Thomas Paine has lessons for Today

Thomas Paine had some words of wisdom that are applicable to the current dismal state of affairs in the Democratic Party. Mr. Paine penned his words of "Common Sense" for a different time and his warning rings true today.
The few are manipulating the many and as Mr. Paine warned, it is to their own benefit not the benefit of those they were elected to represent.I quote Mr. Paine here -

"In a former page I likewise mentioned the necessity of a large and equal representation; and there is no political matter which more deserves our attention. A small number of electors, or a small number of representatives, are equally dangerous. But if the number of the representatives be not only small, but unequal, the danger is increased. As an instance of this, I mention the following; when the Associators petition was before the House of Assembly of Pennsylvania; twenty-eight members only were present, all the Bucks County members, being eight, voted against it, and had seven of the Chester members done the same, this whole province had been governed by two counties only, and this danger it is always exposed to. The unwarrantable stretch likewise, which that house made in their last sitting, to gain an undue authority over the delegates of that province, ought to warn the people at large, how they trust power out of their own hands. A set of instructions for the Delegates were put together, which in point of sense and business would have dishonored a school-boy, and after being approved by a few, a very few without doors, were carried into the house, and there passed in behalf of the whole colony; whereas, did the whole colony know, with what ill-will that House hath entered on some necessary public measures, they would not hesitate a moment to think them unworthy of such a trust."

"A large and equal representation.""A small number of electors..... is equally dangerous." Words that are especially germane to what is happening in America today. Words that are echoing through history to warn us not to give in to the demands of the few. The "few" are disenfranchising the many. Mr. Paine's words are a wonderful argument against caucuses and against the party bosses.
"A set of instructions for the Delegates......approved by a few...without doors....(translate back room dealings?)....whereas, did the whole colony know , with what ill-will..." Amazing how these words resound today! Is it possible that instructions, issued privately, in the back rooms and corridors of power are being used to manipulate the outcome of the Democratic Presidential Primaries??? Of course it is possible and, sadly, even probable. Ill-will? How else to label the nonsense issuing from the mouths of the party elite?? How else to explain the convoluted allocation of delegates and the blocking of the votes in Fl and MI? The few have grown enamored of themselves and the power they have usurped from the people.
"They would not hesitate a moment to think them unworthy of such a trust." Dean, Pelosi, Kennedy et al are no longer worthy of my trust. In my humble opinion they are fighting to hold on to their power and are no longer able to discern the hearts and minds of the electorate.

More From Mr. Paine-

"But as the colony increases, the public concerns will increase likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those have who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present. If the colony continue increasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of the representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number; and that the elected might never form to themselves an interest separate from the electors, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often; because as the elected might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the electors in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this (not on the unmeaning name of king) depends the strength of government, and the happiness of the governed. "

Mr. Paine points out to us that the elected are to have the same concerns as those who appoint them. They are never to "form to themselves an interest separate from the electors." I submit that the party bosses have done exactly this- they have formed a cabal whose only interest is retaining their power. Let the people cry out asking for every vote to be counted and the people are deluged with cries of "The Rules." Whose rules??? Oh yes, that set of instructions they cooked up, that set of instructions that is being used to manipulate the outcome of this election. That set of instructions that THEY wrote, that they know most of the electorate has not read.
Some of us have read "The Rules" and know this is nothing more than a ploy for them to get the result they want. The rules were written in such a way as to render them meaningless; they can be interpreted and applied in a variety of ways.

History is crying out to us with valuable lessons. Let those who care listen and beware.

Tags: caucus, dean, Democratic Party, Elections, Kennedy, Pelosi, Thomas Paine, Voters (all tags)

Comments

8 Comments

Tom Paine was one smart cookie.

Too bad so many Dems today are not.  They are truly being hoodwinked and bamboozled...and I'm not referring to those of us who support Hillary Clinton.

by Shazone 2008-03-31 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Tom Paine was one smart cookie.

You shouldn't presume to tell those of us who don't support Senator Clinton the reasons for our choices.  It feeds into the idea that there's only one "correct" choice...an idea I'm sure Mr. Paine would have frowned upon.

by freedom78 2008-03-31 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Tom Paine was one smart cookie.

For decades that I can recall (and probably beyond that as well), we have been presuming to tell those that we disagree with that the reasons for their choice is false, and that there is only one correct choice.

One prominent examples of this is the oft repeated assertion that "Reagan democrats" voted against their economic self-interest.

Why should we stop preaching that the choices we disagree with are false ?  What is so special about this years election ??

by SevenStrings 2008-03-31 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Tom Paine was one smart cookie.

Perhaps I should clarify.  

It's perfectly reasonable to talk about issues.  But Shazone is claiming that we've been "hoodwinked and bamboozled."  

I know my reasons for my vote, so who the Hell is Shazone(or anyone) to tell me I've been tricked?

by freedom78 2008-03-31 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Thomas Paine has lessons for Today

Frederick Douglass said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

The Democratic Party leadership has taken its membership for granted for too long.  We are not puppets that move at their command.  

I am an American first.  My allegiance is to the United States of America and not to the Democratic Party.  Dean, Pelosi, Reid hear this:  I and many other Hillary supporters will no longer be taken for granted.  We want the best leader for America. Hillary is the best leader for America.   If the Democratic Party does not offer the best leader, we will go elsewhere.  God Bless America.

by Athena2 2008-03-31 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Thomas Paine has lessons for Today
I think some of you have missed the point of Proud's diary...it is not your choice she is questioning...many have been misled by fancy talking politician in the past...but it is how the party leadership is pulling strings and trying to manage the outcome...come on, no one can dispute that 4 million voters should be disenfranchised in an election this important. Especially when the dastardly deed of breaking "the rules" had nothing to do with those individual voters...and I think we all know that.
The supers could, of course, take their roles seriously and countermand that injustice...by supporting the best qualified, most experienced, and most thoroughly vetted candidate...
(Great post, Proud!)
by susanclare 2008-03-31 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Thomas Paine has lessons for Today

Some of us are listening. thank you for making this information available. The wise people that helped start this country had long vision. They understood the potential abuses of power and put safeguards into our Constitution to remedy the ills. With any good fortunate at all enough Americans will wake up to the truth.

by Fleaflicker 2008-03-31 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Thomas Paine has lessons for Today

Thank you Susan- Yes the point is the string pulling going on. In my opinion, we have given too much power for too long to too few.
They have become enamored of themselves and have lost touch with the principles we all hold dear- every vote counts! It seemed to me that Paine was giving us a warning we did not heed, to our own peril. The elected truly have formed unto themselves an interest separate from those who elected them. From my perspective, their interest is to retain their positions of power.

I for one will take Mr. Paine's words very seriously when anybody comes up for re-election. Perhaps it is time for cleaning house.

by ProudMilitaryMom 2008-03-31 04:51PM | 0 recs

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