Populists under false pretenses

Ever since liberal-turned-conservative Ronald Reagan quoted Paine’s “We have it in our power to begin the world over again” at the 1980 Republican National Convention, conservatives have become Paine’s greatest champions. Just this year came Bob Basso’s YouTube videos “The Second American Revolution” and “We the People,” Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine, Newt Gingrich’s novel of the American Revolution, To Try Men’s Souls, and now Palin’s Going Rogue. (From “Palin’s Unlikely Hero,” by Harvey J. Kaye, “Blogs and Stories” from the Daily Beast, Nov. 18)

Gingich, Palin, Beck, Hannity, et al have no shame and will appropriate anyone they can to further their cause, including Tom Paine whom they have disfigured with their rhetoric.

In using Tom Paine,this crowd is assuming — under false pretenses — the populist role. And, they have been far too successful in fooling so many people who should know better. Sadly they are finding support from among the nation’s working class who are now suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous capitalism.

It’s time for Democrats, liberals and the Obama Administration to realize they may continue losing the fight for the minds of America’s workers unless they find ways to provide jobs, offer a true national health care plan and extract the nation from the battles in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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