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Listening to America with Clay Jenkinson

Listening to America aims to “light out for the territories,” traveling less visited byways and taking time to see this immense, extraordinary country with fresh eyes while listening to the many voices of America’s past, present, and future. Led by noted historian and humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson, Listening to America travels the country’s less visited byways, from national parks and forests to historic sites to countless under-recognized rural and urban places. Through this exploration, Clay and team find and tell the overlooked historical and contemporary stories that shape America’s people and places.
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Listening to America with Clay Jenkinson
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Nov 13, 2018

"You have a population of 330 million. This is a way that the whole system is designed to distill their will." — Clay S. Jenkinson

The results of the 2018 midterm elections are what we try to sort out this week: what it means, what it implies, and how it fits into Jefferson's view of the United States. Jefferson said it is necessary to give, as well as take, in a government like ours, and we wonder if if we do a good enough job at that. Both parties claimed victory after the November 6th election, and maybe that's true, maybe that isn't, but Jefferson's view is that it was kind of what you would expect for a midterm election, no matter who was president. Jefferson also said that conscience is the only clue which will eternally guide us. He loved the idea that people would participate in self-government. The number of people who voted in the 2018 election was through the roof. Unprecedented. Record setting. Jefferson would be so pleased. In 1824, Jefferson wrote to Edward Livingston: "A government held together by the bands of reason only, requires much compromise of opinion; that things even salutary should not be crammed down the throats of dissenting brethren, especially when they may be put into a form to be willingly swallowed, and that a great deal of indulgence is necessary to strengthen habits of harmony and fraternity."

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

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