No other time in my voting lifetime have I felt more compelled to share some ''common sense" than in this 2012 presidential election. Now more than ever it is imperative that we as a nation dust off our history books, clear our computer caches, and begin researching what the framers of our Constitution and others penned as the inspiration and foundation of our great nation.
In the era of our founding fathers, common sense was a necessity. Things we take for granted today like antibiotics, utilities, and other life sustaining items were not available at the time. If you didn't possess common sense in the prevention of physical harm, things like minor cuts and broken bones could prove deadly. Not preparing for winter, lacking hunting skills or poor crop management could spell the same misfortune. Neighbors, friends and countrymen depended on shared common sense for mere survival.
The political founders and politicians of the day coveted common sense. They took great lengths to not only write with great care, but also spoke in such a way so as to leave no doubt about their positions. People from all walks of life took time to reflect on political positions. They were not rushed like we are today. Time, content and debate were demanded, not like the 30-second emotional appeals we hear today.
In January of 1776, a journalist by the name of Thomas Paine anonymously issued a pamphlet entitled "Common Sense" to urge independence from England. It influenced John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and countless other patriots to pursue liberty and freedom. John Adams, although critical of Paine on occasion, was quoted as saying "Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vein."
Paine wrote in a way that was understandable to the common man, not with lofty words as was prevalent at the time, but with common sense and straightforwardness.
One must remember that Paine, as well as those who drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence, did so under penalty of death from England. It was serious writing. We honor their fortitude by taking the time to read their works, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights and other founding documents to help shape our decision about this election. Let's all use "Common Sense" in November.