Essay on Common Sense



Dearest Lovers and Haters… of American Politics,

I would like to re-introduce myself. My name is Benjamin Franklin. I am writing you at the age of 310 years old, though my current version is my 28-year old form: tall, athletic, and with a full head of hair, though the hair is glows with a deep, rich red (beggars cannot be choosers…). You may have many questions such as:

  1. “How did you get here?”
  2. “Why do you look so different from your pictures?”
  3. “Which do you prefer more: being bald or being a ginger?”

Unfortunately, you must wait a little longer for answers to those questions and more. You see I have a lot to say and I have a VERY short attention span… and I’m extremely caffeinated (#dunkindonuts). I must stay focused on my task at hand because “he that pursues two hares at once, does not catch one and lets the other go,” I am already getting off topic…. Damn!

My specific task is to introduce to you the fundamental principle that is missing from the current American landscape, COMMON SENSE. The land is scourged with scathing verbal assaults between its inhabitants. We have allowed our emotions to rise to an unsustainable vitriol (#vocabulary), which leads to defensive posturing for poor ideas. You see, “a man in passion rides a mad horse,” and a mad horse causes collateral damage. We blame and fear-monger causing further hate and distrust. We break down but don’t rebuild. We argue for policies in defense of our own acknowledged biases and self-interest, but care little of the impact on others. We argue for policies due to fear of minorities and immigrants, but we like to preach a folksy legacy of our country, incorporates the phrases “inclusion” and “liberty”. We do little to combat poverty, but are disgusted with those who suffer from it. We have lost our minds! We have lost COMMON SENSE! I am sure that I have not been the only one to express this sentiment, but it resonates more when I say this, because I am Ben Franklin… and I am amazing.

You must understand, COMMON SENSE, also known as “logic”, is an essential tool for every calculated move in a person’s life. It is separate from intelligence because one can know a lot of facts but still act foolishly and “a learned fool is a greater fool than an ignorant one,” Consider COMMON SENSE to be wisdom. It focuses solely on applying several facts together in order to surmise a logical conclusion. Consider it equivalent to an algebraic equation. For example:


  1. x + y = 10
  2. x = 7
  3. Therefore, y = 3


  1. Government policies against homosexuals are based on the grounds of religious text
  2. The Constitution separates religion from government
  3. Government policies against homosexuals are not supported by the Constitution

COMMON SENSE is what the entire Enlightenment movement was based upon; it placed reason and rational thought in contrast with blind worship. COMMON SENSE is what we, the people, used to succeed in the American Revolution. COMMON SENSE defended our rebellion because it was not logical for an island to control a continent. COMMON SENSE reasoned that we should continue fighting in the face of initial defeats because the British would eventually grow tired of traveling 3,000 miles to fight to suppress us. And COMMON SENSE logically identified the perfect positioning between the British and French for an ideal peace treaty.

And no, I am not the writer of the famous pamphlet, COMMON SENSE, either. That can be attributed to one, Thomas Paine. However, I was his mentor and I assisted him in his famed publication. I was one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment, so consider me an expert on COMMON SENSE. It will be an over-arching theme in much of my writing and so you must be prepared for this. My goal is for you to feel more Enlightened at the conclusion of these writings than you were previously. Cheers and Good Fortune!

Your Best Friend,

Ben Franklin

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