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Paine's Words in a Different Context

Dave Randall

Posted on July 15, 2018 23:44

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Most have read the Founding writer's words; who knew they would apply 240 years later, just as profoundly but in another way.

These are the times that try men's souls. That's an accurate assessment of our union's state for the majority of us who live here. I can't take credit for the words. Anyone who passed 11th grade history can correctly attribute them to Thomas Paine, a Patriot who wrote passionately of the fight against tyranny. 

Trying is a polite term to use when the case is being made every day that a hostile foreign entity used technology born in this country to interfere with the 2016 election, and the candidate who benefited all but refuses to acknowledge that fact, or puts the blame at the feet of his predecessor, then meets with the head of that entity. Souls are not just being tried — it's as if they're being sold.

It is a quandary that unsettles Americans, most of whom would rather not acknowledge that our flawed political system could be subverted. But even those who gaze out on 2018 with rose-colored glasses will have to admit we have not seen anything like what we've been seeing since Donald J. Trump descended his gold-plated escalator in 2015 and announced his candidacy.

Nothing compares. Not even election night in 2000. No one living had witnessed anything like that, either. Deep into the night, flipping channels, trying to stay abreast of what had happened, I saw a CNN reporter (whose name I never noted) at the registrar recorder's office in Tallahassee, Florida, looking back and forth, incredulously, between her computer monitor and the camera, waving her arms and saying, "I watched 15,000 votes just disappear." I saw that, but it's a moment that goes unacknowledged. 

Ultimately, the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision stopped the Florida recount, giving the electoral majority and the presidency to George W. Bush. Al Gore had sweat-through a lot of shirts on the campaign trail, and at the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles, deep-kissed his wife Tipper with the passion and skill of a back seat, post-prom makeout. But the speech of his life came in conceding the election, for the good of the country and the integrity of the electoral process.

A co-worker of mine told me his German brother-in-law was apoplectic. "WHY are you people not MARCHING in the streets??" A fair question. Maybe Al Gore's desire not to see such upheaval would be why.

In May of the next year, Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords left the GOP to caucus with Democrats — a move that kept the GOP from controlling the congress and the White House and an act of courage rarely seen. Courage that would confirm author Jon Meacham's conclusion that this country always bounces back from adversity. Comic-actor Robert Wuhl did likewise in his 2006-2007 TV specials, Assume the Position. 

I hope they're correct. Paine went on to say in his famous quote that, "It is drearness only that gives everything its value." He could not have known his words would apply preserving freedom, not fighting for it.

Dave Randall

Posted on July 15, 2018 23:44

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Source: WIRED

Election Day could be the end of @RealDonaldTrump The post White House Prepares to Hand Over @POTUS to the Next POTUS appeared...

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