On this July 4th, 2009, America is facing a crisis, though unlike the crisis she faced when the Quaker pamphleteer wrote "The Crisis" in 1776, the United States born out of that crisis faces ones of poverty, inequality, debt, under-education education, and tyrannical opposition to personal freedoms. Once again, these are the times that try men's souls.
First, the author of this article would like to underscore that he is aware of conservative movements to garner Paine as their own hero; recalling a forgotten American revolutionary and conjuring up the great man as a bastion of conversetuve ideals.
I say nay to the those who would paint the great Thomas Paine as a sympathizer with the cause of modern conservatism, and specifically I cast shame unto one Bob Basso, a man who is not a great pamphleteer who writes for the benefit of all mankind, but one who is a horrid jester, a propagator of lies, and performs for the musings of those who purposely contort Paine's spirit like so many decrepit whores.
I extend this condemnation also to Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and all other similar manner of infinite intellectuals whose goal it is to willfully pervert the message and sprit of Paine through willful and calculated deception.
On the Liberalism of Thomas Paine
The conservatives who tout Paine's name today are the very ideological kin of those who defamed him over 220 years ago for rattling the cages of the establishment. They the kin of men such as Edmund Burke, as British Parliamentarian who condemned Paine's views of "The Rights of Man" in favor of ideals which conserved the political norm.
Indeed, in fact, in truth, and in all right, Thomas Paine is the kin of modern liberals. Not liberals such as William Jefferson Clinton or Harry Reid. No, I think he would have thought them to be too conservative in their actions and too dispassionate in their politics. Paine is the kin of liberals who are far more left than the nations acceptable upper echelon.
Paine would consider Franklin Delano Roosevelt as his brethren. Yes, the same man who conservatives love to hate, Paine would have had an acute sense of brotherhood towards. After all, it was FDR who established the national minimum wage of 25 cents in 1938. Furthermore, it was again FDR who implemented Social Security, an ideal which Paine was an advocate for in his 1796 work "Agrarian Justice."