“Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.” -Thomas Paine
If Glenn Beck says the government wants to tax your breathing under the guise of global warming legislation, that doesn’t mean it’s true. If Sarah Palin tells us that health care reform is an evil plot, it’s more a reflection of Sarah than it is health care reform.
Reason dismisses such foolishness for what it is, ignorance swallows it whole.
“Character is much easier kept than recovered.” -Thomas Paine
The reputation Toyota had earned as a trusted global car-maker took decades to build, but mere weeks to lose. Their most valuable asset too easily squandered and perhaps never fully recovered. There’s a lesson in there for all of us.
“An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws.” -Thomas Paine
When former vice president Dick Cheney parades his support for torture in front of the world, he abdicates all moral authority along with the principals of freedom and liberty he professes to defend. It isn’t about those he would torture, justice is their due. It is about those that would forsake principal for security – in the process abandoning both.
“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
Vengeance is a self-fulfilling prophesy, feeding on its own cycle of hate and retribution. Victory over the insidious pull of a false sense of satisfaction from violence and oppression requires dogged determination, an adherence to the higher ideals conceived in the trial of our own oppression.
“A nation under a well regulated government, should permit none to remain uninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government only that requires ignorance for its support.” -Thomas Paine, Rights of Man
Believing that a company is too big to fail, while the education of the coming generation falters, is an aristocracy of government-by-corporation that cannot last.
“A little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation.” -Thomas Paine, Rights of Man
Political polarization is not the path to true leadership. When politics refuses to go beyond party at all costs, it remains small, unable to lead. Greatness and leadership is usually found outside the boundaries and comfort of party.
“To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.” -Thomas Paine
There is no evidence or incontrovertible proof available to those who choose to cling to irrational prejudice and fear. Like giving medicine to the dead, rational thought and objective observation come too late.
“An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates his duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” -Thomas Paine, Rights of Man
Lost in a sea of semantics, twisted interpretations of law, and descriptions of medieval-sounding methods of punishment revealed in recently released Bush-era memos justifying torture is, in truth, a betrayal of the very principles that founded a nation.
Let the terrorist deal in terror. America stands or falls on how it abides by a higher standard.