November 30, 2020

Gen Z Conservative

The thoughts of a young conservative on political issues relevant to all ages

These are the times that try men's souls

These are the Times that Try Men’s Souls: Similarities Between 1776 and 2020

The Quote by Thomas Paine on “These are the Times that Try Men’s Souls”

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” -Thomas Paine

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Analysis:

Thomas Paine wrote the above quotation in December of 1776, right before Washington crossed the Deleware and defeated the Hessians at Trenton in the first real victory for America in the Revolutionary War. That was really a dangerous time and one that made it quite accurate for Thomas Paine to remark that “these are the times that try men’s souls.” They were; America was losing, was under the thumb of the British, and things generally were not going well for the young republic.

Just think about what it would have been like to be alive then. A small, colonial nation was going to war with the worlds’ predominant superpower.

A few minutemen from cities and towns in the Northeast and backwoodsmen from the South were going toe to toe with the contemporary equivalent of the American military. The sheer terror of not knowing what would happen or how it would happen must have been almost overwhelming. So, when Thomas Paine remarked that “these are the times that try men’s souls,” he wasn’t wrong or exaggerating. Few modern Americans could have made it through such trials and tribulations.




Luckily, we now live in a more peaceful time. Because of the vision and drive of the Founding Fathers, we live in a great and powerful nation. The current situation America finds herself in is not as severe as it was then. But we still live in a trying time for patriots. These are the times that try men’s souls, just not in the same way as when Thomas Paine originally said that.

President Donald Trump and his advisers are being dragged into court day after day and forced to spend their retirement money on lawyer fees so they can defend themselves against baseless accusations. American soldiers and private military contractors have been prosecuted for killing terrorists while overseas. Free speech has more or less disappeared from many college campuses. Antifa thugs attack conservatives in the streets. It is a dangerous time to be a patriot in America. Conservatives are shamed by rabid leftists for the “crime” of being conservative. Yet worse, America seems to be declining on the world stage as it slips into disunity and chaos as China rises and becomes ever more powerful.

That danger is why it is so important to remain a patriot and keep fighting for the values and virtues you believe in. Sure, “these are the times that try men’s souls,” but by remaining strong we will “deserve the love and thanks of  man and woman.” Eventually, the craziness will fade away and America will return to some sense of normalcy. Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later and the American revival will be an extremely quick and powerful one.

But, even if it takes a long time, keep up the good fight. When Thomas Paine made his “these are the times that try men’s souls” remark in 1776, the American Revolution still had years to go. It wouldn’t be over until 1783. And, even then, it wouldn’t be until 1789 that the early republic as we know it would be established.

So, the struggle may be long and taxing. There might be many moments when you have trouble keeping up the good fight because your so tired of the constant attacks and seemingly never-ending struggle. But it is a fight that is worth fighting and needs to be fought. The culture war must be won just as the American Revolution had to be won. We must get over these dark times just as the American patriots made it past the dark times of the winter of ’76.




Conclusion:

We need to keep fighting and pushing back against the liberal agenda. Yes, doing so is hard to do. Pushing back and fighting the culture war can be hard and trying. It is taxing and can seem like it is unwinnable. That is especially true for the young conservatives that are fighting the good fight against the left in places like college campuses that are covered up with people that want to shame you for believing in something different than them.

But, remember, our situation isn’t as bad as it was when Thomas Paine wrote this quote and said that “these are the times that try men’s souls.” We can’t overplay the similarity or slip into self-pity.

Paine and his compatriots were in a truly dangerous and trying situation. They could have died for what they believed in, when it came out, shortly after Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware, things were not going particularly well for the American Revolution.

We can only be shamed or “canceled” for standing up for what we believe in. But the similarity we share is that then and now we are standing up against tyranny.

Don’t be a “summer soldier” or sunshine patriot. Instead, stand up and fight for what you believe in. Fighting against tyranny is important.

By: Gen Z Conservative

Image from AZ Quotes


Links:

Read another great quote from the Revolutionary era: https://genzconservative.com/patrick-henry-on-liberty/

Read the full pamphlet here: http://www.ushistory.org/paine/crisis/c-01.htm

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