Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour; a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides.

Time makes more converts than reason.

As a long and violent abuse of power, is generally the Means of calling the right of it in question (and in Matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the Sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry) and as the King of [America] hath undertaken in his OWN RIGHT, to support the [Congress] in what he calls THEIRS, and as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpation of either.

Thomas Paine (abridged) – Common Sense, Philadelphia, February 14, 1776, 3rd edition

Five long years of depredations to both our Constitutional freedoms and to our Nation’s good standing, one may hope that Time makes more converts than reason, for reason alone has not yet won the day.

Practicing “moral mischief”, the President’s men, steeped in treachery, subscribing to ” professional belief to things they do not believe”, have “corrupted and prostituted the chastity” of our nation’s mind and prepared our country for the commission of heinous crimes antithetical to its founding spirit.

Leading up to this anniversary, confounding all good sense and common reason, our mad-ministration continued to lie about their call to war, to justify cruel and unusual punishments, to undercut or abolish acts under which they might eventually be punished, to pervert the course of justice – all in an effort to tighten their grip on their dissipating power.

Today, a day we should honor the sacrifice of our citizens by celebrating the highest ideals of democracy, our President shamelessly wrapped himself in an ash stained flag – and feebly tried to resurrect his waning fortunes by justifying his race towards tyranny in pursuit of the noblest of causes – freedom for all.

Yet, returning true to form, our modern-day Janus once again condemned those that rightfully question the accelerating mischief, misery and death he and his ruling party have caused. Forgetting a previous President’s admonition that those who question power are indispensible, “for they determine whether we use power or power uses us.”

His and his cronies’ calumny should not, must not, stand.

Yet, in the last five years, as the 4th estate floundered and the electorate wavered, so many slights – large and small – have gone without due reckoning. Weariness melds with a sadness borne of watching our hard-earned freedoms and worldwide goodwill slip so easily beyond our nation’s grasp.

Fortunately, the deepest and darkest of shadows serve to concentrate our attention on the merest flickers of light

Yes, what my generation earned too lightly, we’ve esteemed too little. But now we’re blessed with a clear distinction and sharp contrast between two futures: a declining fascist state of Amerika or “a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.”

Remembering that “those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must…undergo the fatigue of supporting it”, to honor this day, I’ll continue to try to be Paine’s man that “smiles in trouble”, “gathers strength from distress” and “grows brave by reflection”.

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