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It's Time for Some 'Common Sense'

by on January 10, 2019 8:26 AM

January 10 may seem like an ordinary winter day, unless of course it was 1776.  For it was on that very day that a young Quaker, having only set foot in this New World from his home in England 13 months earlier, printed a pamphlet that immediately became the seminal publication of the century, our nation’s very first best-seller.  

That pamphlet, of course, is “Common Sense,” by Thomas Paine. And never in the history of the world did 48 pages have so much impact — a little book that literally, with nothing more than common sense and reason, laid the foundation for the greatest nation of free people the world has ever known.  

One man, one pen, one vision… and the world was forever changed. The pen truly is mightier than the sword and the book earned Paine the title “Father of the American Revolution.”

The best epitaph was in the words of Joseph Lewis:

Go Forth Little Book, to Bring Consolation to the Distressed --Knowledge and Wisdom to all who read -- and Peace and Happiness to All Mankind.”

“Common Sense” was published to, well, bring some common sense to the populace bewildered in the complexities, lies and mistruths of the day. (Sound familiar? Any parallels?) Paine vividly recaptured his intense emotions upon arriving in Philadelphia: “When my country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir.”

The plain truths of “Common Sense” changed the consciousness of the people by clearly articulating a new identity for America, one of exceptional purpose and promise. So today, after decades of crony capitalism, warmongering and political corruption and malfeasance that have nearly slaughtered the four sisters of Democracy – Liberty, Freedom, Justice and Equality – here and abroad, we must do the same. 

America has not only lost its moral compass, but it is adrift far from the safe haven of the virtues on which it was founded. So it is time again for some “Common Sense” for all Americans; in fact, for the world. For as Paine so prophetically claimed on that winter day “We have it in our Power to begin the World over again.”  

Now that is a vision for change we can all believe in. (Not Obama’s version circa 2008) And we do have it in our power to Make America Great Again. (Not Trump’s version circa 2016). No, WE the People have the power to begin the world over again.

The immortal words of “Common Sense” inspired the colonists to declare independence from that which they should not be dependent. To pursue liberty, freedom and justice for all people. That inalienable rights can only be granted by God and not restricted by man.  That we all live under the same heaven, regardless of race, class or creed, and that no government, no group of all powerful men, should ever have the right to decide otherwise.

I believe we will soon be at the daybreak of a new awakening, to forgotten truths. The spirit that originally defined America is slowly re-emerging, manifesting itself in so many ways, in the U.S. and abroad. This is evident to nearly everyone except those still drunk on the daily nonsense of mainstream media.

It is once again time for some “Common Sense” to awaken the spirit within. But ignorance is the root and stem of all evil, as Socrates said, so we must recommit ourselves to understanding the true purpose of our country, under the divine providence of our creator, as so vividly illustrated by our founding fathers.

It is always darkest before the dawn, as were those days, but rays of light are poking holes in the darkness. And if instead of succumbing to the mindless media, we pursue our ideals with ceaseless passion, the future will once again be illuminated by the light of our souls. “Common Sense” was the spark, the game changer that ignited it all.

And never forget that this world-changing experiment in liberty and freedom began in Philadelphia, the original capital of the new America.  How interesting that we are strategically positioned between the destructive, predatory capitalism of Wall Street to the north and the self-serving swamp to the south, each in bed with the other.  

Maybe our destiny is to once again be the Keystone of the Republic. Maybe we need to return to our rich heritage. Maybe we need to be the change we wish to see in the world. Maybe we need to use some more “Common Sense” (read it and be inspired!) to discern truth from fiction. There is no maybe. We must. The future of our children and grandchildren depend on it.

And there is no better place in the world to rekindle the American glory than this great state founded by William Penn’s vision, Penn’s Woods. Almost 100 years later Thomas Paine took that vision and inspired a new generation of colonist to take a stand for liberty and freedom on that cold, winter day in 1776.

In Pennsylvania, home of the Liberty Bell and where the Declaration of Independence was signed less than six months later, January 10 should always be remembered as “Common Sense Day”…lest we forget. Let freedom ring!

Thomas Lee Meade



Thomas Meade is founder and president of Room Doctor Furniture Co. in State College. A 1987 Penn State graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering, he has been a local business owner for the past 27 years.
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