Dick Morris is the anti-Thomas Paine
We strongly protest the giving of an "In the Spirit of Thomas Paine Award" to Dick Morris, the right-wing Republican consultant and pollster, Fox news commentator and author. Mr. Morris' political views are totally opposed to those of Thomas Paine. The award will be given by the Huguenot & New Rochelle Historical Association, on November 17 at the VIP Country Club in New Rochelle, where Morris will be the keynote speaker.
Here are three of Dick Morris' key positions diametrically at odds with those of Thomas Paine.
Mr. Morris and others, aided by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, are flooding our elections with money from the super-rich and corporations, overwhelming our democracy and bringing on a plutocracy. In contrast, Paine is one of the creators of our modern democratic form of government.
Second, Dick Morris supports free markets, smaller government, less regulation and lower taxes, which will result in the dismantling of what remains of our New Deal- created welfare state. On the other hand, over 200 years ago, Paine argued for a welfare state and showed how a progressive tax on inheritance would pay for it.
Finally, Mr. Morris stands for an interventionist foreign policy, with perpetual "war on terrorism," undermining the United Nations and inevitably destroying our civil liberties. As a steadfast opponent of war, Paine would vehemently dissent; he presented plans for a confederation of nations to keep the peace.
Thomas Paine, in his immortal "American Crisis I", of December, 1776, wrote, "Every Tory is a coward; for servile, slavish, self-interested fear is the foundation of Toryism; and a man under such influence, though he may be cruel, never can be brave." Today's Tories are those want to replace our democracy with a plutocracy and, yes, Dick Morris is emphatically a Tory. It is disgraceful to have Paine's name tied to such a political figure. Paine has long suffered from defamation as a means of deflecting public attention from his inspiring political message. This misuse of the "Spirit of Thomas Paine" in giving an award to a person, whose political views are the antithesis of Paine's appears to be a new form of Paine defamation and must be challenged and publicly protested.
We, Irwin and Martha Spiegelman, have long belonged to groups aiming to spread the word about Paine's great legacy. We became interested in Thomas Paine when we moved to New Rochelle in 1975, leaving in 1982. We joined the Thomas Paine National Historical Association back in 1975, and remained members until 2000.