“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right…” So wrote Thomas Paine in a pamphlet called Common Sense, which caused quite a stir back in 1775. It is widely believed that Thomas Paine’s philosophy greatly aided the cause of American Independence with a logic and a passion that aroused public opinion to hot anger and a firm resolve to resist English tyranny.
But please take note: Paine did not say that a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong made that thing right. He said it gave it a superficial appearance of being right.
The point here is that no matter how long you have been doing a wrong thing, it is still a wrong thing. Shouldn’t we keep this in mind when we discuss the numerous and continuous ways that our various governments, at all levels, violate the moral law?
For example, In Article One and Section Eight, the Constitution of these united States provides that the Power to declare war resides in the Congress. The last time Congress actually voted to declare war was following the bombing of Pearl Harbor back in 1941. This means that sending troops to fight in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and various other places for the last seventy years has been unconstitutional and unlawful, and well…wrong.
Of course, it is not made right by the fact that for a long time (seventy years) we have been ignoring the clear, unambiguous wording of the Supreme Law of the Land, the Constitution.
There are, of course, many other examples. Neither the Department of Education, nor the Department of Health and Human Services (which administers the Medicare program and Social Security program), nor the Environmental Protection Agency, are authorized under the Constitution, just to name just a few. These rogue agencies of a rogue regime, are a plague on the populace. They are the cause of great strife, inefficiency, waste, and despair.
Under the American system, our state and local governments are in the best position and are duty bound to protect us from the tyranny of this central government lawlessness. Regrettably, our state and local governments, in most cases, are bought off from doing their duty when they accept federal grants that come with strings attached. These “strings” usually involve the compromise of the peoples’ property or the peoples’ liberty.
Today, it seems, most local government officials are only “summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.” Today, we yearn for the clarity and the conviction of a Thomas Paine. We need local leaders who will stand against the corruption of central planners dispersing bribes tempting them to betray their constituents.
For indeed, in the words of Paine himself, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”