Mr. Mark Hamilton,
Enclosed is an essay that I composed that I hope has some value to you and TVP. You asked us for testimonials as to how your literature has helped us. This essay was made possible from reading your writings and applying what was therein. A person of value becomes one from the way he thinks and then acts. I hope this helps in your efforts to legitimize your work. James Dilyard
VIEWS FROM A COMMON MAN
My youngest son wrote the following on 9/1/2006,
Imagine a language of happiness and freedom.
A civilization of democracy and independence.
Celebrate history like an example of tradition.
Experience the immigrant highway as they did.
Have a free voice to defend everyone.
Together we fight for peace.
At the time he wrote this he was ten. Sometimes wisdom and a kind heart come in small packages and have no time limits or barriers. Life for a ten year old is simple in many respects. It is loaded with “Common Sense”. Things are easy and natural and therefore common.
On the 10th of January 1776 the first edition of Common Sense penned by Thomas Pain was made available for distribution in the American Colonies. It was reissued on the 14th of February 1776 and enlarged by a third. The listed author of the first edition was simply “written by an Englishman”. Thomas was not interested in notoriety for the words and thoughts he was expressing. When the second was published he let it be known that the author was now the “American” Tom Paine.
George Washington credited Tom Paine as being one of the main voices and sources for public opinion that soured the temperament of the Colonist against the British government and the Crown of England. Paine wrote brilliantly about the grievances that existed and were growing between the Colonist and the British. Pane was very forceful in laying out the details of why the British Parliament and the Crown were turning a deaf ear to the complaints of the Colonist.
The British were of the view that the Colonist and the Continent of North America were subjects to them. Their voices and views were of no real value to the British Empire. The British were in need of the resources that the Colonist supplied and treated the goods and commodities as items that the Colonist must supply to the Empire regardless of the desires of the Colonies. The Empire totally disenfranchised the Colonist. The Colonist wanted to be looked upon as equals to the British and not subjects. They wanted to trade the resources of the North American Continent as they saw fit and govern themselves in the same manner.
The appearance of disenfranchisement that was fostered by the British Government and the Crown along with the words of Tom Paine fueled the idea of
Independence in the Colonies. Tom Paine used the simple logic of Common Sense in his pamphlet. It was Tom Paine’s establishment of the values of the common and free man of the Colonies that made independence of the Colonies from the British a natural and unavoidable event. Independence was not a “what if” issue but a “when issue”.
Please read for yourself the whole text penned by Tom Paine. It is ripe with its argument for Independence and the rights of the “Common Man”. Paine was very adamant that an independent America should not be ruled by any sort of Class or Royalty or Aristocracy. He believed that those who would govern would come from the common man. The elected would be from the electors and would return to the electors when their time in government was over. There was to be no “Political Class” or establishment of hereditary heirs to posts of government. It was principle to Paine that a new and noble form of government be formed in America and the course of humanity to be forever changed. He saw an opportunity for something that was a gift from divinity. A land that was distant from all of the evils of Europe. Englishmen turned Americans that would become free and independent men.
The rest of the events that led to the eventual Revolutionary War and the establishment of The United States of America is our history. It is founded in Common Sense and the Constitution of the United States. The only document in history that was made for the common man, by the common man. We can thank Tom Paine for his donation to the American experiment, but the continuation of the experiment is now in our hands. Freedom, liberty and independence of the common man are now our responsibility.
I am going to express my views of what “Common Sense “means to us today. I want to examine the statement that my son made. I want a language of happiness and freedom. I want a civilization of democracy and independence. I want to celebrate history and tradition. I want to see the immigrant highway used in a legal way. I want to have a voice to defend everyone. I want peace.
Regretfully there are Americans who do not want these things. They are interested in personal agendas of power, greed, and political correctness. They are not the common man for the most part but they do have enormous influence in our society. America is, or was, about the free voice of all people. That freedom is under attack. The attack in all of its forms must be met and defeated with truth and honesty from honest people and presented in the light of day.
IMAGINE A LANGUAGE OF HAPPINESS AND FREEDOM
In the language of freedom I am going to write what I perceive as grievances against my government as I now see it. Much like Paine lamented that the British Government in all its parts had placed the Colonist as subjects to Britain and not equals, so has our present Government done the same to us. “We The People” are not being heard. Our voices as the common man are being ignored and we are being disenfranchised by our Federal Government “We The People” are being made to feel inferior to a Federal Government that has gotten too big and to powerful with it’s reaches into everyday common sense things that we do. It is time that “We the People” as individuals demand that our representatives hear our voices and listen and govern as we direct them to and not some special interest group or lobbyist.
The “Happiness of Freedom” is not a right or a guarantee. It is not the responsibility of the Government to make you happy. That is your job. A government of free people is not responsible to level the playing field. Life is not equal as people are not equal in there wants, desires, and abilities. It is correct that we are, as Americans, all equally free but to have equality in happiness is impossible. When a government attempts to create equal happiness they are in effect buying your vote. Next to your voice your vote is the most precious thing that a free person can possess. Happiness is not ladled out without a loss of something from those to whom the ladling is given. When the mirage of happiness is bestowed upon you the benefits are not yours but the governments. You have exchanged your freedom and diminished your power for an idea that cannot be maintained because it is so blatantly dishonest. In the end you will become as sheep and the government will be the wolf.
Our country is purposefully being moved away from the Capitalist system to a Socialist quasi Fascist regime. Where is the common sense for this move?
Captain John Smith of the first Plymouth colony realized that the idea of all sharing in the fruits of everyone’s labor was a failure. The common sense of human behavior made it clear then as it does now that efforts are to be rewarded. That excellence is to be sought after and a prize worth winning. We are doing the exact opposite. Does anyone with common sense believe that the end results will be any different than what they were in Plymouth? “We The People” as individuals cannot keep being forced to give the fruits of our labors to those who do nothing to earn it. Every citizen of the country has a chance to succeed. The failure to do so is not the fault of anyone but the individual who has failed.
Our government has exploited these failed people. They have put them into groups with the purpose of extinguishing their individuality and making them believe that the only way to success is with government help. They use race, poverty, lack of education, medical issues, mental phobias, and now climate changes to cheat people of their power. It is for the express reason of getting votes for elections and remaining in positions of political power for themselves. Where is the language of freedom? Where is the happiness coming from? These things cannot come from government as government is only interested in growing more powerful and taking as much freedom as it can from the common man.
Freedom was granted to us by our creator whatever you wish to call it. It is a divine right that must not be allowed to be taken away by any government. Our happiness is gained by our efforts to produce things that are of value to our fellow citizens. Any government that is intrusive in these areas is not looking out for the welfare of its citizens. It is only grabbing power from the values that the people are producing.
Paine was very vocal about the “Elected” coming from the “Electors” and then returning to the “Electors”. He never conceived of a Political Class or elite aristocracy forming in and from the American model of government. This “Elite ness” was the cancer that sickened Britain and Europe. The colonies were to assert their independence from this cancer and install a new and nobler government that served the common people. A government that was made up of the common man. A man who had no allegiance to anyone because of heritage or social status or position. There was to be no “Political Class” of any kind.
This is no longer the case as it now appears that the sole reason for our government to exist is to perpetuate itself. “We the People” are forgotten in the unending pursuit of reelection after reelection of career politicians. What is to separate them now from the Crown and Aristocracy of old? I say nothing, as they are now one and the same. Our Presidents have learned to govern as though they are Kings and our congress is now the elite of Aristocracy. Both branches of government are now deaf to the People and the third or Judicial branch is looking at “World Law” instead of interpiting our Constitution. We are not being heard and in most cases being told that to disagree with any new proposals is “Un-American. The language of “happiness and freedom” can only be realized when free speech is exercised. To voice dissent is what Americans are best at. To see what is wrong with something and say what is needed to correct it is the best of Americans. I plead with all the members of government to hear our voices and listen to the People. We will not remain sheep for much longer. The wolf will be clearly seen and “We The People” will deal with it appropriately.
A CIVILIZATION OF DEMOCRACY AND INDEPENDENCE
Our system of government is that of a democratic republic. To me that means that the electorate is free to choose who it wishes to represent them. And that representative is a servant of the People of the electorate. To have a civilization of democracy it is essential that the individuals of the republic are independent. But what must they do to retain their independence.
They must be free of “Fear”. Free from the fear of a tyrannical government. Free from the fear of endless burdens of unfair laws and taxes. Free from the fear of “political correctness” that stifles free speech and the advancement of new ideas. Where is the common sense of honest straight talk that is free from the spin of the media elites? Our leaders in Washington are not seeing that the People are becoming afraid unless they are by design creating that fear. Fear cannot be allowed to squash the independence of the People. To do so is to pervert our democracy into Fascism. We the People will not and cannot let it happen. The very future of our Republic is now at stake.
Our “Founding Fathers” where aware of the possibility of power being acquired by the Federal Government. Our Constitution was designed to limit the power of a central government. But today our legislators have turned a blind eye on our past. The Constitution is no longer our guiding light. In the opening sentence, paragraph, of the Declaration of Independence the Founding Fathers wrote,
“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
It is now time to state some of the causes for which we may be impelled to seek justification from our government and if necessary separation.
1. “WE THE PEOPLE” are not being properly represented. When we elect a representative and that representative goes to Washington D.C. they transform into a piece of political machinery. They loose their will and voice and become slaves to what the party leadership wants them to do and say. We sent them there because they agreed with the way WE SEE THINGS and not someone else’s point of view. They represent US and we are their employers. WE want them to listen and hear our pleas for common sense government. They must respect those whom they work for and respect the office that they hold. They are not “Lords and Ladies” or Aristocrats. They are the same as you and I.
2. IT IS OUR MONEY!! Why is the government not bound by the same
Financial constraints that we are? Why do those who are elected to government not have to pay into Social Security? Why do they not have to get the same health and medical insurance as the rest of us? Why are the retirement packages for those who have left public service extended for the remainder of their lives, with full pay and subject to cost of living increases? Who among the rest of us has this kind of guarantee? Stop taking my taxes and giving them to people who do not contribute to the wealth of the country. Everyone who is of sound body and mind can do something. Stop sending tax dollars to organizations that do not believe in Americanism or Capitalism. We became the greatest nation on the face of the earth by employing both of these tools. We want to know where the money is going for things outside the mandates of the Constitution. “WE THE PEOPLE” are not ignorant of how to balance a budget and live within our means. Why cannot the government do the same? We are not interested in the redistribution of wealth by taking it from the producers and giving it to the non-producers.
3. We want “States Rights” back. We want States and communities to
have a voice in how their life is impacted by working with local government. We choose to live where we live for a reason. We are tired of having things forced upon us that we can do without. There is no common sense in having Special Interest groups in Washington D.C. interfering with what we do with our property and vocations. Local laws and regulation should be sufficient to keep us mindful of our responsibilities to be a good steward of the possessions that we have.
We who are in the center are tired of the East and West coast states dictating to the middle of the country their political and social agendas. The coast States have no idea of how the rest of us live. And we, are as equally ignorant of them. The influence is due to the large populations of the coast States and they can push the entire country. The career politicians in Washington D.C. know this and exploit these States to push personal agendas that are only interested in power and stature for themselves.
4. We want to see our representatives look to the United States Constitution for guidance. We are not interested in what the Europeans or Asians do. We live in America and we want American law to be used when considering the inappropriate behavior of citizens and non-citizens. These residents who have chosen to reside here both legally and illegally must be governed by American Law. “We The People” will not longer tolerate unequal justice where money, position and “connections” can get someone out of trouble. We will no longer tolerate arguments, of the type, that are based in what the definition of “Is” is. “We The People” are demanding that our representatives write the legislation that they are proposing. Why is it necessary for a single “Bill” to be 1000 or 1500 pages long? We demand that our representatives READ for themselves all of the legislation that is being proposed. If something is going to be enacted into law, then by all that is just, our representatives must know what is in the bill. We want our representatives to start making legislation that is easy for the average American citizen to read and understand. There is no real reason for a “Bill” that is thousands of pages long unless the object of the length is to hide or distort parts of the legislation so that the average citizen will not find the parts that are unacceptable. Verbiage is not a substitute for straight talk and common sense.
5. “We The People” are now demanding that ALL legislators be bound by TERM LIMITS. It has become blatantly obvious that political careers are now the objective of those who are running for public office. There is just too much power and money being thrown at politicians that will and does lead to corruption. We must stop “Political Families” from both parties from remaining in office. America was not designed for political influence to run for generation within any one “Family”. This was never a country of “Lords and Ladies”. The power must remain in the hands of the People and Term Limits are the only way to stop the generational influence and the corruption.
It is time to bring honesty back to Washington D.C. Democracy and Independence can only exist when honesty, morality, and virtues constitute the fiber and heart of those who seek elected office. Those of us who are of sound mind know that we have an internal guidance system that will tell us when we are on the right path. A people who have lost that guidance will believe any politician who comes along selling a promise of “hope and change”. We do not need America to be “transformed”. We only need to have it rediscovered as a place where dreams can become reality with honest work and respect for ones fellow citizens.
The five items that have been listed are not the only things that are presently off course with our country. There are others but I believe that these five are building blocks that are necessary to bring America back into alignment with itself. This land and the people that reside here are special. We are the caretakers of individual freedom that the World had not seen until the rise of this great land. It is for us to keep the torch of individual freedom high and kept bright not by our might but by our humble honesty. We must never become so arrogant as to believe that we can never loose what we have. Even mighty Rome once fell to the savages of the North when it’s people lost their way.
CELEBRATE HISTORY LIKE AN EXAMPLE OF TRADITION
America is approaching its 234th birthday. That is not a long time for a Country to be in existence. At least not in terms that relate to the much older Country’s of Europe, The Middle East, Far East, and China. They had a longer span of time in which to build a rich and colorful history. Some of the great sciences, religions, and arts have come from places other than our Country. The great Industrial Revolution had its roots in England and the British Empire. It was America that took these capitalistic and industrial means to a whole new level that changed the entire world. It was in America that individuals could invent, produce, and market anything that the minds of free men could envision. It is from here that the dreams of free individuals could come into reality. No where else in the world or in the past history of the world, that we are aware of, has this opportunity ever existed. So why are we now trying so hard to degrade our past?
The absolute cancer that is Political Correctness is making it difficult if not impossible to celebrate our history. There is no longer the celebration of George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s real date of birth. No, we must now have “Presidents Day” so that it can be more inclusive. Why? What is wrong with remembering important figures, times, and dates as they really happened. When did we start to vilify moments in our past and feel the need to apologize to other groups of Americans and foreign countries for things that were done? No one can change a past event and say it did not happen or that the motives for an event were always sinister and corrupt.
We are a good and decent people and as we walk through life we make choices that later on may be found to be short of what was intended. This is what people do. They make choices, evaluate the results and make more choices. It is what freedom is all about. In order to find out what we WANT we must also discover what we do NOT WANT. This is how the system works so why hide the results. All of our past, our history, is what turns into traditions. It is traditions that give promise to new ideas and the hope for better and more valuable contributions from and for our citizens. A free humanity does not go backwards only forward. That is the promise of America and it is what leads the world. Freedom that is strengthened from our past and made alive with our traditions. When the traditions are challenged and made to look ugly and distasteful it is really an attack on freedom. That attack is from people who do not believe in the truth of choice that is America. The history that we are going to create today when seen from the viewpoint of tomorrow will, I hope, show a people and a county that saw what was infecting itself and chose a way to become clean and healthy. That is a tradition that I want to see happen and would applaud till the end of time.
EXPERINCE THE IMMAGRANT HIGHWAY AS THEY DID
Immigration today is a hot button item. Legal citizens of this country are not happy with the amount of illegal people who now call America home. When the mass migration from Europe occurred in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s most of the people came to America through New York harbor and Ellis Island. They were processed there and their names were recorded. They entered LEGALLY! Were there problems and situations with these new arrivals? Absolutely there were. There was discrimination against the Irish and the Polish and the Italians and the Jews. It came from anyone who was here earlier and sometimes from the new immigrants own ethnic heritage.
But there was one thing these new people wanted to be and that was AMERICAN. They wanted to become like the people who were already here. They learned the English language and the new customs that are a part of the American experience. The question begs to be asked and that is, Why? Why did they want so desperately to become AMERICANS? There are many answers to that question and books have been written to show and tell the stories of those who left their homeland and traveled here. I think I can integrate those ideas down to a few simple ones and the first is that America afforded people a chance to become more than what they had been. This was a land of real hope and change that was earned by the new people who came. Nothing was gifted to them. They had to earn everything that they received. Through the process of earning they became the Americans that would lead the world for the next 100 years. They learned to produce values that other people could use and raised the level of humanity on a world wide scale. These opportunities were not available to them in the “Old Country”. Gone were the aristocracy’s of the “Old Country”. No one was granted privilege or station because of a name or a birthright. The title of Lord’s and Ladies held no value here because the Americans that were here earned their positions is society from the work and values that they created. They were free to create and they did. The great “melting pot” of America was formed.
They were proud to become “Americans” even while holding onto the past traditions of the “Old Country”. There was no stigma attached to the celebration of a past but they knew and believed that they were also the new people of America. Our differences are what helped to make us great and tolerant of other ideas and traditions.
The immigrant highway that has led to here has always been one of order and promise. To allow the mass migration of illegal people to our country today is to dishonor all of those who did come and did it the right way, the legal way.
HAVE A FREE VOICE TO DEFEND EVERYONE
I know of no other time in my life when speaking freely has come with so much peril. With every word and sentence that is uttered by someone there seems to be a mob of disseminators. Words are twisted and sentences turned into 30 second sound bites and the context perverted. The truth about any subject is turned back on itself so that doubt and confusion are generated. Everything is made to look cloudy and the bright light of day is questioned. How is it possible to defend anyone when words have many meanings?
True freedom can only come when the language is clear and honest. We must restore the value of words and the honesty of their meanings. This has always been a republic of laws that state that you are innocent until proven guilty. Today the goal is to destroy anyone and anything that is different or in opposition to which ever group is presently in power. Power can only be maintained when it is backed by values. Power that is kept with the barrel of a gun is the power of a tyrant and that tyrant can be government as well as a person. In the end such power will fail as it is not honest and there is no freedom in its implementation.
Only here can so many voices be spoken and heard. Only here can people and ideas be expressed openly and the merits of things debated. We must not allow voices to be silenced. “Give me liberty or give me death” or “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”. What would our country be like if people of honor could not say such things? Every voice must be defended. To do anything less would be UN – American.
TOGETHER WE FIGHT FOR PEACE
This is the last statement from my son. Who among us is not for peace? Peace of any kind, the heart, the soul, the country, your neighbor, the environment, the world. Of course there are many voices that are shouting let there be war, blood, destruction and death. But when that is done what comes next, Peace.
Peace is the ultimate goal of everyone sometime in their lives. For the pain of existence to stop peace must be allowed to come in. The phrase “fight for peace” is inaccurate. As the act of fighting for anything is the opposite of peace, even when what you are trying to accomplish is peace. A better phrase would be “work for peace” as then it becomes a positive act and not a destructive one.
Working for something is what Americans do. Give us a clear picture of a goal and we will get there. We can do this because we are free to act on the conscience of our minds and hearts.
At this time in our countries history it appears that there are unstoppable forces working to change America. My voice is here to tell you that that is not true. America can and will be brought back to the freedoms that made this land and its people great. I plead to all of you that you work to restore our greatness in the spirit of peace and only peace.
A young son has taught his father a great lesson and I hope my common views and ideas have made you think. The late John F. Kennedy never spoke truer words when he said “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”. God bless America.