We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...Paine sat down beneath the dark December sky and wrote his electrifying The American Crisis, the first of a series of essays, on a drumhead by the flickering light of a campfire. “These are the times that try men’s souls,” he wrote—words that should be engraved on every American heart and that never lose their power to thrill. “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, at this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” How unworthy of a man and a father to sigh, “Well! give me peace in my day.” A loving father would say, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” As for the American army, Paine reported from firsthand experience, it remained cool and orderly during the tough retreat across New Jersey, and the soldiers, “though greatly harassed and fatigued, frequently without rest, covering, or provision . . . bore it with a manly spirit. . . . The sign of fear was not seen in our camp.” And now, “we are again collected and collecting; our new army at both ends of the continent is recruiting fast.”
This was just the bucking up that the army and the nation sorely needed, and when the essay appeared in the Pennsylvania Packet on December 19, 1776, the soldiers read it to one another as they huddled together for warmth by the banks of the Delaware. Wavering civilians within reach of Washington’s camp made up their minds to join his force, and long-expected reinforcements finally arrived, temporarily swelling the Continental Army to 7,600—enough to cross the ice-choked Delaware River on Christmas Day, win the Battles of Trenton and Princeton in the next ten days, save the revolution, and change the course of world history. “Without the pen of Paine,” John Adams judged, “the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain.”
I suspect that most of my ancestors were Tories, but so were most Americans at the time. A dramatic rebellion, nonetheless, with the American Constitution as its crowning jewel.
As David Hackett Fischer points out in his wonderful book Washington's Crossing, one of the reasons Paine's articles had so much effect was that the Revolutionary Army was a literate army (much more so than the British or Hessian forces) so they could and did read Paine's articles directly.
Soviet of Washington
The founding fathers started a rebellion and an eight-year war over a tax. A tax. Say, Obamacare is a tax, isn’t it? What a nice summer we’re having.
“Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”