Get Out of Here, Poli Sci 4!
Listening to a lecture about Paine's "Common Sense" right now, and I'm getting hella annoyed by Paine's philosophies. It gets difficult to simply sit quietly in class and let this professor talk at me about the novelties of revolutionary American thought.
To paint a pretty little picture, my professor is a middle-aged, petite, white woman who always dresses as though she is a politician attending a funeral. She projects her husky voice with overbearing assertion; her voice is surprisingly big for such a small woman. If one were to look (or listen) past her demeanor, her words suggest that she was hired by the government to act as official cheerleader of American politics. Ugh. Slay me.
Speaking of pain... Listening to political theories aimed only at 18th century WASP men as outlined in Common Sense is not and should not be applicable to today. While it is important to learn of the history of politics, the teacher does not encourage our diverse, powerful community of students to compare these outdated ideas of equality to modern concerns. She does not encourage my classmates to reflect on the hypocrisy in today's foreign affairs as compared to America's very foundations.
If I were to give Paine the benefit of the doubt and not assume that he cares only for the "rights" of Christian white men, if Paine were alive today he would be fighting on the side of Palestine, of the Middle East, of everyone that hegemonic, (arguably) imperial, capitalist America is against today.
Thomas Paine, a terrorist? Damn straight. Of course, today, what do we call terrorists that win the war? Revolutionaries.
T. Paine: a rose by any other name... still dead.