There are a lot of reasons for believers in limited government to be discouraged. But sometimes that discouragement can be turned into triumph.
Truth be told, John Quincy Adams was a failed president. He lost his reelection bid to Andrew Jackson and was hated by the old Federalists who dominated what was to be his retirement home of Boston.
But his local constituents called on him to represent him in Congress, and a second career was launched. During the next 17 years he became that body’s most vocal critic of slavery, defender of free speech, and advocate of other unpopular causes, including the rights of Indians and women. It’s quite a saga, which is told by Joseph Wheelan in Mr. Adams’s Last Crusade. I reviewed this delightful book last Friday online.