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Remembering Thomas Paine and ‘The Crisis’

November 8, 2012

 I had a few subjects which I had intended to write about today–the UN Small Arms treaty is back, so is LOST, there is talk of a VAT and a carbon tax heading our way, and the Benghazi hearings are upcoming to name a few–but I decided to take a different course today because I sense something in the conservative blogoshpere which I feel must be addressed before we get back to the issues at hand. 

  Naturally, I see disappointment and despair  but beyond that I sense that there are many people who are ready to give up because they now think the cause is hopeless and the battle is no longer worth the time or the effort, and while I understand these feelings–to be truthful  that is part of the reason I decided not to write about the aforementioned issues–now is not the time to give up the cause. In fact, it is more important than ever to rejoin the fight as difficult as it may be and as futile you think it may be at this time.

  In December of 1776 the American revolution looked lost, soldiers were deserting after several losses and General Washington faced the prospect that many soldiers would leave the battle and return home instead of reenlisting when their enlistment was up at the end of the year.

  At that point the revolution was in great peril and could have easily been lost but Thomas Paine was not willing to give up so he penned ‘The Crisis’ in an attempt to rally the troops around a cause he knew was just.

    Here is the full text of that great article, and below are some quotes from it that I think everyone who is considering surrendering should read first.

  Of course we all know the opening sentence of that great work:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country

  But here is what follows that famous line:

but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

  The tougher the struggle the more glorious the victory is what he is saying here; if it comes easily we simply won’t appreciate it.

However, the fault, if it were one, was all our own; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet

 We tried and we failed last Tuesday, and we need to look at ourselves to see what we did wrong because all though it looks bleak right now it is still not over.

‘Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them. Britain has trembled like an ague at the report of a French fleet of flat-bottomed boats; and in the fourteenth [fifteenth] century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear; and this brave exploit was performed by a few broken forces collected and headed by a woman, Joan of Arc. Would that heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment! Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before.

 Many may be in panic mode right now, and again I understand why, but the mind can overcome this and if it does our resolve will grow stronger.

But, before the line of irrecoverable separation be drawn between us, let us reason the matter together: Your conduct is an invitation to the enemy, yet not one in a thousand of you has heart enough to join him

 I find this to be quite powerful and relevant today. Do not let this government divide us because if we are divided we are more easily conquered and we all saw this play out in the last election, that was Barack Obama’s whole campaign strategy. If we continue to be divided it will invite Barack Obama to continue to hold an advantage over us although none of us is willing to join him  because we think his vision for America is wrong.

 Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it

 We cannot let this loss sap us of our hope that a better country can emerge; we must RISE UP NOW AND REPULSE Barack Obama’s liberal agenda while we still can lest the future generations look back and say we wilted after one big loss.

The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.

  We might be depressed, stunned, and in shock, but brave men and women use this to grow brave and strong. Do not shrink at this most critical stage, use this loss to regroup and live to fight another day.

By perseverance and fortitude we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and submission, the sad choice of a variety of evils — a ravaged country — a depopulated city — habitations without safety, and slavery without hope — our homes turned into barracks and bawdy-houses for Hessians, and a future race to provide for, whose fathers we shall doubt of. Look on this picture and weep over it! and if there yet remains one thoughtless wretch who believes it not, let him suffer it unlamented.

 Thomas Paine was writing to men who were fighting and dying in a war for a cause they believed in while we are fighting a political battle and a fight for ideology. While our fight looks bleak it is nothing compared to what these men were going through.

  Two days after penning this piece George Washington crossed the Delaware and delivered a stunning blow in the fight for freedom. So I ask you all now which path you are going to chose; are you going to cross the Delaware or are you going to shrink in the face of duty?

  The choice is yours, but to quote another famous founding father, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty of give me death!”

  I will not stop as long as I breathe, what about you?

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2012 1:20 am

    Thomas Paine had a way with words only matched by his patriotism. I’m pleased you shared that with us as a reminder of how the founders gave their all in the great revolution that gave birth to this nation so many years ago. Some words span the years and will never be forgotten. A while back I wrote this piece, also inspired by Paine:

    “A hundred years from now historians will look back on this time as a tipping point in American history. A point from which there was no return. Sadly, many Americans will sit on the side lines while others join the fight. But once the fight is joined the onrushing events will gather momentum and all will be effected by the great struggle and even the “sunshine patriot” will find no refuge from the storm. We are now approaching that point, that place from which there is no turning back, some will say yes, while others hold back and cringe before the foreboding warnings.Great changes are in the wind and the forces of change are gathering as the approaching storm looms large on the horizon. Many are seeking the shelter of family and friends with the hope that these changes will pass them by and they can again feel the warmth of yesterdays. While others are rushing to fill the breach torn in the fabric of the nation by those forces who would not only destroy the tomorrow’s but the yesterday’s. For the fair weather soldier the tipping point will never come, for they will continue to push that point farther and farther down the road. They will stand under that sheltered tree as the battle swirls round them and their muskets will never know the taste of fire and smoke. But wiser men will stand and say, “no more”, for they have reached that place from which there is no retreat, The Tipping Point!”

    • November 9, 2012 6:36 am

      That is great stuff Ron, thanks for sharing it. There is still much work to be done and I hope people are still up for it.

    • Earle Andrews permalink
      November 10, 2012 2:10 pm

      AMEN

  2. lou222 permalink
    November 9, 2012 7:35 am

    I now have what my children call “the look” on my face. For whatever that means, they tell me it is one of resolve and they knew at that point, growing up, they had better stop what they were doing because I was done negotiating or putting up with something. Apparently, I still have the ability to do that, was not aware I still had it in me. NO, I am not ready to have MY country and MY way of life taken away from me. At some point I know that the government is going to have to be put in their place. How or when that will take place, I do not have a clue. People , AMERICAN people are the ones that should be calling the shots on how our government runs, not the government telling us how things are going to happen. WE pay their salaries and they should remember that. The President serves only because we put him there. WE CALL THE SHOTS. This is how it has been in the past and how it should and will be in the future. So, NO Steve, I am not willing to lay down and take it, not now, not ever. As my Mom used to say to me, “Linda, you were not raised that way”, when I would pull or do something stupid….well, I was not raised to put up with this crap, either. My Dad did not serve in WWII, being part of the greatest generation to have me and mine become complacent when something is not right….I am in it for the long haul. Continue on, because there are alot of us out here that just need to just pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and will be back at it, very soon. We are Americans, we don’t like being messed with and we are not going to put up with it. There, I am done for the moment.

    • November 9, 2012 9:23 pm

      Very well said Linda! This is not the time to give up! We need to keep fighting this corrupt and criminal regime for as long as we can and I am glad that people are starting to come back around after the original shock wore off.

  3. November 9, 2012 8:08 am

    I’m not willing to give up. I see our country going to hell in a hand basket and I can not help but fight. At the same time, my wife has a good point. She asked me what good it was doing for me to try to carry the weight of the country on my shoulders. She informed me that worrying about all of this and trying to fight this fight was taking its toll on me and she is right. I am completely drained and worn out, physically and mentally.

    • November 9, 2012 9:24 pm

      I understand what you and your wife are going though, we are going through the same as well. I am glad to see that conservatives are beginning to come around after the shock wears off.

  4. Nancy Andrews permalink
    November 9, 2012 11:16 am

    Thank You, Steve

    • November 9, 2012 9:25 pm

      Thank you and you are welcome. I took a couple of days off from posting on the issues to reflect on the results and to try to rally the troops, but as you can see from today’s three posts I an back and ready to fight on!

  5. lou222 permalink
    November 9, 2012 6:51 pm

    You know and I know that this election was stolen. Here is an article, I bet there will be alot more like it in the future, but nothing will come of it. It is so blatantly in our face that we can’t help but see it:
    http://www.punditpress.com/2012/11/what-luck-obama-won-dozens-of-cleveland.html

    • November 9, 2012 9:28 pm

      We all know that there was something “off” about this election because we can feel it. At this point I have decided to stop looking at the election and what could have been done differently and have decided that because we can’t do anything about it it is time to “move forward” and start back on the offensive.

      • lou222 permalink
        November 10, 2012 7:34 am

        We know what they did, and they know we know what they did. They are throwing it in our faces now. Yes, we move forward, we will use what Obama campaigned on “Forward”, they stole the election and are trying to steal our country and we can not let them get away with it. It is a new day and while I am not looking forward to 4 more YEARS of a good fight, we have no alternative, but to lay down and take it. I hope I will NEVER be at that point. However, we have to be realistic here, our home lives have to come first, our families are the REASON we are so upset with this election outcome. Unless there is something big that happens that take this president out of office, we have 4 years of dealing with him, we need to set a slower pace now. It was crucial before the election that we pick up the pace, but we got shot down. We have time to take a breather and get our lives in order, first. Do not let it consume our every waking moment or they will win and you will cease living. That is NOT what we want to happen.

  6. lou222 permalink
    November 9, 2012 7:02 pm

    I have a feeling we are going to be seeing alot of these articles from different crucial cities in the Swing states that were needed to win the electoral votes. Do you think anything will be done about it?
    http://www.punditpress.com/2012/11/fraud-in-pa-obama-got-over-99-of-vote.html

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