him a really long memorandum, uh, you know, I gave him a several hundred page briefing book, but they didn't come and talk to us once, which was an aberration from how transitions had been conducted previously. And then, I think that the first year of the Trump White House was, as a result of their lack of planning and preparation, a real mess. But I think
BW: 35:38 since then they've been putting in, and I mean you look at EPA as a prime example of where they have installed ideological bureaucrats or you know, their politicals who are actually quite effective in doing exactly what that administration wants to do. So I think they're actually getting stuff done. Now, it might be haphazard.
DS: 35:56 I love listening to Beau talk. You may not like his progressive tendencies, but he's a good guy and he has the best intentions.
BW: 36:05 And he turned up. I walked into the studio thinking we were doing something. Suddenly there's Beau Wright.
DS: 36:11 We need to take a short break, but we will be back to hear a bit more from Beau in just a moment. You're listening to the Thomas Jefferson Hour.
CSJ: 36:18 Hello everyone. It's Clay Jenkinson. Just sneaking in a little announcement between segments of the Jefferson Hour. I want you to join me this winter at Lochsa Lodge west of Missoula for two humanities cultural retreats: the first one, water and the west, January 13th through 18th, and the second, Shakespeare without tears, January 19th through 24th. For more information, go to our website, Jeffersonhour.com/tours. We'll see you in the mountains.
CSJ: 36:52 Welcome back to the Thomas Jefferson Hour. We're talking with our young friend Mr Beau Wright. I think of him as being in the arena back in Washington DC and now Lynchburg, Virginia
DS: 37:03 and he kinda poo poos that he, 'I wasn't that important,'
CSJ: 37:06 but then now, now he's a Westerner, he's out floating around in the Badlands and Mount Rushmore and, and the petrified forest in western North Dakota.
DS: 37:15 Yeah. I think he said his mother grew up in Colorado or was born there and
DS: 37:19 he has a real affinity for the west.
CSJ: 37:21 Yeah, he does. And he walked the walk, you know, we invite people to come out here all the time to see the magnificence of western North Dakota and the Black Hills of South Dakota and suddenly he takes us seriously and he's out there and he shows up and he looks all rugged and like he's just been climbing. What is it now? It's Black Elk mountain, formerly Harney Peak in the height of the Black Hills of South Dakota.
DS: 37:47 Back to Beau Wright.
CSJ: 37:48 So what would, if Jefferson were here, now that you've seen Devil's Tower, uh, what would you want to ask him?
BW: 37:56 Oh my gosh.
DS: 37:57 Perhaps, uh, perhaps.
CSJ: 38:00 I could slip into character if, if anyone has a real question.
DS: 38:03 And I would start by saying Mr Jefferson, we have a special guest as you can see here with us today and you'll be pleased to know that he's from your beloved Virginia.
DS: 38:15 In fact, he lives in Lynchburg close to your home, Poplar Forest. This is Mr Beau Wright, a city councilman from Lynchburg.
CSJ as TJ: 38:24 I commiserate with you sir. I created a second home for myself in my Bedford properties. They were my most lucrative, the most fertile of my properties. And I inherited them from my wife's estate. She brought 134 slaves with her into our life and she brought some extensive holdings in the western part of Virginia. And I used to stay in overseers' huts and houses when I would go out there. And it was inconvenient to me. So I decided to build myself a small little hermitage, a little rural retreat. And then the project sort of grew beyond what I had originally envisioned, but I was fascinated by the octagon as a form. For one thing, it's a light gathering form. You have more sides together, more light, and light mattered to us in an age before electricity, and because of our obsession with reason and enlightenment and so on. And so it became a pretty interesting architectural experiment. Finished around 1809.
DS: 39:25 Mr Wright is not only a city councilman, but spent a great deal of time working for the president. He spent time in the White House. Perhaps you have some questions for him, Mr Jefferson?
CSJ as TJ: 39:37 Well, I wanted to know the size of your staff. I had one. I had Meriwether Lewis. That was it. How many people worked for your president?
BW: 39:45 My president had 450 political staff members who reported to him directly. That does not include unpaid staff interns.
CSJ as TJ: 39:57 Well, the White House is a fairly small building.
BW: 40:00 Indeed, but now there are two wings on either side and the west wing and the east wing.
CSJ as TJ: 40:03 Were they tastefully designed?
BW: 40:05 Yes, in keeping with the original design of the mansion, and then there is a large, a 19th century building, the Eisenhower executive office building right up to the, adjacent to the White House, to the West Wing. So to the west, which houses several thousand staff members
CSJ as TJ: 40:21 I've had a chance to see it. Appalling architecture in the Eisenhower building. Not In keeping with neoclassical norms.
BW: 40:28 Uh, no, it's French. Second Empire. It was once described as looking like an overgrown cranberry bush.
CSJ as TJ: 40:34 Oh my. Yeah. So 450 people working directly for the president as your president, as I understand it was a black man.
BW: 40:42 Yes, he is.
CSJ as TJ: 40:44 That would have been unthinkable in my time. How surprising was that to you and to the American people?
BW: 40:51 Even in 2008 when he was elected, it was a great surprise, but also a cause for great celebration I think. Not because we have defeated racism, I think far from it, but because it indicated a certain transcendence of the American character and willingness to accept somebody who, at least in terms of presidents who have served before, is this different.
CSJ as TJ: 41:14 Well, I was writing about these things long ago. I said the race tensions would probably never end or if they did end that would take hundreds of years. What's your sense of race tensions in your own time?
BW: 41:27 I think they continue. It's one of the biggest struggles that we have as a country today.
CSJ as TJ: 41:33 What do you attribute that to?
CSJ as TJ: 41:34 My own view was that the fact of there were two problems here. One is that the, our founding relationship was one of master and slave, and so that was always going to have a legacy of tension, no matter how long this played itself out, that former slaves were going to recall their origin story and they were going to be, um, peevish and angry about that. And secondly, I felt that the badge of blackness, of the color of African Americans would mean that they would always be seen as a separate caste. That in Rome, for example, slaves, once freed, blended immediately into the larger population because there was no race distinction. Do you think there's anything to this, or has this been discredited as a view?
BW: 42:21 Well, I think we now recognize race as a construct, that there is nothing different between human beings and you, the color of your skin is something that is totally immaterial to who you are as a human being.
CSJ as TJ: 42:37 So you would then directly dispute my own findings in Notes on Virginia.
BW: 42:41 Yes, you were, Mr President, categorically wrong.
CSJ as TJ: 42:45 I was categorically wrong?
BW: 42:46 Yes.
CSJ as TJ: 42:47 Well, as a scientist, I don't mind your saying that. I would of course love to see the evidence, but I trust what you say, that greater enlightenment has come. But if that's true, if, as you say, race is a construct, which I'm not even sure that I fully understand, then why haven't you been able to overcome race tension?
BW: 43:05 Because I don't know that that's still a universally accepted truth. I think that there's still a number of, of folks who, who don't recognize or have fully, haven't really reckoned with their own internal biases. With regards to race.
CSJ as TJ: 43:22 Now, when I was the president of this country, and by the way I didn't call it a mansion, but when I was the president of this country, I only had one staff member. He was Meriwether Lewis and he had his quarters in the East Room. He partitioned it and one part was his private quarters and the other part was in a sense his office. Is that where you live?
BW: 43:46 Would that I could. No, I didn't, I didn't. And the East Room now is a ceremonial room, its used for press conferences, for events and concerts and soirees. In fact, that's been part where they hold the White House Christmas party every year.
CSJ as TJ: 44:04 That's the one thing of course I did. I had two public gatherings per annum, one on New Year's and one on the fourth of July. And we served champagne and sweet meats and Virginia delicacies, some French, and then of course the world's largest cheese. So I'm a libertarian, as I think you know, that government is best which governs least. 450 sounds like a kind of a swollen staff. Was your president a libertarian who believed in extremely limited government?
BW: 44:36 No, no, I think that. I shouldn't speak for President Obama, but I think one of the reasons that I supported him is, I think he shares my view that government has a positive role to play in people's lives, which is not to say however that government should play an overwhelming role in people's lives, but it should facilitate liberty and freedom. And I think, you know, so you should have as much government as is necessary to ensure maximum liberty and freedom. And I think that, I think President Obama would share that sentiment.
CSJ as TJ: 45:07 So you're a Hamiltonian, aren't you?
BW: 45:11 This feels hostile all of a sudden.
CSJ as TJ: 45:13 I'm not hostile at all, but I believe that the national government should be the foreign department and that, a few plain duties performed by a few honest men. I take you to be one of those honest men, but your view that government has a positive role in our culture, uh, would strike me as the very essence of Mr Hamilton's vision.
DS: 45:35 Oh, I might jump into Mr Wright's defense, sir.
CSJ as TJ: 45:38 I'm not accusing him of anything. Of course ... my mortal enemy. Mr Hamilton.
DS: 45:42 You, yourself, you recognize the importance of good roads and transportation.
CSJ as TJ: 45:50 With enabling amendments to the constitution.
DS: 45:52 There are some roads that are so large, private citizens can't construct them. So I would side with Mr. Wright in the case of that.
CSJ as TJ: 46:00 Oh dear. I blush for America. If both of you have now joined Mr Hamilton and his centralized government.
DS: 46:06 Well, it is a different time we live in.
CSJ as TJ: 46:10 I accept that the earth belongs to the living, not the dead. In my time, it would have taken you seven or eight months to get to Devil's Tower in Wyoming, if you lived at all. So I take it that you made that journey in a number of hours.
BW: 46:26 It is remarkable. It's still, it doesn't cease to amaze me how quickly one can get from one part of the country to the other.
CSJ as TJ: 46:33 Mr, Wright. With all your background in politics and, and being a Virginian, are there any questions that you would like to ask Mr Jefferson?
BW: 46:43 Well, if I may, I'd ask what Mr Jefferson might think of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
CSJ as TJ: 46:50 I think I can fairly say that I planted the seed of the national park system because as you know, if you're from the western part of Virginia, I purchased the natural bridge.
CSJ as TJ: 47:00 The natural bridge is one of the most sublime of nature's works. It's worth the trip across the Atlantic to see this magnificent arch, carved by the rush of water over a long time. I believe the earth might be as old as 60,000 years. And to see that is to be overwhelmed by its magnificence. I had a violent headache just looking down into the, into the gap.
DS: 47:24 But you purchased it in order to save it.
CSJ as TJ: 47:27 Protect it.
DS: 47:27 Right.
CSJ as TJ: 47:27 I wanted to protect from mining or other development, but I also believe that there are some things. Niagara, the natural bridge, the confluence of the Potomac and the and the Shenandoah, that are so magnificent that we need to set them aside as particular examples of what America represents to the world.
DS: 47:49 Government could do that.
CSJ as TJ: 47:50 Well, I did this as a private citizen.
CSJ as TJ: 47:53 I do believe that's the way to do it. Private foundations, but, but I'm not altogether against government doing it. If there's an enabling amendment. I'm a strict constructionist. I don't think we should be doing things that were not enumerated in Philadelphia in 1787, but the national park service that you're talking about and your apparently world class national parks systems are partly an inevitable result of the magnificence of North America. Paine, in one of his books, I think it was common sense, said we have it in our power to begin the world over again. So we had nature as, in a sense, as the creator had left it to us at the creation and now to see things that had never been developed, never overrun with human community or industrial development was inspiring in the profoundest sense, and to protect some of that is in our interest as a symbol to the world, as a symbol to us, of why America is the vindication of the world. But I would rather do that as a private matter. I bought the natural bridge for a very small amount of money by the way. I've thought of selling it later in life, but I just couldn't bear to do it even when I was seriously impoverished. So you've seen this bridge.
BW: 49:12 I have seen natural bridge.
CSJ as TJ: 49:13 It's now a State park as I understand it.
BW: 49:15 It is, it's beautiful.
DS: 49:18 Well, thank you very much Mr Jefferson for agreeing to come in on short notice and meet Mr. Wright. I would assume it was your pleasure, sir.
CSJ as TJ: 49:26 Well, it is my pleasure. I would urge you to read deeply in the libertarian tradition and perhaps to rethink some of your ideas about the intrusiveness of our government, but I know that you're just starting out. You're a young man and so there's some hope that wisdom will creep in.
BW: 49:41 I welcome the education.
DS: 49:44 Mr Wright, you have had a chance to meet President Jefferson. You seemed a little overwhelmed by his presence. If I may say.
BW: 49:51 How could you not be, you know, the president of the United States, in person.
DS: 49:58 Just another fellow Virginian sir.
BW: 50:00 Just another fellow Virginian but one who is revered across Virginia and still referred to as Mr Jefferson, even in private conversation.
CSJ: 50:08 Even now.
BW: 50:10 Even now.
CSJ: 50:10 With the, as you know, Jefferson, you
CSJ: 50:11 know, you're right in the epicenter of this. Jefferson is under fire for slavery particularly, which is almost impossible for anyone to really make sense of. Jefferson's hypocrisies in this area. And there have been vandalism against his statue at different places in Virginia. There'd been calls to remove his statue from his own university, the University of Virginia. It's an interesting time, on the one hand you have sort of the KKK marching through the streets of Charlottesville and on the other hand you have extremely righteous people on the left who want to erase the very idea of Thomas Jefferson and others because of their complicity in some of the dark side of American history.
DS: 50:57 But we always need to remember, and we just had this conversation a week or so ago with the authors of Valley Forge, and one of them during the course of the conversation talked about Washington and about Jefferson and the need for both. How Jefferson provided the thoughts and ideas and men like Washington made it work.
CSJ: 51:18 But how does it feel to be in Virginia while this intense debate is going on?
BW: 51:23 I mean, I feel privileged to, to be there for it. I think I adopted the Jefferson Hour view of the matter.
CSJ: 51:33 Well then there's hope for you ... What's the Jefferson Hour view on the matter?
BW: 51:40 That you should, you should take the view of somebody holistically.
CSJ: 51:45 The whole man theory.
BW: 51:45 The whole man theory, there's no doubt that Jefferson had a dark side and participated in an institution that's worthy of censure. It was now and it was then, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't also acknowledge his contributions. It just makes him a complex, complicated figure.
CSJ: 52:04 We're thrilled that you've stopped into the new enlightenment of Radio Network Studio and we want you to come back and anytime you have a thought like, I should be on the Jefferson Hour, I have something I want to say here, just write or text us and we'll work you right in because we're eager and we do actually...
DS: 52:21 You're a good guy. Thanks for coming.
BW: 52:22 Hey.
DS: 52:23 we hope you all enjoyed our conversation with Mr Beau Wright. And it's coming close to the holiday season. I know there's a couple of things you want to remind people about.
CSJ: 52:35 Well, first of all, I want to say how, how delighted I am in knowing Beau Wright. Whatever your politics are, to think that the country is being taken seriously by young men and women who want us to be a Jeffersonian republic is just such a gratifying thing to me.
DS: 52:56 He said an awful lot of nice things about the show and now I have this standing offer for him to take me to Poplar Forest.
CSJ: 53:02 He's gonna show you Jefferson's second home, Poplar Forest. This is the time when we're getting ready for the winter retreats. We have the Shakespeare without Tears retreat at Lochsa Lodge west of Missoula on the 19th through 24th of January and then before that, Water and the West, which is January 13th through 18th. All the books
CSJ: 53:26 on the future of water issues in the American West. Utterly fascinating. And then in March in Monterey, Steinbeck's California, March second through eighth, go to Jeffersonhour.com for those, they're kind of extensions of the Jefferson Hour, David, most of the people who come on these journeys are Jefferson Hour aficionados and they, we actually sometimes actually, as you know, record a Jefferson Hour from Lochsa Lodge.
DS: 53:50 And with that sir, well we shall say goodbye to Mr. Beau Wright. And thank you again. And again, if you want to find out more about those cultural tours, go to Jeffersonhour.com. You can support the show there and there's just tons of information. We're very proud of that website. We get a lot compliments.
CSJ: 54:07 It's a great website.
DS: 54:08 From outsiders on that.
CSJ: 54:09 Thanks to Beau. Safe travels, our young friend. We'll see you next time. You're out on the great plains and to all of the rest of you.
CSJ: 54:17 We'll see you next week for another exciting edition of the Thomas Jefferson Hour.
DS: 54:21 The Thomas Jefferson Hour is brought to you each week by Dakota Sky Education. The program is distributed nationally by Prairie Public Radio. President Thomas Jefferson lived from 1743 to 1826, and this program presents his views. President Jefferson is portrayed by the award-winning humanities scholar and author Clay S. Jenkinson. To obtain a copy of this or any show for $12 donation, please call (888) 828-2853. This program is also available online at jeffersonhour.org and on iTunes. If you'd like to correspond with President Jefferson, or submit a question for him to answer on the program, please visit the website at jeffersonhour.org. The Thomas Jefferson Hour is produced at Makoché Recording Studios in Bismarck, North Dakota. Music by Steven Swinford. Thank you for listening. Please tune in again next week for another thought-provoking, historically-accurate program through the eyes of Thomas Jefferson.