#1332 Smallpox

#1332 Smallpox

“Having been among the early converts, in this part of the globe, to [the smallpox vaccine's] efficiency, I took an early part in recommending it to my countrymen.”

— Thomas Jefferson, 1806

Jefferson talks about his own smallpox inoculation, as well as John Adams’ experience. Jefferson admired Dr. Edward Jenner, the physician and scientist who was a pioneer of smallpox vaccination. Smallpox killed millions of people during Jefferson’s time, and continued to do so until the 20th century. The World Health Assembly declared smallpox eradicated in 1980.

#1331 Young Washington with Peter Stark

#1331 Young Washington with Peter Stark

"The French ... thought it was an assassination, a war crime, that Washington was a murderer."

— Peter Stark

We speak with Peter Stark, author of Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father.

We discuss George Washington’s formative years and character traits, his travels into the Ohio country, and his relationship with lieutenant governor Robert Dinwiddie. We talk about how Washington’s involvement in the Battle of Jumonville Glen touched off the French and Indian War.

#1330 Wilderness and War

#1330 Wilderness and War

"This book reveals [Washington] as a man of emotion, raw emotion."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

In anticipation of our conversation next week with Peter Stark, the author of Young Washington, we speak with Jefferson about our first president. Jefferson also comments on the time change, and the importance of using available daylight.

#1329 Laboratories of Democracy

#1329 Laboratories of Democracy

"I am a loyal, proud, cheerleading sort of North Dakotan."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

A listener in Texas admonishes Clay for offering to give up a North Dakota senate seat, and we take questions about the Fourteenth Amendment. Our constitutional discussions continue by reading additional correspondence from listeners.

#1328 Constitutional Correspondence

#1328 Constitutional Correspondence

"What would fix this country? Almost the number one thing would be: take money out of politics."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We continue our current theme of constitutional discussions by reading and considering listener mail, including a number of specific suggestions for constitutional amendments.

That America!

We can get into the arena and fight for our republic. You are going to make some enemies, and even your friends are going to roll their eyes or worry a little about you, but you have to go to the city council meetings, the Iowa caucuses, the town hall forums, the hearing about the wind towers or the waste disposal project. When people of modesty and integrity stand up and speak with muted passion about republican values, others listen.

#1327 Complex Compromises

#1327 Complex Compromises

Jefferson answers questions about the Constitution, including topics like presidential pardon power, natural-born citizen requirements, and the constitutionality of signing statements.

We Can Fix This Broken System

We Can Fix This Broken System

The American people regard the US Constitution as a sacred document—even though Jefferson specifically asked us not to—and historically we have been very reluctant to tamper with it. Too bad, because it is badly in need of fundamental revision. Our Constitutional order has broken down. After years of thinking about this, I offer the following amendments.