WE'VE BEEN THERE FOR AT LEAST 20-25 YEARS NOW.
SLOWLY, SUBTLY, FORCES HAVE ARISEN WITHIN OUR OWN BORDERS WHO ARE INTENT OF BRINGING AMERICA AND HER CITIZENS TO THEIR KNEES.
IT IS NOW "US AGAINST THEM", AND IF WE DON'T START THINKING OF OURSELVES AS ONE NATION, IF WE DON'T STOP BEING A "HOUSE DIVIDED", IF WE DON'T REALIZE IT WILL TAKE ALL OF US TO GET THROUGH THIS...TOGETHER...THEN SURELY WE WILL FALL!
WHETHER RICH OR POOR, BLACK, WHITE OR PURPLE WITH YELLOW SPOTS, WHETHER OLD OR YOUNG, DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN OR "NONE OF THE ABOVE", WHETHER WELL-EDUCATED OR NOT, WHETHER WE LIVE IN A MANSION OR IN A RUNDOWN CAR OR TENT, WHETHER WE HAVE ALL WE NEED OR NOTHING, WE ARE ALL CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ONE NATION.
IT IS ALL OF US WHO MAKE UP THIS NATION.
SHE IS ALL WE HAVE TO CALL HOME!
SOME OF US HAVE FALLEN ON HARD TIMES.
SOME OF US ARE IN DIRE STRAITS.
SOME OF US HAVE, FOR TOO LONG, LOOKED DOWN ON OTHERS.
IT'S TIME TO STOP PUTTING A BOOT-HEEL ON THE BACKS OF THOSE WHO ARE DOWN AND, INSTEAD, OFFER OUR HELP, BECAUSE IF WE DON'T ALL GET INVOLVED IN SAVING AMERICA TOGETHER, NONE OF US WILL HAVE AN AMERICA FOR MUCH LONGER!
HERE'S WHAT WE'RE FACING, BUT THIS DOESN'T MEAN WE CAN'T OVERCOME THE PROBLEMS CONFRONTING US AND KEEP OUR NATION AND OURSELVES SOVEREIGN AND FREE.
~ 47 MILLION OF US DON'T KNOW WHERE THE NEXT MEAL IS COMING FROM, ARE WORKING AT OR BELOW MINIMUM WAGE, OR CAN'T FIND WORK, OR ARE TOO OLD OR TOO YOUNG OR TOO DISABLED TO WORK AND NEED HELP FEEDING OUR FAMILIES..
~ 9 MILLION OF US DON'T HAVE SO MUCH AS A CUP OF MILK TO OFFER A CHILD WITHOUT A PROGRAM LIKE "WIC". THESE ARE THE PREGNANT MOTHERS AND THE CHILDREN OF MOTHERS WHO JUST CAN'T MAKE ENDS MEET, MOST OF THEM LEFT TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR DEPENDENT CHILDREN BY LESS THAN 'HONORABLE' "MISSING FATHERS", MISSING FROM HELPING TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN CHILDREN.
~ OVER 4 MILLION OF US HAVE DESPERATELY SOUGHT EMPLOYMENT FOR 6 MONTHS OR MORE AND CAN'T FIND A JOB, ARE FACING UNIMAGINABLE HARDSHIPS.
~ ANOTHER 47 MILLION OF US ARE TRULY DISABLED.
14,251,529 OF US AGED 18-44 ARE DISABLED.
19,133,784 OF OUR POPULATION AGED 45-64 ARE DISABLED.
13,757,645 OF US AGED 65+ARE DISABLED.
DISABLED DOES NOT MEAN "LAZY", DOES NOT MEAN "DEADBEATS", DOES NOT MEAN "MOOCHERS/TAKERS/USELESS EATERS". IT MEANS DISABLED.
DISABLED IS NOT A CRIME NOR A SIN.
~ ABOUT 70 MILLION OF US ARE AGE 55 AND OLDER.
~ ABOUT 74 MILLION OF US ARE UNDER AGE 18.
~ ABOUT 1,215,000 ARE SERVING IN THE MILITARY, AND, ACCORDING TO WHICH FIGURES WE CHOOSE TO GO BY, FROM 220,000 TO ALMOST 400,000 ARE STATIONED OUTSIDE OUR BORDERS.
~ 1,571,013 AMERICANS ARE SERVING TIME IN STATE OR FEDERAL PRISONS.
~ ABOUT 1,560,000 AMERICANS WERE HOMELESS FOR AT LEAST A FEW MONTHS IN 2009.
LET'S JUST STOP RIGHT HERE AND ADD THAT ALL UP...LEAVING OUT THE TOP NUMBER OF THOSE 47 MILLION NEEDING HELP TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES, AND LEAVING OUT THE MILLION OR SO ALREADY SERVING IN OUR MILITARY...
THAT'S STILL ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF US, ABOUT 208 MILLION OF US WHO ARE EITHER FINANCIALLY DESTITUTE, ELDERLY, CHILDREN, DISABLED, SERVING IN OUR MILITARY, ARE IN PRISONS, OR ARE HOMELESS.
WE ARE A NATION WITH ABOUT 315 MILLION PEOPLE.
TWO-THIRDS OF US CAN'T RATIONALLY BE EXPECTED TO GO OUT AND DO REAL BATTLE.
TWO-THIRDS OF US CAN'T HONESTLY BE EXPECTED TO PHYSICALLY RUSH OUT TO DEFEND THIS NATION, THOUGH MANY OF THOSE 208 MILLION WOULD NO DOUBT TRY TO, IF IT CAME TO THAT.
THAT LEAVES ABOUT 107 MILLION OF US WHO ARE CONSIDERED "IN OUR PRIME, ABLE-BODIED" AND CAPABLE OF STANDING UP TO DEFEND THIS COUNTRY AGAINST ANY AND ALL WHO MIGHT TRY TO DESTROY US.
107 MILLION OF US ARE NOT BURDENED BY "ANY OF THE ABOVE".
107 MILLION OF US DO HAVE JOBS, HOMES, AND GOOD HEALTH.
ONLY 107 MILLION COULD LOGICALLY BE EXPECTED TO TAKE UP ARMS AND FIGHT IF WE WERE INVADED TOMORROW.
33% OF OUR POPULATION COULD BE EXPECTED TO "SAVE" THE OTHER 67% IF A FOREIGN ARMY ATTACKED US ON AMERICAN SOIL TODAY..
THINK ABOUT THAT.
THINK ABOUT THAT A LITTLE MORE!
NOW, THINK ABOUT THIS...
THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES IN 1776 WAS ABOUT 2,500,000. THAT DID NOT INCLUDE THOSE WHO WERE NOT DEEMED "CITIZENS".
IT DID NOT INCLUDE SLAVES NOR INDIANS NOR PEOPLE WHO WERE INDENTURED.
THE CONTINENTAL ARMY, THE ARMY THAT STOOD AGAINST BRITAIN AND HER ALLIES, THE DEFENDERS OF THIS NATION AT ITS ONSET, NEVER, NEVER NUMBERED ABOVE 17,000, FROM 1776-1784 WHEN IT WAS DISBANDED.
THAT'S LESS THAN 1% OF THE POPULATION STANDING AGAINST THE ENEMY AT THE OUTSET OF OUR WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE!
LESS THAN 1% STOOD TO SAFEGUARD THE OTHER 99%!!!
AS THE WAR RAGED ON, ANOTHER 60,000 OR SO AMERICAN MILITIA JOINED IN THE FRAY, BUT THERE WAS NEVER OVER 90,000 MEN FIGHTING FOR OUR INDEPENDENCE IN A SINGLE GIVEN YEAR. MILITIA UNITS SERVED FOR WEEKS OR PERHAPS MONTHS AT A TIME AND THEN WENT HOME TO BE REPLACED BY OTHERS.
WHEN GENERAL WASHINGTON FIELDED HIS FIRST ENGAGEMENT, WITH THE MILITIAS COUNTED AMONGST THE 17,000, THERE WERE ONLY 20,000 ARMED MEN.
25,000 "LOYALISTS" (AMERICANS WHO SIDED WITH THE BRITISH) AND THE 60,000 BRITISH AND "HESSIAN" TROOPS BROUGHT THE OPPOSING FORCES NUMBER TO ABOUT 85,000 BY 1777.
20,000 OPPOSING 85,000...NOT THE BEST OF ODDS, BUT THEY WENT ANYWAY, THAT FIRST AMERICAN ARMY.
LATER, WHEN THINGS GOT REALLY DIRE, WASHINGTON 'ALLOWED' ABOUT 5,000 SLAVES TO 'ENLIST'. HOWEVER, ON THE OPPOSING SIDE, THE BRITISH 'ENLISTED' ABOUT 20,000 SLAVES BELONGING TO THE LOYALISTS.
AMERICAN INDIANS, WANTING TO BE RID OF THE ENCROACHING SETTLERS, SENT ABOUT 13,000 WARRIORS TO FIGHT WITH THE BRITISH. AN ESTIMATED 3,000, MOSTLY ONEIDA, TUSCARORA, AND MOHAWK, FOUGHT WITH THE AMERICANS.
HOPEFULLY, THIS WILL SHOW YOU THAT OUR ANCESTORS WERE WILLING TO GO AGAINST THE WORST POSSIBLE ODDS, KNOWING FULL WELL THAT 99% OF THE POPULATION WOULD NOT BE GOING WITH THEM.
THAT <1% DECIDED THAT HAVING A NATION, THAT FOUNDING AN AMERICA WAS WORTH IT!
WHAT WOULD TODAY'S 33% DO?
WOULD THE 33% THINK THAT THE 67% WHO COULD NOT GO WITH THEM WAS WORTH IT?
WOULD THE 33% "IN THEIR PRIME AND ABLE-BODIED" RISK LIFE AND LIMB FOR THE 67% WHO COULDN'T/WOULDN'T JOIN IN THE FRAY?
WOULD 107 MILLION GO TO FACE ANY ENEMY FOR THE SAKE OF 208 MILLION?
ARE YOU IN THE 33% OR THE 67%?
DO YOU SEE THAT THE 1776 ARMY WAS FIGHTING FOR THE NATION, THE NATION THAT INCLUDED EVERY CITIZEN? THEY FOUGHT FOR THE POOR, THE RICH, THE YOUNG AND THE OLD, THE "HAVES" AND THE "HAVE-NOTS" BECAUSE THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM AND TO SAVE THE NEW COUNTRY THEY'D DECIDED TO BUILD.
THEY DIDN'T ASK HOW MANY WERE "MAKERS" AND HOW MANY WERE "TAKERS"!
THEY DIDN'T ASK HOW MANY HELD TO THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OR PHILOSOPHIES.
THERE WERE NOT YET ANY POLITICAL PARTIES, JUST 'REBELS' AND LOYALISTS THOSE FOR AMERICA AND THOSE AGAINST.
THAT RAG-TAG CONTINENTAL ARMY WON THAT WAR!
THE LESS THAN 1% SACRIFICED MORE THAN WE MAY EVER KNOW AND THEY WON THAT THING FOR THEMSELVES AND THE 99% WHO NEVER FIRED A SHOT!
THEY WON BECAUSE THEY FOUGHT FOR NEIGHBORS, FOR FRIENDS, FOR FAMILY, FOR OTHER AMERICANS.
UNITED THEY STOOD AND UNITED THEY WON!
THEY DID NOT FIGHT FOR A "PARTY", FOR "THOSE LIKE ME", FOR PERSONAL GAIN, NOR FOR ANY OTHER REASON THAN TO PRESERVE WHAT THEY HAD BEGUN...A FREE NATION, INDEPENDENT, WHERE ALL WERE GOING TO BE EQUALS.
THOMAS PAYNE, A MAN I HAVE ADMIRED LITTLE, WROTE SEVERAL ARTICLES BEGINNING ON DECEMBER 23, 1776, THAT HE TITLED "THE AMERICAN CRISIS".
HERE ARE SOME EXCERPTS FROM THAT FIRST ARTICLE THAT WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT TODAY AS WE OURSELVES FACE A GROWING CRISIS IN AMERICA, AND FACE SOME HARD CHOICES...
[NOTE: The "Howe" that Payne speaks of was William Howe, 5th Viscount, a British army officer who rose to become Commander-in-Chief of British forces during the American War of Independence.]
<<December 23, 1776. THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER" and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.
Whether the independence of the continent was declared too soon, or delayed too long, I will not now enter into as an argument; my own simple opinion is, that had it been eight months earlier, it would have been much better. We did not make a proper use of last winter, neither could we, while we were in a dependent state. However, the fault, if it were one, was all our own; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet. All that Howe has been doing for this month past, is rather a ravage than a conquest, which the spirit of the Jerseys, a year ago, would have quickly repulsed, and which time and a little resolution will soon recover.
I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils; and as I do not, I cannot see on what grounds the king of Britain can look up to heaven for help against us: a common murderer, a highwayman, or a house-breaker, has as good a pretence as he.
There are cases which cannot be overdone by language, and this is one. There are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard equally against both. Howe's first object is, partly by threats and partly by promises, to terrify or seduce the people to deliver up their arms and receive mercy. The ministry recommended the same plan to Gage, and this is what the tories call making their peace, "a peace which passeth all understanding" indeed! A peace which would be the immediate forerunner of a worse ruin than any we have yet thought of. Ye men of Pennsylvania, do reason upon these things! Were the back counties to give up their arms, they would fall an easy prey to the Indians, who are all armed: this perhaps is what some Tories would not be sorry for. Were the home counties to deliver up their arms, they would be exposed to the resentment of the back counties who would then have it in their power to chastise their defection at pleasure. And were any one state to give up its arms, that state must be garrisoned by all Howe's army of Britons and Hessians to preserve it from the anger of the rest. Mutual fear is the principal link in the chain of mutual love, and woe be to that state that breaks the compact. Howe is mercifully inviting you to barbarous destruction, and men must be either rogues or fools that will not see it. I dwell not upon the vapors of imagination; I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as A, B, C, hold up truth to your eyes.
I thank God, that I fear not. I see no real cause for fear. I know our situation well, and can see the way out of it. While our army was collected, Howe dared not risk a battle; and it is no credit to him that he decamped from the White Plains, and waited a mean opportunity to ravage the defenceless Jerseys; but it is great credit to us, that, with a handful of men, we sustained an orderly retreat for near an hundred miles, brought off our ammunition, all our field pieces, the greatest part of our stores, and had four rivers to pass. None can say that our retreat was precipitate, for we were near three weeks in performing it, that the country might have time to come in. Twice we marched back to meet the enemy, and remained out till dark. The sign of fear was not seen in our camp, and had not some of the cowardly and disaffected inhabitants spread false alarms through the country, the Jerseys had never been ravaged. Once more we are again collected and collecting; our new army at both ends of the continent is recruiting fast, and we shall be able to open the next campaign with sixty thousand men, well armed and clothed. This is our situation, and who will may know it. By perseverance and fortitude we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and submission, the sad choice of a variety of evils — a ravaged country — a depopulated city — habitations without safety, and slavery without hope — our homes turned into barracks and bawdy-houses for Hessians, and a future race to provide for, whose fathers we shall doubt of. Look on this picture and weep over it! and if there yet remains one thoughtless wretch who believes it not, let him suffer it unlamented.>>
ONE MORE FROM PAYNE:
<<The American Crisis: PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 12, 1777
THOSE who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it. The event of yesterday was one of those kind of alarms which is just sufficient to rouse us to duty, without being of consequence enough to depress our fortitude. It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same.
Men who are sincere in defending their freedom, will always feel concern at every circumstance which seems to make against them; it is the natural and honest consequence of all affectionate attachments, and the want of it is a vice. But the dejection lasts only for a moment; they soon rise out of it with additional vigor; the glow of hope, courage and fortitude, will, in a little time, supply the place of every inferior passion, and kindle the whole heart into heroism.
There is a mystery in the countenance of some causes, which we have not always present judgment enough to explain. It is distressing to see an enemy advancing into a country, but it is the only place in which we can beat them, and in which we have always beaten them, whenever they made the attempt. The nearer any disease approaches to a crisis, the nearer it is to a cure. Danger and deliverance make their advances together, and it is only the last push, in which one or the other takes the lead.
I close this paper with a short address to General Howe. You, sir, are only lingering out the period that shall bring with it your defeat. You have yet scarce began upon the war, and the further you enter, the faster will your troubles thicken. What you now enjoy is only a respite from ruin; an invitation to destruction; something that will lead on to our deliverance at your expense. We know the cause which we are engaged in, and though a passionate fondness for it may make us grieve at every injury which threatens it, yet, when the moment of concern is over, the determination to duty returns. We are not moved by the gloomy smile of a worthless king, but by the ardent glow of generous patriotism. We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in. In such a case we are sure that we are right; and we leave to you the despairing reflection of being the tool of a miserable tyrant.>>
I INVITE YOU TO READ ALL OF PAYNE'S WORDS I'VE POSTED HERE AT LEAST TWICE.
IT WILL BE WELL WORTH YOUR TIME AND EFFORT.
THEN ASK YOURSELVES, AS I HAVE OFTEN AND LONG ASKED MYSELF,
"AM I A REAL 'PATRIOT', OR AM I AN 'ARMCHAIR' PATRIOT? DO I SINCERELY BELIEVE THAT AMERICA IS WORTH SAVING? WILL I DO ALL WITHIN MY POWER TO PRESERVE HER, UPHOLD AND DEFEND HER ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION FOR WHICH BRAVE MEN HAVE FOUGHT AND DIED THROUGHOUT HER HISTORY? DOES MY FREEDOM AND MY GUARANTEED RIGHTS AS A SOVEREIGN CITIZEN AND THE FREEDOM AND RIGHTS OF OTHER AMERICANS MEAN ENOUGH TO ME TO STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR THEM? WILL I ALLOW TYRANTS TO TAKE HER AND RULE OVER ME AND THOSE I LOVE? WILL FEAR OF LOSS, WHETHER LOSS OF LIFE OR LOSS OF PROPERTY, CAUSE ME TO BACK DOWN IN THE FACE OF THREAT OF DEATH OR DISPOSSESSION? WILL I ALLOW MYSELF OR ANY ONE FELLOW CITIZEN TO FACE INJUSTICE OR ENSLAVEMENT BY ANY FORCE THAT COMES TO ROB US OF OUR LIVES, OUR POSTERITY, OUR FREEDOM, OR OUR NATIONAL UNITY? WILL I ALLOW FEAR TO SILENCE ME AND RENDER ME IMPOTENT TO PROTECT AND DEFEND MYSELF, MY LOVED ONES, MY NEIGHBORS, MY FRIENDS, MY AMERICAN COMPATRIOTS? DARE I SIT IDLY BY WHEN I CAN SEE THE SLOW DECAY OF MY COUNTRY AND THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE I CHOSE BY CONTINUING TO LIVE HERE? JUST BECAUSE THIS DANGER AND THIS EVIL COMES FROM WITHIN, WILL I DO NOTHING OUT OF 'PARTY LOYALTY' OR OUT OF FEAR OF REPRISAL? WILL I ALLOW THOSE WHO HAVE THE MOST TO TAKE FROM THOSE WHO HAVE THE LEAST AND CREATE A CLASS OF SERFS HERE, CREATE A RULING ELITE TO DOMINATE EVERY AREA OF AMERICA'S EXISTENCE, AND MINE? CAN I MUSTER THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE, THE RAW COURAGE TO CALL THINGS WRONG THAT ARE WRONG, OR HAVE I BEEN DUMBED-DOWN AND SCARED TO THE POINT OF BOTH BLIND OBEDIENCE AND WILLFUL ACCEPTANCE OF TYRANNY? AFTER READING AND RE-READING OUR ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION, CAN I HONESTLY SAY OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE UPHOLDING AND GOVERNING ME BY THAT DOCUMENT, OR HAVE THEY CORRUPTED IT AND CHANGED IT TO SUIT THEM AND THOSE WHO FUND THEM?
JUST BECAUSE THE ENEMY IS WITHIN, JUST BECAUSE THOSE WHO ARE TRYING TO DESTROY THIS NATION CALL THEMSELVES AMERICANS, SHOULD I DO NOTHING AS THEY BRING HER TO HER KNEES AND ME WITH HER?"
WHAT ANSWERS WILL YOU GET TO THOSE QUESTIONS?
AS YOU GO BACK AND LOOK AT THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, AS YOU LOOK AT OUR CURRENT GOVERNMENT, OUR LOSS OF GUARANTEED RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS, CAN YOU HONESTLY SAY YOU ARE WILLING AND READY TO STAND UP AND DEFEND AGAINST ALL, AGAINST ANY WHO HAVE SO CHANGED OUR REPUBLIC AND WANT TO CONTINUE TO CHANGE AMERICA FROM A REPUBLIC TO A SERFDOM?
HOW FREE ARE YOU?
HOW FREE DO YOU WANT TO BE?
AT YOUR CORE, ARE YOU AN AMERICAN OR NOT?
ARE YOU AN AMERICAN OR A PARTY NAME?
ARE YOU A PATRIOT, A SOVEREIGN CITIZEN, OR ARE YOU A WILLING SLAVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE TAKEN AWAY YOUR SOVEREIGNTY AND FREEDOMS?
ONLY YOU CAN HONESTLY ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS...IF YOU DARE ASK THEM OF YOURSELVES.
UNITED, WE HAVE STOOD BEFORE GREAT ODDS, TIME AND TIME AGAIN.
DIVIDED, WE HAVE FALLEN FAR FROM THE HOPES AND DREAMS OF THOSE WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR US IN TIMES PAST.
WE HAVE FALLEN PREY TO THE FIRST RULE OF WAR...."DIVIDE AND CONQUER".
WE HAVE BEEN DIVIDED, SO WE ARE BEING CONQUERED.
WE CAN UNITE, OR WE CAN PERISH.
TIME TO CHOOSE.
TIME TO TAKE BACK WHAT WE HAVE LOST.
I WISH YOU ALL WELL WHO VALUE THIS AMERICA AND VALUE THE FREEDOM AND THE RIGHTS OF ALL WHO ARE CITIZENS OF THIS REPUBLIC.