Don Kennedy 5-27-15
That, which to some persons appeared to be moderation in you at first, was not produced by any real virtue of your own, but by a contrast of passions, dividing and holding you in perpetual irresolution.
You have been the patron of low and vulgar frauds,...and have imported a cargo of vices blacker than those which you pretend to suppress.
Mankind is not universally agreed in its determination of right and wrong, but there are certain actions which the consent of all individuals have branded with the unchangeable name of meanness. Meanness has neither alliance nor apology. It is of such a hateful nature that all other vices conspire to disown it.
A conduct so basely mean in a public character is without precedent or pretense. It has the venomous malignity of a serpent and the spiteful imbecility of an inferior reptile.
You were formidable. You had great armies and navies at your command. You had nothing to do but begin, and your chance lay in first vigorous onset. But you chose to withdraw. Never has a nation invited self-destruction with the ignorance and eagerness which we have done under your leadership. A nation governed by a set of men who have been guilty of forgery, perjury, treachery, theft and every species of villainy which the lowest wretches on earth could practice or invent.
They have refined upon villainy till it wants a name. They have added the dregs of the most finished rascality, and are so completely sunk in serpentine deceit, that there is not left among them one generous enemy.
From such men and such masters, may the gracious hand of Heaven preserve America! A good man cannot think of their actions without abhorrence. To see the bounties of Heaven destroyed, the beautiful face of nature laid waste, and the choicest works of creation and art tumbled into ruin, would fetch a curse from the soul of piety itself.
By the will of God, America shall flourish the favorite of Heaven, and the friend of mankind.
For the pleasure of the reader, the above are thoughts from Thomas Paine’s work The American Crisis written on March 28, 1778 as he described General Sir William Howe of His Majesty’s Army. Today, we might be thinking of someone else.