Monday, February 24, 2014

Introduction to My Blog

I am "A Son of Common Sense," a son therefore of Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809), who was sometimes called plain “Common Sense,” after his pamphlet’s title.  Paine's Common Sense (1776) was the most important and most persuasive argument for the colonies’ independence from Great Britain.  It called on us to form a democratic republic, it called us for the first time the “United States of America,” and it can honestly be called the father of the Declaration of Independence, whose sentiments echo its own.  It was by far the biggest selling book in U.S. history – after the Bible of course – as it sold 500,000 copies to a population of 2,000,000 (which would be like selling 80,000,000 copies in today’s America).  Paine published Common Sense anonymously and he earned not a penny from its sale.  He cared about his message.  (As an aside, a half-dozen new biographies have been written about Tom Paine since the turn of the century.  Here is an article from Wired magazine written in 1995 that may have sparked the renewed interest in my Dad).  And here is Bill Moyers interviewing a conservative and a liberal, both huge fans of Paine.

I care about my message too.

My message is this: the USA is, once again, at a crossroads.  It can travel down one path or it can travel down the other.  One path leads toward the sunset of national glory; the other to a new sunrise of national glory.  Who will choose the path that we take?  Why, you, dear reader, you and only you – and your neighbors.

We all know – you and I and every American – that our democracy is a sham, a shadow, a fake, a fraud, that we have “the best democracy that money can buy,” that we vote every two or four years for men and women who will do the bidding, not of We the People, but of their largest benefactors.  Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives – even independents and moderates and Greens and Libertarians – none of us gets what we want from our elected officials.  And not because Republicans and Democrats have to compromise to get anything done.  Big Money – in the form of corporations, unions, non-profits, hedge-fund managers and CEO's – THEY get what they ask for with no compromise.  If YOU were in Congress, wouldn't YOU give a special ear to your biggest benefactors?  The system is corrupt at its core.  The system listens to money, not to We the People.  There is nothing that a Congressman can do for you and me that won't potentially cost him his next election, due to the upset that big donors will feel when he does the will of the people but not HIS will.

So, dear reader, the job is YOURS!  What needs fixing must be fixed by YOU!  For in a democracy – what is left of it – the people have the ultimate influence.  And if they do nothing, they have caved in to those powerful forces that WILL act and do act every day.  10,000+ "registered" lobbyists (and perhaps 100,000 shadow lobbyists) in Washington, DC, all acting in the interests of BIG MONEY.

Here is the other half of my message.  As long as you and I blame the other party for our problems, you and I are the problem.  What needs to be fixed is non-partisan.  I did not say bi-partisan (both major parties cooperating with each other); I said NON-partisan (people working on a problem with their party identifications checked at the door).  The important issues of the day are NON-partisan.  The important issues of the day are: America’s standing in the world; our national pride and our national security; a healthy economy and a fair economy; true equal opportunity; work for all who want it; true justice for everyone, the poor as well as the rich.  All these issues depend on honest-to-God self-rule.  We can go back to fighting the Big Government / Small Government war after we have returned our government to We the People.

Get on board, there is a war to be won!

Addendum: Tuesday, 11/03/2015
After all this time, it seems to me that this "movement" needs some clarity; that a book of 150 essays and a blog of 90 entries, needs a clear focus.  It needs some memorable buzz words so that we know when we are talking about it.  So, "The Democracy Movement."  "The Fight for the 28th Amendment."  The "We the People" amendment.  #FightBigMoney

On this subject, please read my Corporate ... What? and The Irony of Democracy and Patriotism.

See also about my book, To My Countrymen.

Thanks for doing your part!