Righteous Anger: “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine

It’s an act of common sense to be angry when people see injustice in the world. Our own common sense may trigger thoughts such as: “This is wrong! Life shouldn’t be like this. Someone needs to do something!”

That kind of anger isn’t wrong. It is right, a normal response of a conscious being  with the innate knowledge of right vs. wrong.

Thomas Paine, motivated to action based on his anger of the oppression he saw all around him in The Colonies at the hands of The British Crown anonymously published a pamphlet called “Common Sense” in January of 1776. Turns out, he wasn’t the only one or part of a small percentage of the population that shared his views. The majority of The People were also tired of being exploited by an out-of-control Government which failed to respect the public and didn’t operate for the best interest of the people. No, they had had enough.

Just 7 months after “Common Sense” was published, The Declaration of Independene was issued. We all know what happened next. Based on their collective and unified righteous anger, they won their freedom from oppressive rule. They didn’t sit by and idly watch or complain. They unified and acted.

Let’s use our “Common Sense” and unite. When will enough be enough? Thomas Paine and many others shed their blood so that future generations wouldn’t have to. They gave us the tools and the RIGHTS to act when a government becomes destructive to our unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of The United States of America was designed to create a government that operated for the welfare of The People and empower future generations to alter, abolish or institute a new Government whenever any “Form of Government” has become destructive to the People.

As stated in The Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.:

It is essential that the citizens of The United States of America read those words, study them and think deeply upon them.  Have amendments to our constitution and laws been passed that are limiting our rights?  Is The Government always acting in the best interests of We The People, or do they serve the interests of Corporations, Wall Street and the powerful elite?  Do certain industries  get granted the power to do as they want, without regard to the health and safety of people and the environment? Do we know what is really in our food and water? Are we happy with monopolies controlling industry and limiting our choices? Take Monsanto and GMO’s for instance, do they serve the interests of the people and the environment or do they operate to maximize profit AT ANY MEANS possible?  Let’s think about Common Core and the erosion of parental rights and control regarding how their children are educated.  Let’s think about our legal system which creates and strictly enforces drug laws, resulting mass incarceration.  Let’s think about the privatization of the prison system which generates billions of dollars in profit while making prisoners for wages well below the “minimum wage” and how the government has signed contracts with such companies agreeing to maintain 90% occupancy at those money-making prisons.

Read this excerpt from The Daily Kos:

FRI JAN 02, 2015 AT 07:30 AM PST

U.S. incarceration rate sickening, disgraceful and far exceeds that of every other nation

byMeteor BladesFollowforDaily Kos

“we (The US)  incarcerate people at a far higher rate than any other nation. Hardly something proud to be exceptional about.

Currently, some 2.2 million people are doing time in our nation’s prisons and jails. That is a phenomenal 500 percent increase in four decades. The reason for this surge has not been a surge in crime rates. Rather it’s been a change in sentencing policies. The consequences have been prison overcrowding—and an attempt to relieve it with one of the worst ideas ever to get widely adopted in the States: private prisons.

As anyone who has paid even cursory attention to this situation is aware, the huge proportion of the increase in imprisonment has been because of drug crimes, and the vast majority of those are marijuana-related. Indeed, nearly half the federal prison population have been sentenced for drug crimes—currently 98,000 inmates—with more than a fourth of that number being marijuana-related. In 1970, that 48.7 percent total incarcerated for drug crimes was just 16 percent.

As of 2011, only about 16 percent of inmates at state prisons and local jails are there for drug crimes, but the total figure is more than twice as many as are in the federal system for such offenses: 225,000 people in state prisons and more than 180,000 in local jails for drug crimes.

The grand total: Half a million Americans are doing time for drug-related crimes.”

Further on, the article states”

“The U.S. incarcerates 716 people for every 100,000 residents, more than any other country. In fact, our rate of incarceration is more than five times higher than most of the countries in the world. Although our level of crime is comparable to those of other stable, internally secure, industrialized nations, the United States has an incarceration rate far higher than any other country.

Nearly all of the countries with relatively high incarceration rates share the experience of recent large-scale internal conflict. But the United States, which has enjoyed a long history of political stability and hasn’t had a civil war in nearly a century and a half, tops the list.”

Does this sound like a system protecting our rights?  We need to exercise the rights granted to us by our Founding Fathers and end this oppression and exploitation of The People of The United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave… I’m not so sure about the “free” part anymore, but we can unify and all be brave together.