Anderson Cooper: Thanks for returning to the show and as promised tonight we’re speaking with awe to a very special guest. Direct from the 18th century, the author Common Sense and the Crisis, among others, and truly America’s forgotten founding father, Thomas Paine. Before the commercial break, we saw a montage of memorable moments in the first year of Donald Trump’s Presidency. So, Mr. Paine, I guess the real question here is: is the America of 2018 the America you envisioned during those cold winter nights when your inspirational words in The Crisis stirred a nation to keep the revolution going?
Thomas Paine: Sir, I am obliged to be brief but honest. These are the times that try men’s patience. History is the narrative of multitudes dying in the service of the lies of knaves and the fools. King George III of England was knave of ostentatious design; King Louis XVI was a fool who lent new depth of meaning to the word obstinacy. I have seen the tyranny of monarchy tower over every advantage of intellect and I have witnessed the fall of monarchy in the face of multitudes willing to die in the service of correcting the mistakes of history perpetrated by knaves and fools. I once held fast to the opinion that ignorance is not a thing that can be regained once dismissed. My assumption was that ignorance represent not the rejection of knowledge, but its absence and once a fact is apprehended, it cannot disengaged.
Your world has proven me unwise in this assumption and unenlightened on the depths of the depravity of men’s willingness to seek ignorance and the disengagement of what has been learned. The world of the 21st century—if I may be so immodest—owes a great debt to my words in Common Sense and the Crisis and the Rights for stoking the fire of revolutionary thought which is too often allowed to extinguish into smoldering cinders. Those living in these trying times can thank me in part for helping to give them a world free from a system of governance so perverse that even a child born of incestuous idiocy with a mind are predetermined to fall into premature senility could still grow up to lead a nation.
Or so I had assumed. Your America here in 2018 is evidence that this great country has arrived at a crisis of uncommon nonsense. For what other term is applicable to a democracy where an ignorance knave voted for by a minority of fools can act with tyrannical intent and not immediately be removed from office? It is with no small amount of sorrow–
Anderson Cooper: I’m sorry. We’re going to have to cut you short there Mr. Paine and go live to a rally being held by President Trump where he has just called for any kids who choose the teeter-totter over the jungle gym on school playgrounds to be immediately expelled.