When Thom Hartmann bought an old farmhouse in Vermont, hidden away in the attic he found a complete twenty-volume set of the complete writings of Thomas Jefferson, published in 1904. The discovery led Hartmann to explore our founding fathers’ true vision for America, and how that vision is and is not reflected in the government and society we see today. His observations are at once disturbing and hopeful. He points to the many ways our present government might make Jefferson’s blood run cold, and yet offers hard evidence for the opportunity we have to return to the ideals of democracy at its best. He explains, “Change, number one, doesn’t necessarily happen instantly, and, number two, never happens from the top down; it always happens from the bottom up. So the reality is that change is happening.” Ultimately, Hartman reminds us, the future course of our government really is in our hands.
Thom Hartmann is a nationally syndicated talk radio personality. He is the author of fourteen books, including Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights (Rodale 2002), The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It’s Too Late (Three Rivers Press 2004), We the People: A Call to Take Back America (CoreWay Media 2004), and What Would Jefferson Do? A Return to Democracy (Harmony Books 2004).
Topics Explored in this Dialogue:
- How Jefferson’s populist vision is relevant to your life now
- Why the current U.S. government reflects the three ancient forms of tyranny
- How Thomas Jefferson struggled to abolish slavery
- How slavery is still a reality in the life of every American
- How herd animals apply principles of democracy in their decision making process
- What you can do to enhance democracy in the United States
Program Number: 3061 Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 8/21/2004