Without Paine, the American Revolution dies stillborn in the hearts and minds of the American colonists, muttering impotently under the heeled boots of the King's army.
This toxic mutual intolerance has divided our nation into three societies, each behaving as though the other two do not matter.
If we lived in such a land where men and women were bound by a necessity of fear and anxiety of one another, how could they ever build a community, let alone a nation?
[N]o man or woman with a patriot's heart could, in good conscience, put the mailed fist of government tyranny on the throat of men and women whose only real crime is being desperate and hungry.
With no government to take from them, they thrived. With no one to silence them, they advanced. With no one to tell them how best to live, they prospered.
There is a distressingly dwindling divide between economic power and political power in the United States today.
There is a broad swath of Americans that now believe that it is somehow inappropriate for citizens to dare to speak to an elected official out of turn. This is terrifying.