Modern Day Tories

Paine explicitly excluded the Tories in Common Sense, for the main argument that they are loyal to the crown.  He writes in Crisis #1 “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.” He believes that they are cowardice traitors.

Paine is a civic republican and believes in the common good of the people. This thought aids the exclusion of Tories, because in Paine’s eyes the Tories were not doing their part to contribute to the common good of the democracy. He has the desire to construct a unified society, but when the Tories don’t fit into that image, he excludes them.  So I wonder, who are the Tories of modern America?

In Norway this summer, a Norwegian shot his own countrymen. Would Norwegian’s consider him a tory? He went against the common good of the Norwegians; he was not loyal to the nation.

He betrayed his country and killed his fellow citizens. The Tories in Paine’s era were less extreme, because Paine classified them as cowards, but they still did not follow the ideologies of the Revolution.

Would you consider the Confederates during the mid-1800s Tories? They fought against the Union and seceded from their own country. Were they considered traitors because they believed in different ideologies than the Northern states?

In today’s age, I don’t think you can classify a certain ethnic group or religious organization as a Tory, but I do believe that there are Tories among us.

Moreover, there might be Tories hiding in the masses, and even though we don’t know exactly who they are, Americans do exclude certain groups based on these assumptions. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were relocated into internment camps, because the US was worried that they were all traitors.

Now, Arab Americans are looked at with suspicious eyes, after September 11th. Do Americans exclude certain groups because there really is a threat that they are not loyal to the US or is the exclusion just a racist thinking and a way for America to remain free of those that white men don’t want to include in this country?

White property owning men created the country and the exclusion of Tories; are those modern day equivalents the ones excluding other ethnicities? It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who wrote the executive order to detain Japanese and George W. Bush who lead the fight after the 9/11 attacks. Both were powerful, white, property owning men. So, who has the authority to exclude modern day Tories?

I believe that during Paine’s era, there was a valid reason to exclude the Tories. They were not loyal to the new republic and still felt that America needed to be dependent on Britain. If the Tories rebelled against the new country, it could have caused serious damage to establishing a new democracy. But now, I feel as though our country is established enough as not to have to exclude groups that we deem as threats. The only way for exclusion to be necessary is if there was a real threat from a particular group directly against our nation.

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2 Responses to Modern Day Tories

  1. brianoconnor16 says:

    I found your post about modern day Tories to be quite interesting. Yes, I completely agree with you about the fact that in the modern day people are still excluded just as the Tories were by Pain centuries ago. Your example of Arab Americans post 9/11 is spot on. Additionally, I think that modern day Americans are often excluded if they have radical social, cultural, or political views. For example, an American who strongly believes in communism would likely be excluded from other people’s ideas of who Americans are, and what they should believe in. It is clear that Americans are not innocent of excluding certain types of people. Even as society advances and equality grows, there will likely always be people that don’t get along, who will then exclude each other from their groups. Will America ever reach a point where there are no exclusions of people? I believe that it is highly unlikely, if not impossible that America will achieve a state in which certain people are not excluded from being ‘American’ in some shape or form. Whether the exclusion is occurring because of a foreseen threat or if those holding power simply exclude people in order to keep their power, history has shown us that people have excluded others and will continue to do so.

    I also agree that Paine clearly has a valid reason to exclude the Tories. However, it brings up an interesting dilemma. In a country founded on the ideas of freedom and liberty, when is it ok to exclude other groups of people solely because of their different views? Is it ok ever to do at all? How radical is too radical? I think these questions are important to debate when looking at the exclusion of people in a country that is supports freedom and free speech.

  2. mkay2209 says:

    I think you bring up a great point about exclusion of those who have radical social, cultural, and political views. I never really thought about exclusion outside of racial and ethnic. I don’t believe that there will ever be a time when there are no exclusions, even though I wish there was a society that did exist like that. I find it fascinating that the founders of our nation came over to avoid religious prosecution because they were being excluded in Britain for their beliefs and now that same country has exclusions. I think it’s unavoidable. I also think you bring up some great questions at the end. I don’t think its okay to exclude people because they are different, but if their different opinions are harmful to me or my country, I think it is okay to exclude them. But then again, I believe in treating others equally and with respect so that puts me in a hard spot.

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