I have been a fan of Paine since high school in the 1970s. His passion and idealism and truth are unrivaled in US history. He was so idealistic that we should not over-emphasize his writings, for the logical conclusion of his dream is anarchy. (While most of us could truly be sovereign individuals and not need government to regulate us, many do.) Just as Ayn Rand's dessicated utopia is ultimately not possible in reality, so Paine's vision would be usurped by less idealistic tyrants. The primary founding father authors--Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Madison, had sufficient vision, without the recklessness of Paine, to get this grand experiment started.
Does Obama share the disposition of these guys? To push for change (revolution in Paine's time) but stop short of anarchy and tyranny?
Revolution, by definition, cannot be started by the most powerful man in the world. He can only be its victim, or become the usurping tyrant.
New York, ny
Jun 8 2009 - 3:03pm