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“Why did the slaveholders act as if driven by the Furies to their own destruction? ... Why did they take such risks, why did they persist beyond prudent calculation?  The answer must be that in a moral question of this kind, turning on basic concepts of humanity, you cannot be content that your critics are feeble and ineffective, you cannot be content with their practical tolerance of your activities.  You want, in a sense you need, actual acceptance, open approval.  If you cannot convert your critics by argument, at least by law you can make them recognize that your course is the course of the country.”  --  John Thomas Noonan, A Private Choice (1979)

Does that phenomenon sound familiar?