15 votes

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good

I think this is something people should consider in the whole Rand Paul debate.


Perfect is the enemy of good is an aphorism or proverb meaning that insisting on perfection often results in no improvement at all. The phrase is commonly attributed to Voltaire whose moral poem, La Bégueule, starts

“Dans ses écrits, un sàge Italien
Dit que le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.

(In his writings, a wise Italian
says that the best is the enemy of the good)”

Aristotle, Confucius and other classical philosophers propounded the principle of the golden mean which counsels against extremism in general.

The Pareto principle or 80–20 rule explains this numerically. For example, it commonly takes 20% of the full time to complete 80% of a task while to complete the last 20% of a task takes 80% of the effort. Achieving absolute perfection may be impossible and so, as increasing effort results in diminishing returns, further activity becomes increasingly inefficient.

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Give Rand a break. It's only been 2+yrs since he assumed public

office. For all we know, Ron could've started his first 2yrs in Congress the same way...honing himself and finding the true path of Liberty decades later, to who he is now that we try to emulate. Can someone account for Ron's junior years in Congress? I'd bet Ron wasn't as "perfect" then, as he is now...I could say the same for his son, Rand.

Ron Paul had to earn our support

Rand Paul will have to earn our support the same way.

So far he is not even close to earning mine.

Whoever will carry the torch going forward will have to be far closer to 'the perfect' than Rand Paul is now.

The enemy of liberty will always be trying to offer us false choices, and compromises to divide and nullify our movement.

The enemy has unlimited resources by way of absolute control of the 'money' printing presses, and can therefore bribe almost ANYBODY. In this way our elected leaders and idealistic journalists, become corrupt when they get to NY or D.C.

Only somebody with Ron Pauls resume will be able to lead this movement. Rand Paul has not in any way distinguished himself as that guy, and being Ron Paul's son gives him ZERO brownie points regardless.

likely he will be used as a foil against us, to divide us, and give the Bush people the nomination yet again in 2016.

Don't let "good enough" be the enemy of better.


Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

ytc's picture

Good old Voltaire. Striving for perfection can be the desire

to "be like god". . . But striving for human excellence with the full awareness of human frailty to sin (the seven deadly ones are traditionally defined as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony) is how we can bring about the real transformation within us, the community, the country and the world.

Here's a cheat-sheet list of quick antidotes to fight those sins: they are known as seven holy virtues: humility, charity, kindness, patience, chastity, temperance, and diligence.

Remember Ron Paul always refers to Liberty to pursue individual excellence and virtue as the most important factor in life?


has many negative consequences such as:

~Pessimism. Since a perfectionist is convinced that it will be extremely difficult to achieve an ideal goal, he can easily become discouraged, fatalistic, disheartened and pessimistic about the future.

~Depression. Needing always to be perfect, yet recognizing that it is impossible to achieve such a goal, a perfectionist runs the risk of feeling depressed.

~Rigidity. Needing to have everything in this movement to be perfect or "just so" can lead a perfectionist to an extreme case of being inflexible, non-spontaneous and rigid.

There is no loss letting the branches bend, when resisting the wind would cause them to break

please folks, learn to enjoy success without the need to second guess your ability to sustain our achievements. visualize yourself as "winning" even when it takes more energy, and more perseverance, than what you had planned, and realize that the most important force (us) behind The Liberty Movement is going in a positive direction.

His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?

It depends on whether one is forced to make a decision

If, as in election day, we are forced to make a choice, then yes, perfect should not trump less than perfect. Otherwise, I say perfection should be the goal in everything at all times.

My thinking is that that if nothing gets done because a perfect solution has yet to be found, then the best thing would be to wait for a perfect solution to appear. Half-asked solutions just pile on more work to fix when the real solutions come along. Not only that but by having less done one a given problem fires up more activity towards finding such a solution.

Of course, one must realize that there should be qualifiers tied to the labeling of the perfect solution. Something that achieves all the required changes but leaves some insignificant things unfixed should still qualify.

As For Me...

...i am puke-sick of attempts to rationalize, justify and/or convince that some fundamental principles are to be compromised.

Compromise on what is for supper, or whether a border patrol station should be built or not, but on matters of principle, well, Thomas Jefferson sums it up nicely...

“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Hissing for compromise is rejected, by El-Tee.

That is all.

You know it.


Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.



The aphorism I prefer is the opposite.

That the good is the enemy of the perfect has been proven time and again in many a Christian life.

One Christian teacher of the early 20th. century, Oswald Chambers, even taught a series on this theme that became a book published by his wife who was a stenographer who took down all his teachings in shorthand. That book is "My Utmost for His Highest".

The Chinese teacher Watchman Nee made the very same point in his seminal works, "The Normal Christian Life" and "The Spiritual Man".

Nothing of any lasting value was ever achieved by anyone who settled for less than their very best. This is the lesson of the Cross endured by the Son of Man to every one of His disciples "take up your cross and follow Me" and "be therefore perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect".

Anything less is the siren song of satan.

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)

Which of your liberties do you NOT want restored?

Which part of the Constitution do you NOT want restored to practice? Which of our founding principles is dispensable to you? What percentage of corruption is acceptable?

Until there is a viable plan to restore it ALL, I wouldn't count on much of anything changing. Compromise is the enemy of principle.

The line of thinking that is promoted in this thread is exactly the line of thinking that was used to promote Romney. "He may not be perfect, but he's way better than Obama."

That was the idea. And how did that go?

Perhaps the more important point, however, is that if Romney had been elected, we would still be fussing about all the things he would refuse to restore.....and we'd be stuck with his inertia for FOUR YEARS. Some solution THAT would have been!

It's funny to me how high minded this movement can be----right up until it's time to pick a candidate. If it's so hard to find an all-round candidate for the cause, perhaps less energy should be spent on wishing and compromising, and more energy should be spent on defining just what that ideal candidate should be.

Everybody wants it easy. Rather than to get together and come up with an actual plan of attack, people let out a sigh of relief when someone they deem tolerable enters the political race---as if to do all the work FOR us.

You can bounce the football off the goalposts a hundred times and never once get points for the kick. Being close has NO value. It only counts when the score changes. Yet there is no viable plan to change the score----except to hope for another kicker.

I, for one, see no value at all in rallying for a kicker who can't score. It doesn't matter how "close" he may seem. What's the point if it's not going to work?

Furthermore, where did we get the idea (and don't lie; you all think this way) that it's all about the kicker? An incredible amount of energy is put into the presidential race when the Oval Office is only a fraction of the government. Nobody wants to reform the whole thing; they just want to keep the dream alive that somebody will come do it for them.

Ask yourself this: If reforming our government depended on me, what would be my plan? Then ask yourself why you don't have an answer yet. Therein lies our problem: the public is unwilling and unprepared to serve as the overseer of our government. If this were not so, you'd have a viable plan already....something more than mere wishes for a single candidate.


Good points. The wise Italian should have said "good enough," instead of just "good." Perfect may be the enemy of good enough, but settling for "not good enough" is also the enemy of good enough.

BTW, it seems like Schaeffer Cox has a viable plan, and they quickly put him in a cage.

They keep ramming Rand Paul at us as if he will save the

Republic. Forget it the GOP is dead. Rand is a sold out traitor. I bet the shills are paid by Mitch and Jessie to promote sold out Rand their new puppet critter.


Probably. So why not just sit back and watch?

If I am a "paid shill" they keep forgetting to send my paycheck, and they still are not getting their money's worth.
Forget Rand. Time will tell. Eyes back on daddy-O. Ron is about to hit the speaking circuit. I'll see what he has to say, I am still interested in any guidance he may have to give.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.


Ok your not paid. I will be watching and listening to RP as well.


Is Rand good?

I think that is the question.

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

-C. S. Lewis


Sleazy, backstabbing politicking is never "good", no matter how many Neocons say it is.

This would make a great bumper sticker


I agree

We should support Rand 100%. I don't know why we would not.

Da because the endorsed Mittens

You dont know why not support Rand, are you kidding? What planet are you from? How many times does someone have to lie to you or steal from you before you wake up. Rand assisted the Bankgangsters to perpetuate a crime when he endorsed the candidate they choose. His father was cheated out of the candidacy. Are you for real?


Because he is

a sleazy backstabbing Neocon pol.


No one should get a free pass. There is no need for me to support anyone right now, all I have to do is watch.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

I was a one issue voter for about 8 years

My issue was cannabis hemp.

Rand doesn't ahve a free pass. He, as a senator, has done more for cannabis hemp than any political figure I know.

ytc's picture

I guess "perfectionists" will demand to have

a thousand issues pegged just perfectly to satisfy their whim of the day :-) Much better to be a one-issue-voter :-P

Voting was so much eaier then...

The good thing about the perfectionists is they remind us where THERE is. If it were not for Ron Paul, Rand Paul would not be doing as well in the GOP.. gee.. come to think of it.. if not for Ron Paul, Rand wouldn't exist.

deacon's picture

if it wasn't for RP

you and I wouldn't exist....here :)

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence


here wouldn't even be here ;))

ytc's picture

Really. If Michael N had to start a brand-new website with

"Peace+Gold(Au)+Love/Liberty", we probably wouldn't have even noticed it ;-)

Now we linger around just because we want that RonPaul Effect to keep on multiplying.

Or ar least 80%

as in the posted example.

That would be 20% you

That would be 20% you mean.

But, I am supporting Rand 0%, as that level of support of neocon sellouts to the Constitution is more consistent with Ron Paul's teachings

Rand needs to be taught a hard lesson that will echo permanently as a warning to all the other wolves in sheepskin clothing who would compromise our Constitution for political gain.