Nov 262014
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“The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.”

― Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine; a painting by Auguste Millière (...

Thomas Paine; a painting by Auguste Millière (1880), after an engraving by William Sharp after a portrait by George Romney (1792) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I find myself channeling our founding fathers lately.   What intrigues me is that while we recognize their names and credit their contribution to our country today, when they were founding our country, there was no United States of America.  They made it all up.  They probably wouldn’t recognize our country today.  So much has changed.  They would have no way to predict the power and influence of the USA or the way it saved the world from tyranny and stands as a beacon of freedom in an unfree and unappreciative world.

What they did know was the oppression of the greatest world power in the 18th century on the insignificant colonies in North America.  Most of the colonists were English by culture and, in England’s eyes were English subjects governing themselves but receiving the generous bounty of being part of the British Empire.  To that end, England imposed a tax on the colonies and stirred up a hornets nest when free British subjects objected to taxation without representation.  The end result was the defeat of the greatest world power at the time and the creation of the United States of America.

Thomas Paine was the conscience of the revolution. 

He wasn’t an intellectual genius.  He didn’t write the great documents upon which our country is based.  But Thomas Paine was important none the less.  Thomas Paine tapped the emotional spirit of the revolution and inflamed the passions for right and freedom that fueled the fight.   He translated the intellectual clarity and wisdom of the founding fathers as they evolved their more perfect union into common sense, pithy axioms that resonated throughout the colonies.

One of greatest fears for the founding fathers was the power of government.  They recognized that government was important and necessary to provide the framework for a free people to exercise their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  They also knew that a government that is too powerful and infringes on those rights diminishes the individual.  The problem was how to have the framework and limit the potential for excess.

The country the founding fathers created provided the greatest platform for individuals to thrive and created the most prosperous nation the world has ever known.  Along the way, the government grew as well.  In the guise of helping people and creating equality of result we compromised the balance of power among the branches of government which allowed unchecked overreach as the government- for our own good- limited our freedoms.

Laws and regulations limit our freedoms, our choices and replace common sense on the part of citizens. Regulation is one role of government.  But regulation must be tempered by reason and under the direction of citizens who agree that the reduction in their freedoms is reasonable and good.  We are way past common sense regulation for the mutual benefit of all when regulations are imposed by faraway unaccountable bureaucrats.    When the citizen is no longer considered intelligent and responsible enough to manage his life, we have a government that founding fathers labored to prevent.

The government created at our founding was regarded by its creators as a necessary evil and they carefully crafted provisions to ensure that power be restrained.  Two hundred years have eroded those checks and balances.  Today we believe that we have the same freedoms and rights embraced by the founding fathers but we don’t.  We have accepted the prison of regulation and social pressure.  Our world is smaller and the human potential for each citizen diminished from our origins.  We accept our smaller opportunities and ask the government to do more because we have been persuaded that we can’t do more; that we aren’t smart enough.  We have stopped being citizens and accepted the role of subjects.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. 

We have come full circle here in 2012.  The government we created to serve our country at its founding has morphed into the nightmare feared by the founding fathers.  Today we need patriots more than any time since our founding because the citizens of our country become more and more dimished each year. This is no time for complacency.  The balance of powers that protected us from government excesses is weakened and ineffective.  Government has become an end in itself and a demanding master threatened by any attempt to restore freedom and protecting its power at all cost.  As he said,  “These are the times that try men’s souls……”

Today we need another Thomas Paine to lead the charge against the  government that is destroying our country and what it stands for- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.”

― Thomas Paine

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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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  7 Responses to “We need a new Thomas Paine!”

  1. Ralph, you are turning into a domestic terrorist…as defined by Janet Napolitano…and that is a good thing. You may have to limit your travels to those countries accessible by land transport from your home though if you keep it up…LOL.

    I DO disagree with one thing you said near the end of the post. We do not need another Paine…we need dozens…hundreds…thousands of them, spread across America. Thomas Paines that will invade (yes, invade, like the Normandy Invasion) every city council meeting, every county or parish commission meeting, short, who will be in the faces of local and state elected officials at every opportunity.

  2. Bob,
    The way I see it, one Thomas Paine will generate thousands of patriots- real patriots!

  3. And where is this Thomas Paine supposed to come from?

  4. I totally agree with you, we’d need great men like him, but unfortunately- sad but true – those old school values are almost forgotten nowadays.

  5. This wasn’t that bad idea. You are being protected to your country and there’s nothing else to say for them. – Brenda Lee Reed

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