Endless oppression brings the Paine.

“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” – Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine was an Englishman who made it to America just in time to take part in the American Revolution.  He was the journalist in charge of Common Sense (a pamphlet originally signed “Written by an Englishman”).  He came to America and helped convince the colonists to fight for their liberty.

John Adams was been quoted, saying, “Without the pen of the author of ‘Common Sense,’ the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”  He referred to the importance of educating the people on why they should wish for freedom, when trying to convince them why they should stand up against the British.  It was Thomas Paine’s promotion of liberty in America that gives him the title as one of America’s Founding fathers.  However, it was not solely America’s freedom that he cared about.  He believed that all men deserved liberty.

When I read about Thomas Paine, I can’t help but to dwell on our country’s current foreign policies.  Our presidents start wars with countries that have not attacked us, on the basis that they could if they were given a chance to.  President Obama, for instance, started aerial assaults on Libya, claiming that he was not breaking the constitutional requirement for congress to authorize a war declaration, because it was not a war.  In his eyes, it was not a war, because Libya was not shooting back.  In that case, it’s not war.  It’s oppression.

Until Vietnam, America did not enter a war until there was an attack made by another country on America.  Now, we have endless warring that currently costs us $9.5 million a day.  For a government that can’t afford to pay its bills, or live up to its obligations, our government is spending a lot of money trying to build an empire it does not need.

Regardless of how someone feels about current wars, we must all turn back to Thomas Paine, and ask ourselves how he would feel.  I’m willing to bet that he would dismiss it completely.  He’d be more concerned about what our Federal Government has become.  He would wonder why we’re arguing about details and not discussing a government, right here, which has become much more oppressive of its people than it has ever been before.  Maybe he would even start writing an article about it…

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