Common Sense: The Future of the Republic Depends on It

Jason Cannata

Most people today do not really think about how far our country has strayed from the original Foundation that was set over 200 years ago. In fact, too many do not even think about why America was formed in the first place. However, it is clear that one thing from the 1770s must be preserved in order for this nation to prosper again, and sadly, that is also what we are sorely lacking.

Back when the Founders created a set of laws based on freedom and individual rights, there was no question that everything had to make sense for the country and its people. For example, selecting George Washington as the first President of the recently United States ensured that a person with no affiliation to any political party would launch the Republic, and the well being of all citizens would be the focus. Washington refused compensation for his work as president and a number of historians argue that he was the best leader who ever held the office.

Likewise, the other Founders joined Washington in realizing that a government can only succeed when it represents the citizens accurately. No party or an elected official would have the resources or intentions of betraying that important goal. Yes, there were a variety of opinions, and a lot of healthy debate about how to construct the framework, but patriotism was a powerful motivator and united the leaders as well as the colonies.

The difference between them and our current “leaders” was the placement of the country before personal interest. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had several personal disagreements about major issues, yet in the end, their friendship was renewed by a concern for America’s future. Unfortunately, the same type of friendship is rarely seen today. 

As both parties struggle for power and control, a risk of losing something much more valuable is growing quickly in the background. Rewind back a few centuries and it is easy to notice how people have changed significantly along with the politicians. Campaign promises no longer have to make sense to be seriously considered and supported, they just have to provide a convenient antidote for problems, whether it is logical or not.

It is very interesting to wonder about how people in the early 1800s would have responded to a lot of the ideas and so called solutions we are now hearing with frightening regularity. Of course, those ideas would never gain any traction without a lack of common sense. Here are two cases for how distinctly our nation has fled from simple reasoning:

1)    A majority of voters actually saw nothing wrong with a theory that would give millions of people free health insurance without a raise in taxes. While those two notions are contradicting and unrealistic, they were accepted by people who are now disappointed that the “plan” was ineffective at improving the health care industry. 

2)    Despite the overwhelming proof that raising taxes on the wealthy does not relieve the financial pain of those who are labeled as poor, some still insist on using that approach as a means of balancing out the economical troubles we have. More irony proves to be almost entertaining as the economy has been worsened by the exact same approach.

So the question is why people are unwilling or incapable of using rational logic as they once did. Early Americans would have never subscribed to either of the above scenarios, and they would have probably laughed at the possibility of discussing them. Politicians know that citizens are looking for emotional relief, not practicality, and they are leveraging an absence of it to win elections.

Returning to a solid Foundation will not be easy as we have lost a substantial amount of it already. There is a division between two parties that is unlike anything we have experienced. And we can no longer afford to ignore what has always been known. 

Freedom still rings true for all of us, which is the advantage we enjoy and source of our strength. Now, it is time to finally stop searching for convenience instead of working towards real prosperity. Common Sense was not only the title of a pamphlet by Thomas Paine, it was a practice that automatically guided the country to a Republic that proved to be a standard for the world.

2012 is a pivotal year and Republicans should remember the origin of their name and think about how the Founders would have fought to restore America.