Common Sense launched in Fall 2016 in response to the lack of publishing space addressing the center-right to right Judeo-Christian perspective. (We modified and re-designed our two sites into one in the late Summer 2018). Most of the publishing websites and magazines cater to the far left and far right. Few address the almost 50% of Americans, who according to recent Gallup and Pew polls, are moderates or independents, fewer still addressing issues from a Biblical, Judeo-Christian framework, and even fewer accept unsolicited submissions from writers.
In the tradition of Thomas Paine, Common Sense was started with the intent of providing a forum that would help to unite Americans under one set of thoughts, ideals, and philosophy within the major arenas of life: politics, spiritual life, culture, and finance and investment. This can only be accomplished in a setting open to contrary thought and ideals – but even so, eventual unity needs a guiding thread or criteria: history, Constitutional principles, and…common sense.
What Is Common Sense?
As Thomas Paine wrote in early 1776, in his popular pamphlet Common Sense, “In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves; that he will put ON, or rather that he will not put OFF, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day.” And as J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy said recently in an interview with Rod Dreher, “money and education are no substitute for common sense and humility.”
As the former Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia believed, the Constitution – as well as all ancient documents – should be interpreted within a framework of originality and textuality. Another way of putting it is that proper interpretation occurs within the methodology of historical and literary criticism. The liberal, progressive point of view deviates and dissembles – its proponents and advocates draw on the wrong facts, reinterpret the facts to suit their point of view, or ignore the facts because their real agenda is to support, not a political point of view, but a philosophical or religious one.
Not Common Sense
The Left’s point of view comes from the post-modern deconstructionism and relativism taught in most of today’s universities. This methodology teaches that it’s not important what ancient, historical documents mean, but what one believes they say or what they mean to the reader. As such, history is deemphasized and the person and self-centeredness exalted.
The progressive, left leaning perspective today is almost always a front for a religious and humanistic view, one centered in man and his ability to make the world better and make peace independently. Since God as Creator is – perhaps, not, strangely – absent, it condemns and censures most ideas relative to genuine Judeo-Christian perspective and thought.
As such, the Left’s views become emotionally based and emotionally discerned. They are rooted in ideology and mostly renounce the appropriation of facts and rational thought. They are forced to look for an alternative place to find purpose and meaning: global warming, the environment, the quest for equality, etc.
Common Sense Interpretation
Common sense interpretation recognizes that all interpretation relies on an anchor for meaning. It makes ‘sense’ to combine political life with money and investing with culture and with spiritual life because it is the anchor of spiritual life that inform all of the rest, that in fact, informs life. It is only a dishonest person – or a deceived one – that insists that they have no bias or interpretive point of view. Understanding our bias we can minimize it when it is necessary.
Common Sense welcomes a wide variety of ideas and opinions within the logical persuasion of the center to center-right to conservative space. But as Paine said, to argue with someone who has renounced reason – or ignores it – is to waste time. The Left’s perspective should be respected, but not given a national platform. Bad ideas infect weak minds like a virus. As Paine himself said, “any prepossession in favor of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one.” Ideology and partisanship aside, Common Sense seeks what is true, what is practical and what works.
For submissions criteria see the Submissions page.
Common Sense endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United States. For our rationale, see Liberty’s Best Chance.
For a more recent update on our view of the President, see Why Christians Should Love Trump’s Tweets.