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“There are few men who would not feel much less zeal in the discharge of a duty when they were conscious that the advantages of the station with which it was connected must be relinquished at a determinate period, than when they were permitted to entertain a hope of obtaining, by meriting, a continuance of them.”–Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist #72, 1788.

Tides of opinion

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Once a tide in opinion or in affairs is strongly set, it tends to overwhelm counter-currents and to keep going for a long time in the same direction. The tides are capable of ignoring geography, political labels, and other hindrances to their continuance. Yet it is also worth recalling that their very success tends to create conditions that may ultimately reverse them.

Milton and Rose Friedman: The Tide in the Affairs of Men

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“Yet, as Sophocles’s Antigone discovered, crosspressures, by their nature, turn the decisions individuals make into acts of self-definition.” John M. Carey. Legislative voting and accountability. 2007.