Common Sense

by Robert E. Wright
The American Institute for Economic Research

Tom McClintock, a Republican who represents California’s Fourth District in Congress, gave a speech on the House floor last year in which he called for an end to lockdowns because their myriad costs far outweigh their paltry benefits. “It’s called common sense,” he said, but “fools abound in public office” and soon become tyrants wielding power rather than the public servants they swore to be.

In the clip, McClintock does not explicitly call out Thomas Paine but he certainly could have. AIER’s The Best of Thomas Paine, edited by myself, of course contains Paine’s famous pamphlet Common Sense but much else besides, all of it pointing towards the crucial importance of fostering independence of mind and conscience from groupthink and arbitrary rule, be the tyrant born into his or her role or kinda sorta elected into it. (This is sometimes called the tyranny of the majority but let’s face it, no American president or President-elect has ever received votes from more than half of the electorate, much less half of the population. For example, Biden may have received 80 million votes in 2020 but there are 330 million Americans.)

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