Rhetoric of a Mad Man – Thomas Paine

English: Lesson 65

A critique of Paine’s pamphlets from the point of view of a loyalist in 1778.

I write this short essay to reveal to those in America how foolish they are to be swayed by the unfortunately popular pamphlets, The American Crisis, and their mysterious author. Not only are these pamphlets filled with the rhetoric of a mad man obsessed with the tarring and feathering every good British soldier and loyalist insight, but he hides his identity behind the assuring name, Common Sense. This man, whoever he may be, lacks all sense known to man, and all who read him will quickly see the foolishness of his words.

The most foolish of his arguments is that the British would have been proven unfit to rule America if they are not capable of conquering them. This man seems to think that his band of Rebels is a match against the British military and has a chance at victory. A person with sense would quickly see that an empire with hundreds of years of military experience would be quite capable of defeating a small army of Rebels. But, this man with unlimited optimism thinks nothing but good will come from the Rebel’s endeavours.

A second ridiculous point that is made in The American Crisis pamphlets, is those who will not swear allegiance to America should have their property stolen from them and given to those who will. It is now more important than ever for Britain to win back America to save these loyal people from destruction. This man knows that their endeavours are futile and he now resorts to the thieving and stealing of private property of good honest men. If ever there was a more crazed man in all of America I know not. And I pray to God that all men with sense would see that there is nothing of common sense in these pamphlets.

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