The American Crisis at 235

This December 19th marks the 235thanniversary of Thomas Paine’s American Crisis #1. First published in the Pennsylvania Journal, it brings hope from a dark time during our revolution. Thomas Paine, who eleven months earlier published his sensational work, Common Sense,which helped ignite the rebellion, would once again bring the American people hope. The same hope that American Crisis #1 brought the Patriots can inspire the Occupy movement to withstand this winter.

Thomas Paine brilliantly stated, “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 now, deserves the love and thanks of men and woman.” In these 41 words, the gravity of the situation leaps from the page and pulls the reader into the momentous task of staying the course. The course of liberty is never an easy one, nor is the duty to fight against tyranny. In late December, 1776, the American Revolution was teetering on the brink of collapse. General Washington, after suffering a serious defeat in New York City and a long retreat through New Jersey, saw his army on the verge of destruction. During these trying times Thomas Paine’s words inspired the Continental Army and the American people to stay the course.

At this very moment, the Occupy movement is at an impasse, after being evicted from many of their camps. However, we too must stay the course. They curse us in the conservative media. They call us socialists, anarchists, un-American and many more labels to stir up fear of those fighting for the livelihood of the American middle class. As Thomas Paine so eloquently stated in American Crisis #1:

“Let them call me rebel, and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing to one, whose character, is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man.”

Recently, Bill O’Reilly stated that the Occupy movement has officially come to an end. This statement, as premature as a Jersey Tory’s cheerful glee as Washington’s army retreated from the Hudson to the Delaware will not be proven true. As Paine stated: “I thank God, that I fear not. I see no real cause for fear. I know our situation well and can see the way out of it.”

The economic royalists, our modern day Tories, will only be able to do so much to silence us. They use the officers sworn to protect us to disperse us, they use the sheriffs to force us out of our homes, they threaten our social safety net, they cut our education, and push us deeper and deeper in debt. Yet we won’t be silenced. If we allow ourselves to be silenced, we will commit an unforgivable offense to the American character. We, the people must be the ones who take our government back in November 2012, or lose it forever.

Rich Bergen can be reached at: progressmoshuffle @ yahoo.com.

More articles by:
March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am a Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography