T. Roosevelt: "With all due respect, President Jefferson . . . uh . . . Tom . . . As much as I do agree with you on the issue of political ignorance, I'm not so sure about your take on the religious aspect of the problem. I mean after all, you've never been what might be called a 'believer.'"
T. Jefferson: "Ah, there you have it wrong, my dear Teddy! As I once wrote my good friend, Dr. Rush, To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus Himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which He wished any one to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to Himself every human excellence; and believing He never claimed any other." I have nothing against religion; it's just that I cannot fathom it playing such a seemingly crucial role in our national political discussion. The truth is, the greatest enemies of the doctrines of Jesus are calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. Nonetheless I remain a thorough-going optimist. A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolved, and the people recovering their true sight, restoring their government to its true principles . . ."
G. Washington: "Thomas: might your reference to "witches" be an illusion to that young woman from Delaware? Seems to me that more than concerning ourselves with witches and warlocks hovering about the nation's political arena, we would do well to guard against the postitures of pretended patriotism."
T. Jefferson: "How delightful having you join our conversation, Mr. President. I certainly agree that I too am greatly bothered by those whose patriotic fervor will not permit them to see -- or even consider -- the opinion of another without declaring it to b e essentially treasonous. These modern folks seem to have forgotten that every difference in opinion is not a difference in principle."
G. Washington: "Yes, Thomas. There you have it right. I remember writing Mr. Hamilton, Differences in political opinions are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary; but it is exceedingly to be regretted that subjects cannot be discussed with temper on the one hand, or decisions submitted to without having the motives, which led to them, improperly implicated on the other; and this regret borders on chagrin when we find that men of abilities, zealous patriots, having the same general objects in view, and the same upright intentions to prosecute them, will not exercise more charity in deciding on the opinions and actions of one another. . ."
T. Roosevelt: "Gentlemen: I regret to say that the dawn is breaking, and soon the tourists are going to be gathering and taking all those interminable photos and videos. Perhaps it will be best for us to continue the conversation in the near future, for there is so very much to discuss. Next time, perhaps we can get into the corruption which pervades the entire political process. Perhaps as we sign off, each of us can ante up a thought in anticipation of our next chat. For me it would be , When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer "Present" or "Not guilty." How about you Abe?"
A. Lincoln: "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and cause me to tremble for safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic destroyed."
T. Roosevelt: Tom?
T. Jefferson: "You and I have formerly seen warm debates and high political passions. But gentlemen of different politics would then speak to each other and separate the business of the Senate from that of society. It is not so now. Men who have been intimate all their lives cross the streets to avoid meeting, and turn their heads another way, lest they should be obliged to touch their hats. This may do for young men with whom passion is enjoyment. But it is afflicting to peaceable minds. Tranquility is the old man's milk."