02/01/2011 11:52 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Toast to the Revolutionary Patriot Thomas Paine

Greetings to friends of Thomas Paine!

We gather all across the USA -- believe me, ALL ACROSS THE USA! -- to celebrate the birthday of the man who in 1776 grabbed hold of Americans' finest hopes and aspirations and not only called for an independent United States of America but also articulated America's world historic purpose and promise -- to liberate men and women from tyranny and pursue freedom, equality, and democracy; indeed, to deny the claims of the powers that be and forever struggle to extend and deepen freedom, equality, and democracy.

Common Sense, The Crisis, Public Good, Rights of Man, The Age of Reason, Agrarian Justice: "The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth!"

The powerful, propertied, prestigious, and pious had reason to fear Paine. With his pen he enabled us to see ourselves as citizens not subjects -- citizens in every respect: politically, economically, culturally, intellectually.

Long live the memory and legacy of the revolutionary patriot and citizen of the world, Thomas Paine.

Cross-posted from New Deal 2.0.