Curtis Dahlgren
April 29, 2016
My conversation with Tom Jefferson at Monticello (revised standard version)
By Curtis Dahlgren

I THOUGHT I WAS IMAGINING THINGS. On a visit to Monticello the other day, I was the first tourist to arrive, and was greeted at the front door by ol' T.J. himself. "Howdy!" I said casually.

"Come on in," he said with a big smile. "I can use all the visitors I can get. How's your horse? Did he like the climb up the mountain?"

"Actually," I said, "my carriage has about 150 horses, an automatic transmission with overdrive, and a Garmin GPS system."

"One hundred and fifty horses?" he says. "What do you feed them on a trip?"

"Just gasoline," I said.

"Are you a comedian or something?" he says. "And what's this GPS thing?"

I was going to say 'you wouldn't understand' but you have to remember, I was talking to one of the most brilliant Americans who ever lived. "To make a long story short, it guides us to our destination." I said.

"We had that," he says. "But we didn't call Him Garmin."

I laughed and tried to change the subject:

"Have you been following the latest news in politics?" I asked.

"That I have," he says. "I was just talking to my neighbor James Madison the other day about the President. This guy seems different from all the rest we've ever had. Madison says that he plays the King cards like a man who has no aces. But I'll bet he has a lot of other 'tricks' up his sleeve."

"You got that right," I said. "He talks like a man who has a Plan B or an ego problem. He even told the Pope that he would have to help pay for American abortions."

"WHAT?' says T.J. "Didn't he ever hear of the Bill of Rights, religious freedom, freedom of conscience? The First Amendment says . . . "

"Ha!" I interrupted. "His party says that the Constitution is so old that it's hard to perceive the original intent."

"But we explained it ourselves over and over!" says Jefferson. "Haven't they ever read any of my letters? I must have written thousands of them."

"Maybe fifteen thousand, I understand," I said. "But the only one they ever cite is the one about a wall of separation between church and state. They try to use that one to drive religious speech underground."

"Well come on in," he says. "Don't stand out there in the cold."

I laughed and said, "This isn't cold. I'm from the upper peninsula of Michigan."

"Ah, the Northwest Territory," he says. "What brings you all the way down here?"

"I came to see your house," I said. "This and Mount Vernon. I was there yesterday."

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" he says. "I was talking to George the other day about your young President. But let's drop that subject and take a tour around my house."

WOW. This would have been a Top Ten lifetime highlight, with or without a personal guided tour by T.J. himself! We spent half of the morning in the library talking about John Locke and other great writers. I finally thanked him and said I'd better be going because I wanted to visit my brother in North Carolina. As we shook hands at the front entrance he asked me if I had any other questions.

I hesitated and said, "I hate to say this, but if you had the hots for Sally, couldn't you have avoided the temptation? You could have had a sex change operation or something." And he says:

" Why I never – but I didn't understand a word of what you just said."

"Well," I said. "The tour guides in your own house say that evidence is that you fathered at least one of Sally Hemings' children. Plus your old friends in the press."

"That figures," he says. "Those guys almost kept me out of the White House. And who knows what the United States would be like if that had happened."

"Exactly," I said. "Maybe the Louisiana Purchase wouldn't have gone through and Europe would own the majority of the country."

"Yes," he says. "And I understand that the Chinese are buying a lot of it now. But what's a sex change operation?"

"Well," I said. "The latest fad is to have a doctor physically change your biological gender, or at least one pretends that you are of the opposite sex, and then go into any public bathroom you choose."

Tom had to sit down for this and wipe his brow. "Don't doctors have anything more important to do? And why would anyone want to change their gender, if that's even possible?"

"This is just my theory," I said. "But in your day rebellious kids might have smoked corn silk in a corn cob pipe behind the outhouse just for fun; later kids smoked marijuana and worked up to deadlier drugs, just to show their disdain for the older generation; today's ultimate fashion statement is so-called transgenderism. It's gets one a lot of attention and special treatment.

"And by the way, this year we could possibly elect the first woman President or Vice President."

"That's what I heard," he says. At this point in the dream, I fell out of bed and woke up, thank God.

P.S. BTW, last week's column on "everything you always wanted to know about TJ and JC" should have included "MJ" – for marijuana – because it was 4/20, otherwise known as go-to-pot day, Earth Day, or Lenin's birthday, I believe. For Earth Day I always celebrate by going to ClimateDepot.com. And, FYI, a movie about the "climate change" is premiering on Monday, the day after May Day. When I was a boy we used to go to a Loyalty Day parade in Burlington, Wisconsin. Boy times have changed, eh?

PPS: In the 4/12/16 WSJ, an article by Bret Stephens talked about modernism and "loyalties." He was on a trip to Pakistan and had a conversation with three young Muslims. Sub-title of the article is "The political orthodoxy of the left is the gateway drug to jihad." Bret talks about the influence of Anwar al-Awlaki on the Ft. Hood shooter, etc. He says:

" But the influence of the Awlakis of the world can't fully account for the mind-set of these jihadists. They are also sons of the West – educated in the schools of multiculturalism, reared on the works of Noam Chomsky [and Michael Moore, etc.] . . . If [extreme] Islamism is their ideological drug of choice, the political orthodoxies of the modern left are their gateway to it."

And people have had it up to our vestigial gills with all the political correctness. More to come.

© Curtis Dahlgren

 

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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