And thus a form of foolishness, because a long-term view is always wise. As you drive down a busy highway it’s obviously important to keep your eyes on the road immediately ahead of you, lest a crash result. But if your eyes are always focused right in front of your hood ornament, you will be constantly swerving back and forth, alternatively slamming on the gas and the brakes, as you react willy-nilly to the immediate actions of other cars around you. But if you also look three to five cars ahead, you begin to anticipate what other vehicles are doing, you get a feel for traffic dynamics, and you can initiate some maneuvers of your choice. And if you occasionally look a mile or more ahead, you will find that you can identify bigger patterns in the traffic as a whole: you can see if traffic is clogging up, which lanes are stopped and which are flowing, which lane the big semi-truck doing 40 miles and hours is in, where a construction zone begins, where the next exits and turnoffs are, and so on. Then you can really start controlling your own fate, because your range of anticipation has extended; by taking a long view you no longer have to react willy-nilly to the cars immediately around you, but you take the initiative and plot a course that gets you through traffic as effectively as circumstances allow.
Being pragmatic means sacrificing gains in the future because of present concerns, which while sometimes unavoidable also keeps you shortsighted and reactive; it keeps government policy ineffective, and it keeps the Left’s political strategy self-defeating and frustrating. Always add direction to your pragmatism by keeping the long run in view.