The Ragin’ Cajun

James Carville was my guest yesterday at my annual Thought Leadership Conference at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach. He is a fast-talking, straight-shooting guy who goes full bore, start to finish, and he joined us for dinner, as well.

I asked him why Barak Obama, elected amid speeches between Doric Columns and Greek Porticos, with a rock star excitement in the audience, is now shunned by members of his own party seeking reelection in states he originally carried. James said that most candidates promise that they’ll work within the system to create change, but Obama claimed he would change Washington and the way it worked. But no one is about to change Washington, so he failed in his primary promise.

Sometimes we all think there’s a better cosmos to superimpose on the current one. But I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes, from John Dewey, I believe: “Saints engage in lofty introspection while burly sinners run the world.” With our clients, we need to seek pragmatic change within their own reality, and not seek to implement an idealistic, theoretical new construct.

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(Photo courtesy of Richard Citrin.)

© Alan Weiss 2014


2 thoughts on “The Ragin’ Cajun

  1. Alan –
    Your last sentence just went on my list of important quotations. I’ve been trying to articulate this concept in the emergency planning world for years and haven’t come up with anything nearly as elegant as your one liner. Thanks once again for helping light the path!

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