Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Monday, August 25, 2014

How about a Harvard school on the art of “not doing stupid stuff”?

Built just beyond the green-hued shadows of Harvard’s Kennedy School on Governance, our school would also teach tomorrow’s influential advisors and elected leaders how to climb and survive while not doing stupid stuff* — before being allowed to coin geopolitical strategies.

—How to help the press entertain the people without making entertaining decisions.

—How to keep Washington excited and empathetic without straining the nation’s resources.

—How to keep the base without offering fresh doctrines and world-views.

*The school’s mandate has been inspired by Barack Obama’s exquisite gaffe about “not doing stupid shit.” By all means, let's keep the word “shit” but not in our motto. The contribution of this advanced learning center will only be universal if it attracts uptight as well as cool political junkies. We know already that without excellent training, awkward leaders are easily forced to stick out their chins, cross their fingers, and just do — you know what.

Building even a small Obama School on Prudence alongside Kennedy’s storied edifice would be neat — and poetic to those who are less dreamy about JFK than about BO. However, there are two drawbacks: Clinton Democrats wouldn’t bother to raise a penny, and the name would scare off moderate Republicans most in need of help.

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