June 26, 2014

Gaining Liberty by Inches

George Will remarks on Miss. primary.

George Will: “Mississippi has not elected a Democratic senator since 1982, when it gave a sixth full term to John Stennis, who was first elected to fill a vacancy created by an incumbent’s death in 1947. Which means no Mississippian has become a freshmen Democratic senator since Harry Truman was president. So, the tea party’s low-risk insurrection hardly threatened a Republican Senate seat. [Chris] McDaniel’s defeat, like many the tea party has experienced this primary season, brings that feisty faction face to face with a melancholy fact: Americans’ devotion to frugal government is frequently avowed but rarely inhibiting. If the nation’s trajectory is to be changed, this will not be done as abruptly as tea partyers wish, and will not be done without their continued wholesome agitation. They must take to heart the truth Thomas Jefferson told in 1790 to a congressional candidate. Jefferson said that ‘the ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, that we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time, and eternally press forward for what is yet to get.’”

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