In 1776, the British behaved abominably to their American colonies, taxing almost everything, restricting their trade and quartering their troops in American homes.
Thomas Paine, an American patriot, became exasperated with the situation. In a widely circulated pamphlet called Common Sense he wrote: “These are the times that try men’s souls” and urged revolution. Paine could never imagine how bad things would become.
In the present day U.S.A., racial prejudice and financial disparity have caused alienation among a large segment of our people. Political acrimony rises to a new height with venom and vitriol in the media and the social behavior of some politicians reaching a new low.
As the national debt continues ballooning, a recalcitrant Congress sends up bills rife with earmarks and pork and obstructs every effort of our first black President to make progress.
Lobbyists influence Senators and Representatives in legislative decisions. Congressmen, secure in their sinecures, absent term limits, spend much time working to ensure reelection.
A Presidential candidate, a liar, a sexual predator and paranoid, seeks election. The Supreme Court, shy one justice do to blocked Congressional confirmation, limps along.
In our cities, tense police shoot unarmed blacks while, almost weekly, mad shooters with automatic weapons gun down innocents in schools and colleges.
Rogue nations possess or are developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. In the lands of the sands, fanatic Muslims spread terror throughout Europe, Africa and America as thousands of desperate refuges flee the Middle East.
In the background to all the above, global warming, the consequence of pollution from fossil fuels and the destruction of ecosystems of land and sea are insidiously changing our climate with violent super storms, drought, and rising sea levels promising the elimination of mankind from the Earth.
These are truly times that try men’s souls.