Reliving the Past

As Herbert Butterfield warns us and as I’ve mentioned here before, past performance is no guarantee of future results.  I was then pleased to read Patrick Porter’s latest column, “The Shadow of the Fathers.” He writes about invocations of the Founding Fathers as justification for all manner of… anything, really. To him, American policymakers have “the tricky job of acknowledging the powerful ideas and heritage that shaped American statecraft, while also resisting it.”

Perhaps my favorite line in the piece, though, belonged to Nicholas Spykman:

Not conformity with the past but workability in the present is the criterion of a sound policy.

Words for today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s