From Reason by Matt Welch:
Last night Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.), that libertarian Capitol Hill fan favorite, cryptically tweeted out this passage from The Two Towers, the middle volume of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings:
To be clear, this passage is about Aragorn, the heir of kingly men; plus Legolas the elf and Gimli the dwarf processing grief at the discovery of a massacre of Orcs that they suspect (wrongly, it turns out) includes the now-burned bodies of their captive hobbit pals Merry and Pippin. Gimli had previously lamented that the wise elf Elrond hadn’t wanted the two hobbits to join in their Fellowship of the Ring; Legolas rejoindered that the wizard and Fellowship leader Gandalf had, to which Gimli not unreasonably pointed out that the wizard’s foresight in these matters was not spotless, given the recent unpleasantness with the Balrog.
So in one sense Aragorn’s aphorism is just a little c’mon lads pep talk to keep his comrades’ spirits and searching activities up despite the short-term darkness and despair. But the deeper meaning that makes this one of Tolkein’s most quotable quotations is that even knowingly hopeless and perilous quests are worth the fighting for.
See full story here. The Lord of the Rings tweet:
“The counsel of Gandalf was not founded on foreknowledge of safety, for himself or for others,” said Aragorn. “There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark.”
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) March 27, 2019
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