On Being a Pragmatist


It’s important to be pragmatic, not idealistic. This is shown in this Vox article, titled “Hillary Clinton’s brutal frankness to Black Lives Matter reveals her approach to politics“:

When Hillary Clinton met with Black Lives Matter activists last week, she told them, “I don’t believe you change hearts. You change laws.” And this wasn’t just an offhand remark — it was a frank explanation of Clinton’s fundamental approach to politics.

Deep in her bones, Clinton is a pragmatist. She has little patience for lofty ideals if they’re not paired with achievable, specific next steps for policy change. It’s an approach that has long animated her politics — from college and law school to the 2008 presidential campaign, she’s continually argued that pragmatism is crucial to achieving progressive change. If you want to actually help people and solve problems, she says, you have to focus on practicalities.

Without consideration for the practical, nothing we will ever try to achieve will become reality. So, I don’t have any notion to want to spend time in some lofty idea. It simply doesn’t take up any of my time. Being practical is a highly effective trait necessary to be a successful person, and that is what I reside in planning, and execution, of things that are necessary in every day life.

“Now I could stand up here and say ‘Let’s just get everybody together, Let’s get unified. The sky will open. The light will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing. And everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.’ Maybe I’ve just lived a little long, but I have no illusions about how hard this is going to be.”


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