Seldom in history have the people had a voice. Those who try to give people a voice are portrayed negatively by the ruling elites. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense is the founding document of the American Revolution. His book, Rights of Man, sold 500,000 copies, making it the best-selling book of the 18th century. In Britain his reward was to be charged with sedition by the government and declared an outlaw. In the US, Federalist newspapers in Boston portrayed him as a drunkard and infidel. There is no monument to him in Washington, D.C. As Lewis Lapham has written, “Paine’s plain and forthright speaking is out of tune with our own contemporary political discourse, which for the most part is the gift for saying nothing.” Or for flumuxing you with false news.