“City council banns fast food drive thrus! Townspeople protest.”
I listened with wonder at this snippet from the daily news. Finally government is doing something concrete to restore the Constitutional vision of the Founding Fathers.
Three hundred years before Jesus was born, Epicurus, a Greek philosopher, discovered the secret of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
“Be self-sufficient, honestly face up to danger and delight and never ever eat alone.” No ivory tower pundit, Epicurus sold his town house and moved to a small plot of ground outside the city.
There he and his friends tended a garden with a few domestic animals, spent afternoons quietly contemplating their pains and pleasures and then celebrated happy communal suppers.
Thomas Jefferson was a fan of Epicurean communes. He made sure the right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ was the first goal of the Declaration of Independence.
As president, he worked hard to implement his vision for the USA. He saw a nation populated by clusters of Yeomen farmers. Providing for themselves on small farms, they joined neighbors to celebrate happy independence with holiday feasts on the village green.
Two hundred years of history since Jefferson’s death have highlighted two blind spots in his Grand Vision of our Republic.
If he knew about Jamie Watts’ steam engine, he didn’t look closely at the Industrial Revolution already underway.
Recent historical research at Monticello reveals Jefferson himself preferred a more modern distortion of Epicurean. His extensive tobacco plantations worked by slaves allowed him to dine on fine French wines and exotic imported foods. During the War for Independence, he entertained British Commanders who occupied Virginia. Over luxurious dinners, he persuaded his guests to exempt his plantations from confiscation.
Ah Welladay! The black and white picture media presents to us, when closely examined has always been shades of grey.
I do wish that town council success eliminating solitary hamburgers in isolated vehicles. It’s a baby step toward Jefferson’s Constitutional Vision of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’