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Mt. Rushmore After Dark

By       Message Kurt F. Stone       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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(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 lot on my mind. I'm always 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?'"

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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."


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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."


T. Roosevelt: "Ah President Jefferson! How wonderful having you and your felicitous phraseology enter our conversation . . . hope our chattering did not awaken you."


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T. Jefferson: "No, not at all. You may remember that in life, I rarely slept more than 3 hours at a stretch. From the time I was a mere lad, I was always of the thought that too much sleep would likely deprive me of too many experiences . . . In any event, I am truly concerned about how little the nation's politicians or leaders actually lead or act; of how much they follow or react. And what's more, it seems to be a virtual mania these days to promote ignorance and denigrate knowledge. If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects that which was never was . . . and never shall be. Indeed, your party has definitely been taken over by a beast."

A. Lincoln: "I certainly agree with you there Tom. As I have often said, When you have an elephant by the hind legs and he's trying to run away, it's best to let him run away. I think that before too long, our Republican leaders will wake up and see that the faction they nurtured and anointed is, if left unchecked, going to lead them into 40 years of wandering in the political wilderness. I mean, this notion that by cutting taxes on the wealthiest 1% somehow the 99% will be better off is political alchemy; I mean, how many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg . . ."


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Kurt Stone is a rabbi, writer, lecturer, political activist, professor, actor, and medical ethicist. A true "Hollywood brat" (born and raised in the film industry), Kurt was educated at the University of California, the Eagleton Institute of (more...)

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