When Thomas Paine came to America, he was one man looking for a job. He had some trouble getting settled in England, and at the recommendation of an acquaintance (B. Franklin) came here to try again. In the winter of 1776, strong loyalist sentiments bore a heavy influence in Philadelphia. Paine saw this and recognized the truth. George III of England sought to control behavior in the colonies by his overbearing tax policies. Paine also recognized the fact that oppressive taxation was not intended merely to raise revenue; it was meant to squelch prosperity in the hope of silencing descent.
Paine was only one man, but he decided he could be silent no longer. He wrote down his thoughts which were first published anonymously in a pamphlet called Common Sense. Pamphlets were grassroots efforts to influence public opinion by identifying commonly held views separate from the mainstream media of the day. In other words, a lot like talk radio.
Paine’s words ignited passions as much as they united people around the idea that it was time to throw off tyranny and promote freedom. No other single publication influence the American Revolution as much as Common Sense.
It is now time for Americans to stand up again. Issues such as the current effort by GOP establishment to squelch grassroots (and I might add – majority) opinion must stop. To all liberals in conservative clothing, to Congress, the President, and anyone else who dares to suppose that freedom can be stopped by suppressing the truth, I have a message. Surrender now, we have you surrounded!