The Thomas Jefferson Hour

I would like to take at one day of post-election respite to mention something not related to City or State politics.

I highly recommend that everyone tune in The Thomas Jefferson Hour radio program if you have never had the pleasure.  The program is syndicated nationally and locally on several public radio outlets, including 89.3 FM in Grand Forks and 88.3 FM in Thief River Falls. You can catch the podcasts for free on Itunes, Zune, and the Jefferson Hour web site.

The program is hosted by “award-winning humanities scholar and author,” Clay Jenkinson.  Each week, Mr. Jenkinson fields questions and subjects portraying Thomas Jefferson, a character he has refined for half of his life.  There is also an out-of-character segment in which Clay typically relates current events to Jeffersonian thought. 

I discovered this show almost 10 years ago, when Jenkinson and crew produced the show out of Reno, Nevada.  Clay has since returned home to Bismarck, North Dakota. And, he picked up the show again with a new host, David Swenson.  For any fan of history, liberty, or the Enlightenment, the show is refreshing reprieve from both the mainstream media and the type of talk radio to which we have grown accustomed.  Fair warning – Jenkinson tends to lean liberal in his out of character dialogues despite his defenses to the contrary.  But, his portrayal of the libertarian Jefferson makes for some fascinating dichotomies.  The real crux of the program is discussing how we can be a more enlightened, independent, Jeffersonian nation.

I could go on for hours about how much I love this show.  I could drone even longer for my love of Jefferson as a historical figure. A portrait of Jefferson hangs in my office, which I like to think of as my own little study within Monticello.  For now, I encourage everyone to check out the show (full archives are available through the sources listed above), the web site, and the Fans of the Thomas Jefferson Hour Facebook and Twitter pages.  If you are still reading, you will likely enjoy the program.