another pithy explanation for last week

Dreams, visions and wild hopes are mighty weapons and realistic tools.  The practical-mindedness of a true leader consists in recognizing the practical value of these tools.  Yet this recognition usually stems from a contempt of the present which can be traced to a natural ineptitude in practical affairs.  The successful businessman is often a failure as a communal leader because his mind is attuned to the "things that are" and his heart set on that which can be accomplished in "our time."  Failure in the management of practical affairs seems to be a qualification for success in the management of public affairs. And it is perhaps fortunate that some proud natures when suffering defeat in the practical world do not feel crushed but are suddenly fired with the apparently absurd conviction that they are eminently competent to direct the fortunes of the community and the nation. 
Eric Hoffer, The True Believer:  Thoughts on the nature of mass movements

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