Thomas Paine Rights of Man Essay Example



Thomas Paine had a unrealistic and overly optimistic view of the United States in his book Rights of Man. He viewed the United States as a whole, united, equal, and nearly perfect country--when in fact, it’s nowhere near perfect. The United States is completely divided by politics, social class, economic standings, and moral beliefs. Everyone is different, and that can lead to division as a country because everybody has different views and beliefs, no matter where they’re from. 

One example of lack of cohesion would be our current political climate. The two main political parties are the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, and each year they become drastically different from each other. Today in history, the Attorney General, a Republican, was issued an order of contempt from a Democratic Congress. This is an example of political separation because it’s a Right versus Left rivalry, a Red versus Blue dilemma. That circumstance shows how divided we are as a country because of the tension between Democratic political views and Republican political views. So when Paine said “but by the simple operation of constructing government on the principles of society and the rights of man, every difficulty retires, and all the parts are brought into cordial unison,” he was incorrect. There is no unison when, politically, the nation is split in half into two groups.

The nation is also divided economically and by social class. At the bottom of the barrel, there are the homeless and low class. Gradually, as household incomes increase, there is the middle class (which makes up the majority of the United States’s population), and finally, the upper class. In the passage written by Paine, he states “the rich are not privileged,” which is a complete fallacy. In 2018, Amazon, a multi-billion dollar company, paid zero dollars for federal income tax. If the rich weren’t privileged, then Amazon would’ve paid taxes. In the early months of 2019, famous actors and actresses were “donating” millions of dollars to private colleges so that their children would have a better chance of getting accepted there. If the rich weren’t privileged, then the college cheating scandal never would’ve happened. Privilege is special right given to a particular group or people, and rich privilege is one reason, out of many, why the country is so divided.

One of the largest disadvantages in the United States is that people aren’t equal. There’s still a gender pay gap, anti-LGBTQ+ laws are still being put into place and passed, and there’s more racism and xenophobia now than I’ve ever witnessed in my life. A modern day example would be when Our President, Donald Trump, had previously referred to black people as “the blacks,” categorized all Mexicans as rapists, and also said “you have to treat ‘em like shit,” when referring to women. These comments are extremely offensive and incorrect and people have taken notice. There has been  numerous amounts of Women’s Marches and Black Lives Matter marches in Washington D.C. in front of the White House as protest. On Trump’s inauguration day, there were riots in the streets, cars were on fire, windows were being shattered, destruction was everywhere. This disproves Paine’s theory that “there is nothing to engender riots and tumults.” because there are many reasons and examples of riots and revolts. 

Politics, moral beliefs, and economic standings create a clear divide in the country and will always keep the country divided. Everyone has different views and opinions so there will constantly be an opposing side to how they see things. Paine’s view of the United States was naive and doesn’t depict an actual image of the real United States of America.