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.