When Thomas Paine wrote common sense his intent was to show the people of the states divided that they had a common cause. Despite their differences on the minutia of daily interaction between England's ruling class and the colonist, they should be bonded by the recognition of obvious assaults against the most precious of human desires - liberty. If Thomas Paine were alive today, his pen would again be compelled to reach out to Americans to coalesce our different attitudes and opinions into the most salient issue that will ever perplex mankind. Liberty! Sadly, a significant sector of our populace would speciously disregard his passionate warning. I have read a lot about Thomas Paine. I know Thomas Paine. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am no Thomas Paine. I am, however, a man who's knowledge and experience has led him to believe the republic left to our care, that we should pass down to future generations of souls who yearn as all souls do for freedom, is in imminent danger of being lost. All free peoples must look into their hearts and ask themselves; of all things possible to leave for posterity; IF NOT LIBERTY - WHAT?
Peoples of all nations have always had differences and difficulties. But all peoples of a republic have a bond stronger than any difference or difficulty should succeed in undermining. All of us rightly should protect at all cost our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are not just words. They are dreams, ambitions, goals, adventures, rights, responsibilities, truths, obligations. While we have our duty to ourselves and our immediate family, we must never forget our higher duty to those who will come after. "No greater love hath any man than to lay down his life for another." You may not have to lay down your life, but you may have to sacrifice. You may have to forego comfort or pleasure so that you may honor and protect the sacred rights of generations yet unborn to enjoy the liberty you naively take for granted today.
If you are a liberal you should cherish liberty. You want to make art and music and love without the state monitoring or censoring your talents. You want to speak freely and criticize those who take advantage of the poor, pollute the environment or frivolously make war. You want to be free to form a collective of like minded people to express your thoughts in deeds as well as words. You want to worship freely and with tolerance for differing lifestyles. A government strong enough to strike down a capitalist is strong enough to destroy you and your community group. Beware the power you put in the hand of a friend, for it may find it's way into the enemies grasp!
If you are a conservative you should honor liberty. You want to be free to innovate and create without fear of losing the fruits of your labor. You want to worship without fear of government reprisal. You too want to speak freely and congregate and raise your family as you see fit. You want politicians accountable for decisions, especially those that involve the ultimate sacrifice of it's citizenry. You too want a voice in how our earth is both used and protected. You want to protect your right to defend your family as you see fit. Beware the power you bestow on your leader, for he shall pass the torch!
All clear thinking Americans should be patriots. All should despise government as no more than a necessary evil. Many governments have been tried and are yet being tried. None are so special as ours. We submit no power to centralized government other than that needed to protect us from them. The states and local governments can provide what we deem necessary to the progress of our lives. The federal government has only to ensure that all citizens are free, that all commerce is freely engaged in and that all enemies are defeated. Any more, is tyranny. Soft or hard, tyranny is oppressive and steals the potential of all who allow it to infect their country. So, my fellow citizen, when the dirt is shoveled over your grave, what will you leave posterity? If not Liberty - what?