"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 his country; but he that stands now, deserves the 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 everything 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."
--Thomas Paine, Common Sense
I have a new found respect for Thomas Paine. He was the true idealist of democracy--the one that wanted freedom for slaves, equality for men, women, children regardless of social-economic class. He, amongst all the 'founding fathers' wanted a democracy for all, a democracy still to be. If he hadn't gone back to England, if he wasn't out-lawed for writing 'The Rights of Man in England, if he hadn't fled to France, if he hadn't pissed off one of the ruling factions in France--well, we might have had a statue of him too in DC. Age of Reason is an exceptional read, if not the nail in the coffin to his statesman career.