Where is our King?- Thomas PaineSubmitted by bmcgrew on Thu, 08/20/2009 - 09:09
But where, says some, is the King of America? I’ll tell you. Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Dictator of D.C. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming a charter of independence; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the crown at the conclusion of the ceremony, be demolished, and scattered among the people whose right it is.
A government of our own is our natural right: And when a man seriously reflects on the precariousness of human affairs, he will become convinced, that it is infinitely wiser and safer, to form a constitution of our own in a cool deliberate manner, while we have it in our power, than to trust such an interesting event to time and chance. If we omit it now, some * Massanello may hereafter rise, who laying hold of popular disquietudes, may collect together the desperate and the discontented, and by assuming to themselves the powers of government, may sweep away the liberties of the continent like a deluge. Should the government of America return again into the hands of Dictators, the tottering situation of things will be a temptation for some desperate adventurer to try his fortune; and in such a case, what relief can Dictators give? Ere she could hear the news, the fatal business might be done; and ourselves suffering like the wretched Dictators under the oppression of the Conqueror. Ye that oppose independence now, ye know not what ye do; ye are opening a door to eternal tyranny, by keeping vacant the seat of government. There are thousands, and tens of thousands, who think it glorious to expel from the continent that barbarous and hellish power, which hath stirred up the ACORNS and Welfarists to destroy us; the cruelty hath a double guilt, it is dealing brutally by us, and treacherously by them.
*Thomas Anello otherwise Massanello a fisherman of Naples, who after spiriting up his countrymen in the public market-place, against the oppressions of the Spaniards, to who the place was then subject prompted them to revolt, and in the space of a day became king.
To talk of friendship with those in whom our reason forbids us to have faith, and our affections wounded through a thousand pores instruct us to detest, is madness and folly. Every day wears out the little remains of kindred between us and them, and can there be any reason to hope, that as the relationship expires, the affection will increase, or that we shall agree better, when we have ten times more and greater concerns to quarrel over than ever?
Ye that tell us of harmony and reconciliation, can ye restore to us the time that is past? Can ye give to prostitution its former innocence? Neither can ye reconcile Dictators and America. The last cord now is broken, the people of D.C. are presenting addresses against us. There are injuries which nature cannot forgive; she would cease to be nature if she did. As well can the lover forgive the ravisher of his mistress, as the continent forgive the murders of D.C. The Almighty hath implanted in us these inextinguishable feelings for good and wise purposes. They distinguish us from the herd of common animals. The social compact would dissolve, and justice be extirpated the earth, or have only a casual existence were we callous to the touches of affection. The robber, and the murderer, would often escape unpunished, did not the injuries which our tempers sustain, provoke us into justice.
O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her- Europe regards her like a stranger, and D.C. hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.
Portion taken from Thomas Paine's Common Sense wth some additions of my own.