"If there is other intelligent life in the universe, then it's in our interest to try to find that out."
— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson
I bought a used pickup over the summer and a modest, used Steinbeck-like truck camper. Rocinante. I intended to winterize it over the weekend, then a blizzard appeared out of nowhere. By mid-afternoon, I would have sold that rig for ten cents on the dollar. I don’t deserve to pretend to be Thomas Jefferson.
If you want to understand Jefferson you have to try to make sense of a moment like this in 1784, when he denounces slavery more firmly than at any previous time, and fights to keep it out of the American West, and then blithely takes a slave with him to Europe to attend to his every need.
The words constitutional crisis are thrown about too often, but I must tell you we are in one now. The Trump White House has said it will not comply with the House of Representatives impeachment investigation. What if the Senate removes the last guardrail—legal eviction—and the President realizes that there is no further check on his behavior?
Over the past few days I have had the wonderful guilty pleasure of sitting down to read Robinson Crusoe cover to cover. I know I should have been doing other things, some of them pressing, but I just sat there and read this famous and fabulous account of a man who is shipwrecked on a small island off of Venezuela and spends 28 years there, 26 alone with a parrot and some semi-domesticated flocks of goats.
My core conviction is that the American people are less divided than they seem. That the American people are hungry for something more authentic in the national arena. That people are more reasonable and open-minded than they seem.