Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Everyone wants to be Thomas Paine

First it was Bob Basso now it is Glenn Beck. Why is Thomas Paine such a popular hero with these extremely egotistical right-wing gasbags? What does this say about me as I have named this very website in honor of Mr. Paine? I hope it just says that these racist, chauvinist, and apparently illiterate pundits claiming to be modern reincarnations of Paine never made it past the first few sentences in the Wikipedia article on Paine.

Chris Kelly does a great job at the Huffington Post breaking down the fundamental differences between the real Thomas Paine and all these contemporary personality hijackers.

Here is a brief smattering to wet your whistle.


But before another sputtering doofus claims to be the author of the Rights of Man, he might want to check if they share a single belief.

Do you like estate taxes? Paine was pitching them in 1791.

How about progressive taxation? Paine wasn't just for it, he made charts and graphs.

Welfare? Absolutely.

Government make-work programs? Yep. Pay for them with the estate tax.

Public education? Yes, please.

International organizations? Paine said we needed them. Thought they might be useful for preventing wars after we disarmed.

Feminism?

If a woman were to defend the cause of her sex, she might address him in the following manner ... If we have an equal right with you to virtue, why should we not have an equal right to praise? ... Our duties are different from yours, but they are not therefore less difficult to fulfill, or of less consequence to society ... You cannot be ignorant that we have need of courage not less than you ... Permit our names to be sometimes pronounced beyond the narrow circle in which we live. Permit friendship, or at least love, to inscribe its emblem on the tomb where our ashes repose; and deny us not that public esteem which, after the esteem of one's self, is the sweetest reward of well doing. -- T. Paine

Compare and contrast:

OK, so anyway, I was talking about ugly people. Ugly people, if you're a guy, you can get past it. I don't think you can as an ugly woman. I don't -- no, I don't. If you're an ugly woman, I apologize. Oh, you've got a double cross, because if you're an ugly woman, you're probably a progressive as well. --G. Beck

Animal Rights Nuts?

Everything of cruelty to animals is a violation of moral duty. -- T. Paine

Religion?

Religion is under attack! -- G. Beck

Priests and conjurors are of the same trade. -- T. Paine

Clammy Tub Toys who Think Putting on a Tricorn Makes Them Thomas Paine?

I'm Thomas Paine. -- G. Beck

The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately. -- T. Paine

Read the entire comparison here.

These comments echo my own sentiments on these unfortunate associations.
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