The Father of the Revolution, Thomas Paine (in the ass according to John Adams who, as far as I can tell, never had a good word to say about anyone), with his (not-so) Common Sense, fired the imaginations of the Colonialists with the pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness (not necessarily in that order) and, as if that were not enough, went on to sire the French Revolution also with his, Age of Reason (a rationalistic Tour de Farce that made him a living legend).

This, however, had the unexpected effect of ostracizing him from the Deist Founding Fathers because of its irreligious philosophy (pot calling the kettle black there, hey), so he ended his days deranged (putting the lie to his belief system) and unkempt to the point that he never bathed (course, back then, no one did – Fryxell), and his toenails had become, ominously, (Dan. 4), like Eagle’s Claws (Lepore).

The Poster Boy for the Rise and Fall of the American Empire, you might say…

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