Common Sense is Dead in the United States
By Frederick James
Common sense is dead in the United States! What has happened since the age when Thomas Pain wrote Common Sense, a treatise on why the thirteen colonies needed to break away from the mother country of Great Britain? The colonies had no representation in the British Parliament. The colonists helped the British win against the French in the Seven Years War 1754 -1763. The colonists developed an economic market and supplies of raw materials for England. The geographic benefits for Britain on the American continent were incalculable in terms of foreign policy with France and Spain. Britain had the capabilities of checking the power of the two European powers who were in competition with England for centuries.
When the British thought the American colonists needed to help pay for the French and Indian War (same as the Seven Years War), Parliament and the monarch levied taxes on the colonists without their representation, thus starting the story of the greatest country to exist on the earth. The Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Quartering Act, Declaratory Act, Townshend Acts, Tea Act and the Coercive or Intolerable Acts all contributed to the immense tensions between the government in London and the colonial legislatures in America.
Born in 1737, he came to America in 1774 after leading a life of disappointment in England. He first settled in Philadelphia under the guardianship of Richard Bache, Benjamin Franklin’s son-in-law. A year later, he was hired to write for and edit The Pennsylvania Magazine, although he left his position the same year. “In January 1776, two years after arriving in America, and six months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Paine anonymously published ‘Common Sense’ to immediate success. It sold more than 100,000 copies within the first three months, and even today remains one of the best-selling, if not the best-selling, American titles of all time. The pamphlet galvanized support for an armed rebellion and moved America from the lukewarm column into the solidly independent one.”
Thomas Paine became an ardent supporter of the American colonists and their cause for complete independence from Great Britain. Paine laid out arguments that guided his readers toward an historical model which sustains a move toward self-government.
On the Legitimacy of the English Monarchy
England, since the conquest, has known some few good monarchs, but groaned beneath as much larger number of bad ones, yet no man in his senses can say that their claim under William the Conqueror is a very honorable one. A French bastard, landing with an armed banditti, and establishing himself king of England against the consent of the natives, is in plain terms a very paltry rascally original. It certainly hath no divinity in it. However, it is needless to spend much time in exposing the folly of hereditary right, if there are any so weak as to believe it, let them promiscuously worship the ass and lion, and welcome. I shall neither copy their humility, nor disturb their devotion.
Paine begins with the falsity of the British monarch’s origin in William the Conqueror. Why should the American colonists keep themselves bound to a government founded under purely ridiculous circumstances? He believes that many of the succeeding kings and queens were corrupt and not beneficial to the ruling of the British government. He writes that hereditary monarchy is absolute folly where people are placed in power regardless of their education and qualifications for governing. A Frenchman was also the first to rule. A Frenchman?
On Governance from Abroad
It is repugnant to reason, to the universal order of things, to all examples from the former ages, to suppose, that this continent can longer remain subject to any external power. The most sanguine in Britain does not think so. The utmost stretch of human wisdom cannot, at this time, compass a plan short of separation, which can promise the continent even a year’s security. Reconciliation is now a fallacious dream. Nature hath deserted the connexion, and Art cannot supply her place. For, as Milton wisely expresses, ‘never can true reconcilement grow where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep.’ Every quiet method for peace hath been ineffectual. Our prayers have been rejected with disdain; and only tended to convince us, that nothing flatters vanity, or confirms obstinacy in Kings more than repeated petitioning—and nothing hath contributed more than that very measure to make the Kings of Europe absolute: Witness Denmark and Sweden. Wherefore, since nothing but blows will do, for God’s sake, let us come to a final separation, and not leave the next generation to be cutting throats, under the violated unmeaning names of parent and child.
King George and the other monarchs of Europe were tyrants who ruled the people and the lawmakers with absolute power. Their wants and needs came before all they governed. The divine oracles had spoken to these monarchs in the past when absolute-monarchs reigned high above the spiritual and material worlds of heaven, hell and earth. The “next generations,” Paine states will have to “cut throats” and fight if there is not a “final separation” from England. The child must separate from the parent as is the sacrament of marriage when husband and wife become one flesh in the great mystery of the Christian faith. Repeated petitioning will not render a positive verdict from the king. Hate now divides the people of nation and colonies. It is not at all possible to reconcile.
On the Cause of Revolution
O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.
On America’s Natural Advantages and Continental Government
In almost every article of defense we abound. Hemp flourishes even to rankness so that we need not want cordage. Our iron is superior to that of other countries. Our small arms equal to any in the world. Cannon we can cast at pleasure. Saltpeter and gunpowder we are every day producing. Our knowledge is hourly improving. Resolution is our inherent character, and courage hath never yet forsaken us. Wherefore, what is it that we want? Why is it that we hesitate? From Britain we can expect nothing but ruin. If she is once admitted to the government of America again, this Continent will not be worth living in. Jealousies will be always arising; insurrections will be constantly happening; and who will go forth to quell them? Who will venture his life to reduce his own countrymen to a foreign obedience? The difference between Pennsylvania and Connecticut, respecting some unlocated lands, shows the insignificance of a British government, and fully proves that nothing but Continental authority can regulate Continental matters.
Paine has American colonists depend on their inherent character and their courage for a resolution of economic, political, social and judicial sovereignty and autonomy. The time had come for the COMMON SENSE of the leaders and the people of the thirteen colonies to fully engage in all efforts toward severing foreign obedience. The colonists needed to become obedient only to their own legislatures under the ideal of self-government.
On Religious Liberty
As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of government to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith. Let a man throw aside that narrowness of soul, that selfishness of principle, which the niggards of all professions are so unwilling to part with, and he will be at once delivered of his fears on that head. Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society. For myself, I fully and conscientiously believe that it is the will of the Almighty that there should be a diversity of religious opinions among us. It affords a larger field for our Christian kindness; were we all of one way of thinking, our religious dispositions would want matter for probation; and on this liberal principle I look on the various denominations among us to be like children of the same family, differing only in what is called their Christian names.
Thomas Paine, like Thomas Jefferson saw the reality and the necessity for religious freedom in America, even differences among the many Christian denominations established in the thirteen colonies. As in our First Amendment, Paine believed that government had the indispensable duty to protect the individual from religious persecution. This type of torture was practiced for centuries with the Catholic Church using inquisitions to force people to convert or to give information to church officials. Protestants had fought Catholics and Jews had been the target of the Muslims and the Pope in their quest for Jerusalem. Almighty God willed formHis people to live in harmony and peace with each other according to Paine.
Under our present denomination of British subjects, we can neither be received nor heard abroad; the custom of all Courts is against us, and will be so, until by an independence we take rank with other nations. These proceedings may at first seem strange and difficult, but like all other steps which we have already passed over, will in a little time become familiar and agreeable; and until an independence is declared, the Continent will feel itself like a man who continues putting off some unpleasant business from day to day, yet knows it must be done, hates to set about it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity.
Common sense is dead in the United States! What has happened since the age when Thomas Pain wrote Common Sense, a treatise on why the thirteen colonies needed to break away from the mother country of Great Britain?
Common Sense in the Present
Fast-forward to the United States 2018, a month away from 2019. Liberals attack every “common sense” action President Donald Trump takes. Like in those years and days after the French and Indian War and before the American Revolution, there are drastic measures needed to govern in a different way. The age of political machines commanded by the Democratic and Republican Parties needs to end. These political parties have sabotaged and highjacked freedoms from the American people through taxation without their consent and through the redistribution of money away from the middle-class working people. The middle-class has now been enslaved and mastered by a corrupted Congress. The president is trying to bring back some economic protections to the working class.
Through wonton legislation, the Congress has become, like the king and Parliament, an external governing power. The states have joined in on this political party power through high property taxes in some of these states like New Jersey and New York. Car insurance is like a tax because of corporate and congressional compromises over the years. Unregulated medical and prescription drug costs are an essential crime against the working people of the United States. Hospital costs, testing costs and mental health care are sending people to bankruptcy.
Common Sense: President Trump tries to regulate immigration and gets a wall of opposition from Democrats and liberals who have more compassion for illegal immigrants than for citizens of their own country and for the veterans who have protected the country. A wall needs building. Democrats need to help the president construct practical immigration legislation for the protection of American citizens both native-born and foreign-born. Why should illegal immigrants receive medical and Social Security benefits from this government? Why should the states be responsible for educating illegal immigrants? It all goes against common sense.
Common Sense: President Trump places tariffs on some foreign goods from countries who have continually placed tariffs on American goods over the decades because of foreign lobbyists who have “bought” congressmen. Like the Clintons, others in our government have sold out their own country for their own economic advancement. They are guilty of treason and have betrayed the trust of the American citizenry. But, common sense is lost in the minds of these liberals, Democrats and in the newsrooms of MSNBC, CNN, NBC, and CBS. They have all lost the mindfulness of common sense.
Common Sense: President Trump tries to accommodate the press at a post-election press conference and is treated with utter disrespect through most of the time spent there. Why? All of the group created negativity against the president came through in individual questions from individual reporters. Racism, immigration, the wall, the caravan, Russian collusion etc....With their arrogant wisdom, the main stream media has indicted, tried and punished a president of the United States through distractions to the point where Constitutional government has ceased to exist. The Democrats in Congress have refused to do their jobs and no one does anything about it. Why? The midterm elections showed how the deceptions against President Trump came to fruition through hate toward everything the president does, hate toward his family and hate toward him personally.
Common Sense: Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a man who in his career has done everything to advance the legal careers of women, was publicly humiliated with connived stories of sexual assault. His daughters and wife had to endure the liberal’s unmerciful efforts to crucify the character and reputation their father and husband. Senator Lindsey Graham said that the whole affair of the Judicial Committee’s hearings was a farce and an indisputable corruption of justice toward a man up to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Common sense needs to come back to leaders in the Congress. How can this happen among grown men and woman who are least likely to change? A new political party needs to replace the waste of what we have now. Thomas Jefferson said that revolution is needed every so often in order to shake the tree of liberty. A revolution doesn’t have to be contained in violence. We can bring a revolution through another party that can bring common sense to our Constitutional governing.