Glenn Beck, an anti-intellectual, anti-science paranoid, conspiratorial kook, is invoking Thomas Paine, an avatar of the Enlightenment as inspiration for waging a "civilest" civil/revolutionary war to dismantle the welfare state, which Beck is incapable of distinguishing from the totalitarian governments of Stalinist Soviet Union, Mussolini's Italy, or Hitler's Germany. The same Thomas Paine who, in two of his major works, wrote that the French revolution could establish its legitimacy by creating a welfare state with progressive taxation.
Thomas Paine's "common sense" were views that he believed were the obvious consequence to rational, scientific consideration of an issue; in essence, Paine's "common sense" was a celebration of the primacy of reason over dogma and tradition (including that of religious tradition/superstition.) This is not Beck's "common sense." I have seen on at least two occasions Beck giving as an exemplar of "common sense" your household dog, who just knows when something is wrong, intuitively; for Beck, "common sense" is thinking with your "gut." In other words, Beck's "common sense" celebrates the primacy of emotion over reason.
Which is why you get exchanges like this from Beck
Eugene, Ore.: Mr. Beck, over the last 20 years we have seen deregulated free market capitalism make a mess of the energy market (Enron), the financial markets, and the planet -- unmanaged natural resource harvest, global species loss, industrial toxins in our water, all at the cost of the common man or woman. Isn't regulation really a common sense approach to containing human greed?Is it? Shucks, I suppose we should probably get rid of our totalitarian laws preventing people from robbery or fraud, too, since self-regulation is the only "common sense" way to regulate greed. It's not like a company would create a product that would be highly addictive, highly damaging and deadly, conceal that information while waging a public relations campaign against anyone who pointed out the dangers of the product for decades while the company's consumers got sick and died. Or that this pattern of behavior would occur over and over. If Beck was more interested in empirical investigation of reality than his "gut" impressions of the matter, he'd find his views on this matter refuted again and again by the real world. Just ask the people of Libby, Montana.
Glenn Beck: No. Self-regulation is the common sense approach to regulating greed. What our founders called indispensable, the application of the laws of nature's God. And we have totally abandoned those things. Corporations need to know that by screwing the other guy, be it the janitor or another company, is bad long-term for the company. Polluting the rivers and skies to make a tire cheaper is ultimately bad for the company.
But, like I said, history doesn't exist for Beck.