Pundits and politicians won’t admit it, but we live in an age much like that of our Founders.

Just like in 1776, the American people are oppressed by a centralized, far-away government that refuses to heed the voice of We the People. Just like in 1776, that government treads on the rights of even the most law-abiding citizens. And just like in 1776, our laws and policies are not made by our representatives but by an all-powerful executive branch and its legions of unelected agents.

There’s another similarity between 2021 and 1776, and it’s by far the most troubling: many Americans refuse to admit how bad our situation has become.

Everyone knows about the bravery and dedication of our Founding Fathers, but few remember that many Americans—including those in state governments—denied that their rights were being infringed upon. These men and women were content to let their liberties erode as the British government exerted its will on the American people.

The same is true today. While I’ve had the privilege of working with many modern-day patriots, other so-called “conservatives,” “Republicans,” and limited-government advocates are denying the extent of federal overreach. They balk at describing Washington as “tyrannical,” and they believe our systems of government are robust enough to withstand the attacks by socialists, Marxists, and Communists.

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We must wake up these Americans before it’s too late. Fortunately, we have a fantastic model to follow. Beginning in 1776, Thomas Paine wrote a collection of essays designed to encourage the American patriots fighting British tyranny. The collected essays are known as “The American Crisis,” but I want to call your attention to the first essay, published on December 23, 1776.

The essay was so inspiring that George Washington ordered it to be read to the troops at Valley Forge. In one particularly powerful section, Paine calls out those Americans who refuse to join the fight. His words should be even more convicting to Americans today:

I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state: up and help us; lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake. Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it. Say not that thousands are gone, turn out your tens of thousands; throw not the burden of the day upon Providence, but ‘show your faith by your works,’ that God may bless you. It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike. The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection…”

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

It doesn’t matter where you live, who you are, or who you know: as Paine says, “The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike.”

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If we don’t act now to call a Convention of States, our children and grandchildren will curse our cowardice. They will ask, “Why didn’t you use what the Founders gave you in Article V? Why didn’t you call a Convention of States to limit federal power and control federal spending? We’re living under this tyranny and paying back a mountain of debt because, unlike the country’s Founders, you failed to act before it was too late.”

I don’t know about you, but when history tells the story, I won’t be counted among those who sat back and did nothing. I plan to heed the words of Thomas Paine and answer the call to stand up and fight.

We don’t have to start a bloody revolution. Thanks to the foresight of our Founders, we have a safe, legal, and effective way to stop the spread of tyranny, get our nation’s finances under control, and restore self-governance in all 50 states.

I don’t have the eloquence of Paine, so I’ll just leave you with this last question: are you with us?

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.