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Thomas Paine and America - Rhetorical Analysis

            As a major transcendentalist thinker and revolutionary leader, Thomas Paine was proud both of his country and of his people's strong sense of nationalism towards America. He valued their strong sense of loyalty, and as a result of this, viewed America on very high terms. He saw the country as a place where the notion of economic equality thrived, where diverse peoples could live together in harmony, and also as a place that was ultimately civilized. Though the notion of a civilized America still existing today is a nice thought to entertain, Thomas Paine's beliefs are nowhere near realistic in today's American society. Anywhere in this country there exists high taxes and oppression of the poor, and also racism and other societal inequities. As written in other works by Thomas Paine, such as Common Sense, a civilized society is one in which people are held under equal expectations and views. In today's United States society though, the opposite of this is true, meaning that the United States does not match Paine's characterization of America to much extent.
             As mentioned, because of the fact that America today does not have a completely just and fair government, Thomas Paine's characterization of America does not hold true to much extent. Considering one of the ways Paine characterized this country was a nation where "thee man [lives] under just government," Thomas Paine's statement is out of sync with the country today. An excellent example supporting this statement is that, unlike the society T. Paine described where, "the poor are not oppressed, [and] the rich are not privileged," today's society is based upon privilege which is obtained from money. As the current economic condition worsens, the schism between the wealthy and the poor continues to grow as the "rich get richer and the poor get poorer." Nowhere in the country is economic equality present for all, and nowhere is present a system of equal rights for both the wealthy and poor.

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