Those who have tried to define conservatism’s affinity for tradition have searched everywhere from the seminal writings of Edmund Burke (the future is built upon the past) to the musings of William F. Buckley Jr., who urged us to “stand athwart history yelling Stop!”

Me, I prefer a regional expression that had been around for awhile and then was popularized in the 1970s by Bert Lance, Jimmy Carter’s hapless OMB director: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Change isn’t inherently bad, but change that isn’t really needed will probably create more harm than good.

Leo Morris is a columnist for The Indiana Policy Review, is winner of the Hoosier Press Association’s award for Best Editorial Writer.

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