June 2024


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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Mt. Rushmore After Dark, a conversation of patriots











By (about the author)



(The following “conversation” is only partly a product of my imagination; all of the italicized lines represent actual quotes from the four men looking out from Mt. Rushmore . . . )

T. Roosevelt: “Psst . . . Mr. Lincoln . . . Are you awake? In the mood for a chat? I’ve got a horrific case of insomnia and just know that I’m going to be up all night. I’ve got a lot on my mind, and can’t stand just being idle . . . must do something to wile away the night.”

A. Lincoln: “Yes, Mr. Roosevelt, I am also awake, and also have a lotalways up for a good jawing. As the saying goes, ‘I like talking with a man who likes to talk.’ So, on what topics shall we speak this beautiful moonlit night? And by the way, after all these years, isn’t it about time you started calling me ‘Abe?'”

T. Roosevelt: “Thanks . . . Abe. And likewise, please call me Teddy . . . it’s much more friendly-sounding than ‘Theodore.’ Now, as to what’s on my mind . . . well, to be quite blunt, it’s the state of politics . . . indeed, the very direction of these United States. And when I say ‘politics,’ I mean not to refer just to the Democrats or our fellow Republicans, although I must say — and in this I suspect you shall concur — it is not at all the party we belonged to and led in our day.It seems to me we used to be so much more concerned with people than with power . . . with speaking to the point rather than obfuscating the issue. I mean today, a typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.”

A. Lincoln: “Ah, you’ve noticed that too, have you? Yes indeed, this current crop of Republicans — and many Democrats — when you get down to it, are seemingly incapable of addressing real issues with anything approaching sincerity or conviction. Or of even speaking the truth.Nonetheless, I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts. And as for our party — of which I am proud to have been its first standard-bearer, I remember us being for both the man and the dollar, but in the case of conflict, the man before the dollar. I am greatly saddened to conclude that this is no longer the case. These capitalists generally act harmoniously to fleece the people, and our partisans are either totally blind to the fact at best, or in full agreement at worst.”

T. Jefferson: “Excuse me gentlemen: mind if an old Virginian joins in the conversation? I couldn’t help but overhearing what you are talking about, and am likewise quite exorcised by the craven mindlessness of our republic’s leaders. Seems to me that your party has been hijacked by a faction whose fuel is anger and fear . . . leavened with a rather large dose of sectarian apocalypticism.”


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