The fourth modern device used today is Minimalism, which is an unreasonable insistence on oversimplification---on reducing everything to monolithic causes and linear effects. Minimalism is easily recognizable in political campaign rhetoric: candidates take behemoth problems facing the nation---complicated difficulties that often have been decades in the making---and reduce them to one line platitudes and campaign slogans. Minimalism is also apparent in the modern portrayal of history.
Our modern culture insists on easy answers, but the life of Jefferson does not accommodate that demand. He was an extremely complicated individual, not a man to be flippantly stereotyped or compartmentalized. In fact, he was probably much more complex than most other historic individuals from the same era. But many who write about him today try to conform him to a preshaped, preconceived, simplistic mold into which he does not fit. The image of Thomas Jefferson as presented by one modern writer will therefore often completely contradict the image presented by another, because each writer attempted to squeeze Jefferson into his or her own Minimalistic perception. Minimalism is especially utilized by single-issue groups seeking to keep their issue at the forefront of public thinking---an especially difficult task in a culture already overloaded with single-issue organizations. Because such movements often lack widespread public support, they frequently attempt to bolster their standing by attaching someone of much broader public appeal to their narrow agenda, making that person appear to prove their objectives. Consequently, Minimalists portray Jefferson only as a racist, atheist, secularist, or whatever else they believe will help their agenda.