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Looking to America’s Past Patriot for Renewed Guidance

PatriotPartner and I have been enjoying The History Channel’s “The Revolution” on our iPods as we travel for work. I have learned a great deal more about one of our Founding Fathers from this History Channel series than my public school education. That man was America’s first patriotic marketer: Thomas Paine.

Paine knew that the American Revolution was so much more a battle of ideas than a battle of military might. As I watched the episode about the dark days as the Year 1776 came to a close, I was struck at how relevant Paine’s words are now as America battles Islamic fascism.

The Crisis – Thomas Paine

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

We could sure use a modern Thomas Paine to help refocus our nation’s soul once more. These are indeed the times that try men’s souls yet again.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from GPW): I saw this most wonderful documentary last summer while flying east on Jet Blue, blogging about the experience here. I so enjoyed the series, I bought it on DVD!



  1. While the phrase “…Sons/Daughters of the Revolution” has been around for a long time, I’ve always wondered how much the egalitarian and “equality of opportunity” political world-view of the Founding Fathers was affected by their own lack of capable sons to succeed them. Did their lack a capable male-heirs more-easily free them of their Eighteenth-century English traditions of inherited privleges and rank? Did that lack of sons to pass their heritages and fortunes to allow them to make the leap that “all men” would be their inheritors?

    Washington step-son dies during the siege at Yorktown, and Washington had no blood-decendents.
    Jefferson had only daughters, and only one male grandson.
    Franklin’s illegitimate but aknowleged son William was the Loyalist-Tory governor of NJ and left America after the War unreconciled with Franklin…leaving Franklin’s surviving daughter Sraah.
    James Madison had no children.
    John Hancock’s son died at age-eight.
    Guoverneur Morris married at age-57 after an active life with many affairs with the married and unmarried ladies, left no children.
    Alexander Hamilton had no children.
    Thomas Paine married three times, no children.
    Ten of Gen. Knox’s children died before adulthood.
    Gen. Baron von Stueben had no children, and left his upstate NY etates and lands to the two Continental officers who were his aides during the war and stayed with him afterwards as companions.

    John Adams is about the only commonly-remembered Founding Father that we associate with an active son to follow in his footsteps, to learn by apprenticing at the levers of power, and to inherit his reputation and moral authority. …If some of these men had able and accomplished sons, would be we a republic…or an semi-democratic oligarachy with inherited legal-priviledges and ranks?

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — September 21, 2006 @ 7:23 pm - September 21, 2006

  2. That is a very provoking point. I, now being “in the loop”, would question the stength that possibly could of faultered. And yet I’ll present you with this, the ratification of our constitution in the subject of income tax wa never actually ratified. It failed to meet the original and mandatory approval of the states. However, this was sliped in on christmas week and the voye was overlooked. It was later taken to the supreme court and it was found UNCONSTITUTIONAL to impose a tax on our income. Why, if it was found unconstitutional then, do we pay it now. EVERYONE, even the FBI fears the IRS.

    Comment by sanechaos(shar) — November 13, 2006 @ 3:32 am - November 13, 2006

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